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PIB 19th April

Contents

  1. CBDT revising return forms to enable taxpayers avail benefits
  2. Clues to blazar emission mechanisms
  3. More than Rs 36,659 crore transferred by DBT using PFMS
  4. Lifeline Udan flights

CBDT REVISING RETURN FORMS

Focus: GS-III Indian Economy, Prelims

Why in news?

In order to enable income taxpayers to avail full benefits of various timeline extensions granted by the Government of India due to Covid-19 pandemic situations, the CBDT is revising the return forms for FY 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21).

CBDT

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is a Statutory Body functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.
  • It is official Financial action task force unit.
  • CBDT is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Functions of CBDT:

  • CBDT is responsible for administration of the direct tax laws through Income Tax Department.
  • The officials of the Board in their ex-officio capacity also function as a Division of the Ministry dealing with matters relating to levy and collection of direct taxes.
  • CBDT provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India as well.

Composition of CBDT

  • The CBDT Chairman and Members of CBDT are selected from Indian Revenue Service (IRS), a premier civil service of India, whose members constitute the top management of Income Tax Department.
  • 7 Members are:  The Chairman, Member (Income-tax), Member (Legislation & Computerisation), Member (Personnel & Vigilance), Member (Investigation), Member (Revenue), Member (Audit & Judicial)

CLUES TO BLAZAR EMISSION MECHANISMS

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

  • Researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) conducted the first systematic study on the gamma-ray flux variability nature on different types of blazars.
  • Their study could provide clues to the processes happening close to the black hole, not visible through direct imaging.

What are blazars?

  • At the centre of most galaxies, there’s a massive black hole that can have mass of millions or even billions of Suns that accrete gas, dust, and stellar debris around it.
  • As these material falls towards the black hole, their gravitational energy gets converted to light forming active galactic nuclei (AGN).
  • A minority of AGN (~15%) emit collimated charged particles called jets travelling at speeds close to the speed of light.
  • Blazars are AGN whose jets are aligned with the observer’s line of sight.
  • Some blazars are thought to host binary black holes in them and could be potential targets for future gravitational-wave searches.
  • Blazars are the most luminous and energetic objects in the known universe were found to be emitters of gamma-rays in the 1990s.
  • It is only with the capability of Fermi Gamma-ray space telescope (launched in 2008) to scan the entire sky once in three hours one is able to probe the flux variability characteristics of blazars on a range of time scales.

MORE THAN RS 36,659 CRORE TRANSFERRED BY DBT USING PFMS

Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

  • More than Rs36,659 crore has been transferred by using Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) through Public Financial Management System (PFMS) in the Bank accounts of 16.01 crore beneficiaries during COVID 2019 lockdown by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) office, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
  • Cash Benefits announced under Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojna Package also being transferred by using DBT Digital Payment Infrastructure.

Background

  • Ministry of Finance (MoF), Government of India, decided on mandatory use of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) of the office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) for payment, accounting and reporting under DBT and directed (December 2014) all implementing Ministries/Departments to ensure that no payments under DBT schemes were processed unless the electronic payment files for such payments were received through PFMS from 1st April 2015.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) is a major reform initiative launched by Government of India to re-engineer the existing cumbersome delivery processes using modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT), by transferring benefits into the bank/postal accounts, preferably Aadhaar seeded, of accurately targeted beneficiaries, as well as in-kind transfers from Government to individual beneficiaries.
  • PFMS also does pre-validation of Bank Accounts/Postal accounts and validation of Aadhaar number on National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) Aadhaar mapper.
  • DBT includes in-kind and cash transfers to beneficiaries as well as transfers/honorariums given to various enablers of government schemes like community workers, etc for successful implementation of the schemes.

Transfer of cash benefits from Ministries/Departments is done through PFMS:

  • directly to beneficiaries from Ministries/Departments;
  • through State Treasury Account; or
  • through any Implementing Agency as appointed by Centre/State Governments.

Benefits DBT:

DBT intends to achieve (through CARE):

  1. Curbing pilferage and duplication
  2. Accurate targeting of the beneficiary
  3. Reduced delay in payments
  4. Electronic transfer of benefits, minimizing levels involved in benefit flow.

LIFELINE UDAN FLIGHTS

Focus: GS-II Social Justice, GS-III Disaster Management

Why in news?

  • ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights are being operated by MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India’s war against COVID-19.
  • Air India operated two flights between Mumbai- Frankfurt and Mumbai- London last week under the Krishi Udan program, carrying seasonal fruits and vegetables from Mumbai and returning with general cargo.

Lifeline Udan Scheme

  • ‘Lifeline Udan’ is a Scheme that is run by Ministry of Civil Aviation to help transport essential goods with the help of aircrafts of the Indian Air Force and Air India amongst others.
  • The carriers involved in Lifeline Udan operations include Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force (IAF) and Pawan Hans.
  • Support is being provided by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), AAICLAS (cargo and logistics subsidiary of AAI), AI Airports Services (AIASL), PPP airports and private ground handling entities.
  • Private airline and logistics players are also providing their services for medical cargo.
  • The flights are being coordinated by a control room set up at the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) under the direct supervision of the MoCA leadership.
  • The Lifeline Udan cargo includes COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks, gloves and other accessories required by personnel engaged in fighting the virus across the country.

What is UDAN scheme?

  • UDAN is a regional connectivity scheme spearheaded by the Government of India (GoI). The full form of UDAN is ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik’ and aims to develop smaller regional airports to allow common citizens easier access to aviation services.
  • This scheme is a part of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) and is funded jointly by the GoI and the state governments. The following are its salient features:
  • The scheme duration is for 10 years
  • Airlines participating in UDAN are selected through a competitive bidding process
  • The Central government will provide the following:
    • Subsidy to cover Value Gap funding (VGF) for participating airlines
    • Concessional GST on tickets booked using the scheme
    • Codesharing for flights under the policy
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