- US motorcycle brand is stopping manufacturing and massively scaling back its sales operations.
- It will stop making and selling its bikes in India as part of a global restructuring plan.
- The company has many times complained to Mr Trump about India’s high tariffs.
- The Harley-Davidson (India) dealer network will continue to serve customers through the contract term.
- India had slashed tariffs on the import of completely built units (CBU) of motorcycles ahead of Trump’s visit to India earlier this year.
- Motorcycles with engine capacity of more than 1,600 cc now attract a single-digit import tariff.
Singapore – Facial Verification
- The biometric check will give Singaporeans secure access to both private and government services.
- The government’s technology agency says it will be “fundamental” to the country’s digital economy.
- Trialled with a bank and is now being rolled out nationwide
- It not only identifies a person but ensures they are genuinely present.
- The technology will be integrated with the country’s digital identity scheme SingPass and allows access to government services.
- Verification or recognition?
- Facial verification is already widespread in airports, and many government departments are using it, including the UK Home Office and National Health Service and the US Department of Homeland Security.
- It is also likely to be used for verification at secure areas in ports and to ensure that students take their own tests.
- It will be available to any business that wants it, and meets the government’s requirements.
CAG report on Tax Department
- For financial year 2018-19
- Number of disputes and also the amounts locked up at various forums, including the tribunals courts, have risen.
- At the CIT-Appeals, the first forum of appeal against tax demands, the amount locked up rise from Rs 5.19 lakh crore in 2017-18 to Rs 5.63 lakh crore in 2018-19, the CAG noted.
- ‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ scheme
- Commitment to reduce the backlog of litigation by withdrawing frivolous pleas
- The income tax appeal cases of all categories of taxpayers pending at the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITATs), High Courts and Supreme Court rose by a whopping 65% year-on-year to 1.35 lakh in FY19, the CAG reported.
- The appeal cases at the courts involved Rs 2,10,833 crore in FY19 compared with Rs 2,07,826 crore in FY18.
CAG on Export Schemes
- The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has said “substantial delays” in issuing benefits under two key flagship schemes for goods & services exports indicate “failure of the automated system” in achieving the objective of simplification of procedures & ease of doing business.
- The CAG said the total amounts forgone in issuing the scrips under the export schemes — mainly the MEIS and SEIS — went up from Rs 19,031 in FY15 to Rs 44,305 in FY19.
- CAG has suggested that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade review the procedure of granting scrips under the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) and the Services Export from India Scheme (SEIS), and lay down an appropriate checklist for issuing the scrips both electronically and manually.
- The report lends some credence to exporters’ claims that benefits are frequently held up, defeating the very purpose of export promotion.
- Apart from delays, the audit findings brought to the fore at least five issues about the MEIS:
- Discrepancies between scrip value and actual entitlement
- Incorrect adoption of foreign exchange rates
- Incorrect levy of “late cut”
- Grant of benefits on export proceeds realised in rupee
- Delay in the operationalisation of e-commerce module.