Daily Current Affairs - 14th May 2020

25% cut in TDS and TCS rates till 31st of March 2021; Last date for filing of Income Tax return extended till Nov 30

  • In a major announcement by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and Tax Collected at Source (TCS) have been reduced by 25 per cent till 31st March of next year. This decision will increase cash flow of over 50 thousand crore rupees benefitting common people.
  • The date for filing Income Tax return for the last financial year has also been extended till 30th November, while last date for filing tax audits has been extended from 30th September to 31st October.
  • Finance Minister also announced reduction of statutory provident fund contribution by both employers and employees to 10 percent of basic wages from the existing 12 per cent for the next three months.

Archaeological Survey of India gets new chief, CBSE gets new chief

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) got a new Director General with the appointment of IAS officer V. Vidyavathi. Meanwhile, Odisha cadre IAS Manoj Ahuja has been appointed the new chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Ahuja will replace Anita Karwal as the chairman of the CBSE.

Army proposes 3-year stint for civilians

  • In a transformational move, the Indian Army is considering a proposal to allow civilians including young working professionals to join the force for a three-year tenure as officers and in other ranks for a variety of roles -- even of front-line fighters.
  • The game-changing proposal is being examined by top commanders of the Army and that its main aim is to bring people closer to the 1.3- million-strong force by giving them an opportunity to experience military life.
  • If approved it will be a voluntary engagement and there will be no dilution in selection criteria. Initially 100 officers and 1,000 men are being considered for recruitment as part of test bedding of the project.

Balbir Sr. still critical

  • Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr remained in a critical state at a hospital as he battled bronchial pneumonia. One of the country's tallest athletes, Balbir Sr is the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across the modern Olympic history.
  • His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men's hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten. He had scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.
  • Balbir Sr was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957 and was also the manager of India's only World Cup-winning team in 1975.

Bumrah likely for Arjuna nomination

  • India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is expected to be the BCCI nomination for the prestigious Arjuna award this year after missing out on seniority to Ravindra Jadeja in 2019. He has 68 wickets from 14 Tests – including a hattrick – 104 wickets from 64 ODIs and 59 wickets from 50 T20Is, making for a phenomenal four years in India colours.
  • He was ICC’s No 1 ranked ODI bowler. He is the only Asian bowler to pick up five-wicket hauls in South Africa, England, Australia and West Indies.

CAPF canteens to sell only indigenous products, says Home Minister

  • Home Ministry has decided that all the Central Armed Police Forces, CAPF canteens will now sell only indigenous products. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, this will be applicable to all CAPF canteens across the country from 1st June 2020 and the total purchase value would be around 2800 crore rupees He said, 50 lakh families of about 10 lakh CAPF personnel will use indigenous products.
  • Mr Shah also appealed to all citizens to use the indigenous products and make the country self reliant.

Coronavirus "May Never Go Away," Warns WHO

  • The new coronavirus may never go away and populations around the world will have to learn to live with it, the World Health Organization warned. As some countries around the world begin gradually easing lockdown restrictions imposed in a bid to stop the novel coronavirus from spreading, the WHO said it may never be wiped out entirely. The WHO warned there was no way to guarantee that easing the restrictions would not trigger a second wave of infections.
  • The virus first emerged in Wuhan in China late last year and has since infected more than 4.2 million people and killed nearly 300,000 worldwide.

Deadlines for real estate projects to be extended

  • The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry will advise States and Union Territories and their regulatory authorities to extend the registration and completion date of real estate projects by six months as part of economic relief measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.
  • The measure will safeguard the interest of homebuyers, who will get the delivery of their flats although with a delay of a few months, but it will definitely ensure the completion of the projects.

