DRI Upheld Showcause Notice in Coal Import Overvaluation Case –
In 2014, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence raided over around 80 shipping companies and their laboratories across major India states which includes Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. During these raids it was said that DRI seized documents which detailed the real cost of the coal imported and the amount shown to the authorities was found to be inflated.
One of these 40 companies named Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Pvt Ltd is currently under news. DRI had passed a showcause notice to Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Pvt Ltd regarding the alleged overvaluation of Indonesian coal imports, collectively pegged at Rs 29,000 crore. This showcause notice was recently upheld by adjudication authority of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
DRI claimed that it had obtained two Certificates of Sampling and Analysis of Coal (COSA), which detailed different parameters of the coal imported. It is being said that the certificate of coal imported by Switzerland and certificate being provided to MAHAGENCO were different. DRI alleged that the certificates were intentionally faked for creating illegal profits. However Knowledge Infrastructure Systems brushed aside the allegations saying that the testing reports of MAHAGENCO while buying coal and test report of custom authorities while importing coal makes the DRI allegations wrong.
Om Puri passed away –
Veteran and very famous actor Mr. Om Puri passed away on early Friday morning due to a massive heart attack. He was 66 years old. Mahesh Bhatt, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other members of Bollywood Fraternity including his friends expressed their condolences. Om Puri in his long career in Bollywood had acted in Bollywood, Hollywood and even Pakistani films.
Reality of Digitisation of Malappuram in Kerala –
Malappuram District authorities transferred Rs 5 each digitally to accounts of 27 persons in Nedumkayam, and declared it India’s ‘first cashless tribal village’. Nedumkayam’s digital interaction began and ended with that.
The declaration was made as part of ‘My Malappuram, My Digital’ project, envisaged to make Kerala’s Malappuram the first cashless district in India. Nedumkayam, with its 400-odd population of the Paniya tribe, was provided WiFi to facilitate online payment using the SBI Buddy app in smartphones, and then trained how to use it.
However it is being said that the above steps are a mere formality to showcase that something is happening but the reality is far from what is being shown. The WiFi facilities provided do not work as hardly 10 homes near the WiFi source get signals. Also as most of the people there are daily labourers so they say that digital payments and accounts won’t matter to them as they are not going to deposit there daily wages in these accounts. They say that even there women are defecating in the open so it is important for them that the government first builds toilets for them so that there women can defecate with safety and security. Drinking water facilities are grossly inadequate as they fetch water from a nearby river. The situation gets worse in rainy season as during this season people have to contend with dirty water.
Aadhaar Information in private hands might not be a good idea says SC –
Supreme Court has opined that handling of Aadhaar biometric details by private players doesn’t seems a wise idea. In Supreme Court an urgent hearing regarding the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar was filed saying that if it is not stopped then India will transform in a surveillance State but Supreme Court has denied any urgent hearing. The court said that the interim orders regarding the usage of Aadhaar are already in place and there is no urgent need to temper with them. Important issues on a case by case basis will be taken up in due course of time.
The apex court had earlier permitted voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in social welfare schemes such as LPG subsidy, PDS, MGNREGA, pension schemes and provident fund, besides ambitious flagship programmes like the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’ of the NDA government.
A Supreme Court Constitutional bench has previously ruled on Aadhaar that it’s usage is purely voluntary and no one will be denied any benefits of government schemes on basis of not having access to Aadhaar. However the passage of Aadhaar Bill Targeting of Subsidies has changed the ground equation. Any change by Supreme Court has to be done by a larger Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court. Also whether the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right or not is still left to be decided.
Sahara India ITSC issue –
Yesterday we provided a brief overview of Sahara diaries case. A new revelation made shows that the expenses which Sahara India has filed with Income Tax Settlement Commission are over 100 times higher than the amount of expenses that Sahara India filed with the Registrar of Companies. This overvaluation of expense has led Sahara India to avoid a tax amount of ₹ 1771 crore in the period of 2008-09 to 2014-15. It is said that Income Tax authorities have the discretion of deciding the expenses of the tax payer.
Presence of Benzene in Delhi’s Air –
The level of Benzene in Delhi’s Air is extraordinarily high specially due to current low temperature of Delhi. It is said that in coming days with temperatures falling further south, the concentration of Benzene carcinogen is set to increase further. The minimum prescribed standard of Benzene in air is said to be 5 µg/m3 but in some areas of Delhi it is being found in excess of 35 µg/m3. The average concentration of Benzene in Gurgaon was 0.22 µg/m3 and that in Rohtak was 0.18 µg/m3. It is being said that Benzene is more dangerous in smaller concentrations than higher concentrations.
Despite of the ill effects of Benzene, it is not included in the National Air Quality Index but the authorities are still aware of the ill effects of the benzene carcinogen. Benzene is known to cause myloid leukaemia which is a sort of blood cancer. Benzene is said to settle down more in areas which have cold temperatures.
What is National Air Quality Index ??
National air quality index (AQI) is a number used by Indian Government to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become.
In India, There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. The proposed AQI will consider eight pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term (up to 24-hourly averaging period) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.