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News in Short

News in Short - 24-May-2020

Government plans calamity cess on GST

Date: 24 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The central government is considering a calamity cess on Goods and Services Tax (GST) to tide over the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The proposal to raise additional revenue from GST, excluding goods and services in the five per cent slab, is with the Finance Ministry.
  • Kerala is the only state to have levied such a cess using the Constitutional provision, Section (4) (F) of Article 279 A, which refers to “any special rate or rates for a specified period to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster”.
  • The GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017 also provides for the imposition of cess up to the rate of 15 per cent ad valorem (based on estimated value) on “any other supplies”.

Jamal Khashoggi's family pardons murderers

Date: 24 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The son of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has said that the family has pardoned the killers, paving way for official pardon.
  • The pardon, which under Saudi Arabia’s system of Islamic law can release a convicted killer from the death penalty, is a blow to those seeking to hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to account for a murder he has been accused of ordering.
  • The decision will buoy the Saudi government and its supporters who contend it is time to move on from one of the most controversial chapters of al-Saud family rule.
  • Mr. Khashoggi, a well-known critic of the kingdom’s leadership who had fled Saudi Arabia fearing arrest, was killed and his body dismembered by Saudi agents during a 2018 visit to the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

RBI reduces repo rate

Date: 24 May 2020 Tags: Monetary Policy & RBI
  • The Reserve Bank of India has cut key repo lending rate by 40 basis points to 4%. This is expected to bring down lending rates and deposit rates as well.
  • RBI's monetary policy committee voted 5-1 for a 40 bps repo rate cut, while maintaining an accommodative stance. Reverse repo gets automatically gets adjusted to 3.35% from 3.75%.
  • The RBI on 27 March had slashed the repo rate by 75 bps to stimulate growth, following which, banks lowered their lending rates and deposit rate.

Mammoth skeletons discovered near Mexico City

Date: 24 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A team of archaeologists working near Mexico City has discovered the remains of more than 60 mammoths at the city’s future airport.
  • The area was formerly submerged under the Xaltocan Lake, part of the Mexican Basin and a focal point of the country’s pre-Colombian civilization.
  • Traps for the hunting of mammoths, thought to have been dug soon after the lake dried up, were found at the site last year. Almost all of the giant skeletons are thought to belong to the Colombian mammoth species.

Pakistan airlines plane crashes near Karachi

Date: 24 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A Pakistan International Airlines plane carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members crash-landed into the Jinnah Housing Society located near the Karachi airport.
  • The cause of the crash is yet to be confirmed. The pilot had told traffic control that the plane was experiencing “technical difficulties”, especially the landing gear.
  • The flight was coming from Lahore to Karachi after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) allowed limited resumption of domestic flights following weeks of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.