FM shares details of Rs 20 lakh cr stimulus package; announces Rs 3 lakh cr collateral-free automatic loans for businesses

  • The union Government has announced the first tranche of stimulus packages, under the Atma-Nirbhar Bharat Yojana. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave details regarding these financial packages equaling to 10 per cent of the national GDP and amounting to 20 lakh crore rupees. She said the financial stimulus will cater to various sections of the society including MSMEs, labourers, middle class and Industries.
  • Ms. Sitharaman announced 15 special financial packages of 6 lakh 40 thousand crore rupees benefitting a wide array of sectors including MSMEs, Discoms, Real Estate, Middle Class, Tax Payers and others.
  • The ambit of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have been widened resulting in inclusion of many small and micro industries under this sector. This decision of changing the definition of MSMEs will increase competition and productivity in the sector.
  • In a major boost to the MSME sector, collateral free loan of 3 lakh crore rupees has been announced with a moratorium of 12 months. These loans will benefit 45 lakh small and medium units. Another package of 20 thousand crore rupees for stressed MSMEs benefitting 2 lakh units have also been announced.
  • Finance Minister informed that 50 thousand crore rupees will be infused in the MSMEs through the equity channel.

Kotak mahindra Bank Q4 net profit falls 10% on higher provisioning

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank reported a 10% year-on-year drop in net profit to Rs.1266 crore at the end of March 2020 on higher provisioning. Net profit stood at Rs.1407 crore during the corresponding period a year ago.
  • Asset quality improved with gross non-performing assets seeing a decline of 7% quarter on quarter to Rs.5026.9 crore at the end of March 2020. Gross NPA as a percentage of total assets stood at 2.3% as on 31 March as against 2.5% in the previous quarter. The bank added fresh bad loans worth Rs.491 crore during the quarter.
  • Provisions and contingencies surged to Rs.1,047.47 crore in the quarter from Rs.171.26 crore a year ago.

Maharashtra crosses 25,000-mark

  • The COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc across Maharashtra, with the State reporting a massive surge of 1,495 new cases on Wednesday. Its cumulative case tally breached the 25,000-case mark to reach 25,922, while a record single-day high of 54 new fatalities took the State’s total death toll to 975.

Maharashtra, UP to host Nationals: HI

  • Maharashtra would host the 2021 men’s National hockey championships while Uttar Pradesh would host the 11th edition of the women’s competition. Haryana would host both the junior and sub-junior events for men while Jharkhand would host the women’s events.

Maruti profit skids as sales take a hit

  • The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) reported a 27.77 percent decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 1,322.3 crore for the fourth quarter of 2019-20, on account of lower sales volume, higher promotion expenses and depreciation expenses.
  • The company had posted a net profit of Rs 1,830.8 crore in the January-March period of 2018-19. Net sales during the quarter declined to Rs 18,207.7 crore, down 15.2 percent from Rs 21,473.1 crore in the year-ago period.
  • Total car sales during the fourth quarter declined by 16 percent to 3,85,025 units as compared to the same period of 2018-19.

PM CARES Fund Trust to allocate Rs 3,100 crore for fight against COVID-19

  • PM CARES - Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust decided to allocate 3, 100 crore rupees for fight against COVID-19. Out of this amount, a sum of around two thousand crore rupees will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, one thousand crore will be used for care of migrant labourers and one hundred crore rupees will be given to support vaccine development.

Tourism Ministry organizes 18th webinar titled ‘Odisha-India’s Best kept secret’

  • The Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh webinar series, titled, ‘Odisha-India’s Best kept secret’ took the participants on a virtual journey into Odisha. The webinar was 18th webinar under Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series.
  • The virtual journey covered places like Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Udaipur Beach , Manglajodi - unique wetland, Satpada, Chilika lake known for sighing of unique irrawady dolphins, Simlipal National Park , Debrigarh National Park -Ecotourism site at Hirakud reservoir, waterfall, Silent Valley - Gorge, Daringbadi nature Camp, Mahanadi Gorge, Bhetnoi, Beach Locations, Tribal heritage , arts and crafts, textiles, dance forms , festivals and cuisines.
  • The objective of Ministry of Tourism’s webinar series is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India, including the lesser known destinations and lesser known facets of popular destinations.

US piled up record monthly deficit of over 737 billion dollars in April

  • The United States government has piled up a record monthly deficit of over 737 billion dollars in April. It is due to drop in revenue and a massive increase in spending to fund efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. That was more than three times larger than the previous record monthly deficit of 235 billion dollars set in February.
  • The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that all the spending, the government has done to deal with the pandemic, will push the deficit for the entire year to 3.7 trillion dollars.