- Rajasthan sends plans to Centre to develop tourist circuits
- In a bid to add depth and diversity to its tourism products, the state tourism department has sent three proposals to the Centre under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for developing as many tourist circuits that would require investments of close to Rs 300 crore.
- The proposals seek to create new opportunities in eco-tourism, tribal tourism and desert tourism and have enlisted development of various infrastructure works that can enhance tourist appeal in the locations and improve the quality of experience of the visitors.
- Under the eco-tourism circuit, the proposal seeks to develop various facilities in Sariska Tiger Reserve (Alwar), Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary (Karauli), Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary (Rajsamand), Raoli Tadgarh Sanctuary (Rajsamand), Mount Abu Sanctuary (Sirohi), Jhalana Safari Park (Jaipur), and Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary (Pratapgarh). The fund requirement has been estimated at Rs 99.97 crore. Similarly, the focus under desert circuit has been in and around Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner. Besides, the government wants to deploy attractive equipment for undertaking trans-desert adventure activities and create ground facilities for activities like para-motor gliding, zip lining, hot air balloon, camel and equestrian sports and camping facilities at Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Barmer. The plans entail an investment of Rs 99.90 crore.
- As per the plans, temples, lakes, museums, bus stands and other facilities in Banswara, Dungarpur, Sirohi and Pratapgarh for visitors will get a facelift.
- India Signs MOU With World EXPO 2020 Dubai
- India and World Expo 2020 signed participants contract for India’s pavilion in the prestigious World Expo 2020 held once in 5 years.
- The contract provides for the setting up of India pavilion at Expo 2020 on an extra large plot (about one acre) in the ‘Opportunity’ segment. This is tune with the great opportunity for economic activity that India provides today on the way to becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
- Focus will be given to India’s advances in Space, Pharma, IT, Renewable Energy, Telecom sectors.
· Singapore and China Signed MoU Along Belt And Road Initiative
- Singapore and China signed a MoU in Beijing, China to promote greater collaboration between Singapore and Chinese companies in third-party markets along the Belt and Road.
- Under the MOU, theMinistry of Trade and Industry (MTI),NDRC (China’s lead agency for BRI) and Enterprise Singapore will form a working group to identify sectors and markets of mutual interest, and organise business matching activities and forums to facilitate third-party market cooperation between Singapore and Chinese companies along the Belt and Road.
- Transgenders to be recognised as independent gender category in PAN
- The government has amended Income Tax rules that will now allow transgenders to be recognised as an independent category of applicants for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN) for their tax-related transactions.
- The move is to help transgenders obtain their PAN card and help them link it with their Aadhaar cards.
- Till now, only male and female gender categories were available to be chosen on the PAN application form.
· New norms for global projects
- The Central Vigilance Commission has drawn up a new set of guidelines for projects funded by international agencies such as the World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank.
- The new guidelines will put an end to existing practice of government departments and agencies adhering to the guidelines of foreign donors, while ignoring Indian government rules, in concluding contracts for projects funded by them. The new guidelines also draw a distinction between grants-in-aid and loans.
- The decision could open up a debate on whether Indian guidelines that insist on the lowest financial tender to be selected, even if quality questions remain, is better than standards followed by the international agencies.
- The earliest record of a formal clarification that allowed government agencies to ignore Indian norms for such contracts is an order issued on October 1, 1999 by the then CVC. It amended the 1998 guidelines on post-tender negotiations by government departments.
- More than a decade later, on October 28, 2011 the Commission clarified that the CVC guidelines “would not be applicable in projects funded by the World Bank, ADB etc. if found to be in conflict with the applicable procurement rules of the funding agencies.” The new guidelines, issued on April 6, overturn those norms.
· Internal e-waybills in 5 States from April 15
- The Union government on Tuesday announced that it would be rolling out the e-waybill system for intra-State transport of goods in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh on April 15.
- The countrywide e-waybill system for the inter-State movement of goods was rolled out on April 1. “Till April 9, 2018 more than 63 lakh e-waybills have been successfully generated,” the government said. The GST Council had said it would roll out the system for the intra-State movement of goods in four phases. The April 15 roll-out will mark the first of these phases.
- Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have taken the lead over other States and have emerged as the top States in terms of number of e-waybills being generated.
- With the roll-out of e-waybill system in these States, it is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, thereby eventually paving the way for a nation-wide single e-waybill system.
· Tenth DefExpo India Begins In Tamil Nadu
- The tenth edition of a biennial exhibition of weapons and military hardware – DefExpo India- 2018begun at Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu.
- The four-day long defense expo was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Indigenously developed military helicopters, aircraft, missiles and rockets, capabilities to manufacture submarines, frigates and corvettes would be showcased at the event.
- Over 700 exhibitors from over 50 countries are participating in the Defence Expo.