Technology Indian activists have petitioned a parliamentary panel to summon the heads of U.S. tech firms including Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google and question them on issues ranging from tax compliance to data privacy. 12 Feb 2019 10:45PM Bookmark MUMBAI: Indian activists have petitioned a parliamentary panel to summon the heads of U.S. tech firms including Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google and question them on issues ranging from tax compliance to data privacy.The petition, sent by a group that previously dragged WhatsApp to court and a right-wing political activist, comes a day after the panel summoned Twitter chief Jack Dorsey to discuss ways to safeguard citizens' rights on social media and online platforms.Social media companies are coming under increased scrutiny in India ahead of elections due before May in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking another term. Some firms are overhauling policies to curb misinformation ahead of the vote.In a letter to Anurag … [Read more...] about India parliamentary panel urged to summon global heads of Facebook, other tech giants
India parliamentary system
India is facing a new cash crunch, similar to the one the country faced in the aftermath of demonetization. In November 2016, the Narendra Modi government demonetized 500- and 1,000-rupee notes in order to destroy black or unaccounted wealth, which was supposedly stored in the form of cash. The Ministry of Finance had said in a press release back then: “Use of high-denomination notes for storage of unaccounted wealth has been evident from cash recoveries made by law-enforcement agencies from time to time.” The irony was that data from the Income Tax Department showed that only around 5% of the black wealth recovered during tax raids was held in the form of paper currency. The decision to demonetize more than 86% of the currency in circulation created a huge cash shortage. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox Over the last few days, automated teller machines have been running dry across large parts of the country. The Finance Ministry in … [Read more...] about Is India’s latest cash crunch a legacy of demonetization?
Bangladesh’s decades-old system of reserving a large chunk of seats in the civil service exam for people under various “quotas” is set to end. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced on Wednesday that the much-debated quota system would be abolished. Hasina’s announcement came in a parliamentary session against the backdrop of a large-scale student movement that had built up over months and reached boiling point last Sunday, when thousands of students came out on streets across the country. More than 100 students were injured and at least 10 detained by police in sporadic clashes at various places, most notably at Dhaka University, where the protest originated, before it spread to other universities. The students demanded that the quota system to recruit civil servants be reformed because it was being abused and it denied general students who did not qualify for specific quotas a decent chance of getting a job with the Bangladesh Civil Service. Adopted from … [Read more...] about Hasina abolishes quota system to recruit civil servants
In line with the BJP's poll promise before the 2014 general elections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for notified kharif crops would be 1.5 times the input cost along with formation of a concrete mechanism to ensure higher farm income. While presenting the Union Budget for fiscal 2018-19, Jaitley said: "We have a promise made in our party's manifesto that farmers must get 1.5 times of the input cost. The government has been sensitive about it." "For major of the notified rabi crops, MSP at 1.5 times over production cost has been decided. Now, I am feeling very happy the government has decided to announce to make the MSP for all notified crops in the upcoming kharif season at least 1.5 times of the input cost. It will help in doubling farmers' income." In 2017, the MSP for paddy was pegged at Rs 1,550, for sorghum (jowar) at Rs 1,700, for red gram (tur/arhar) at Rs 5,450. However, farmers were unhappy with the MSP rates as they … [Read more...] about Election-friendly India Budget not taxation-friendly
Terming it as the world's largest government funded healthcare programme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced the National Health Protection Scheme under which Rs 5 lakh (500,000) cover will be provided a year to 10 crore (100 million) poor and vulnerable families in the country. "We are now launching a flagship national health protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. This is approximately 50 crore beneficiaries, by providing them up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation," Jaitley said presenting the 2018-19 Union Budget. Emphasising that the initiative would take healthcare protection to a new aspirational level, Jaitley said the initiative was part of Ayushman Bharat and adequate funds will be provided for its smooth implementation. "This was aimed at making path breaking interventions to address health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health … [Read more...] about India: Rs 500,000 cover for 100 million poor families announced under Ayushman Bharat