FASTag mandatory for all new 4-wheelers from Dec 1

A FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account

FASTag mandatory for all new 4-wheelers from Dec 1: Roadmin

Today’s Paper : Come December 1 and it would be mandatory for all new four-wheelers to have FASTag devices fixed on front windscreens by automobile manufacturers or authorised dealers.

A FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it and is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables the commuter to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for cash transactions.

“…Motor Vehicles sold on and after December 1, 2017 shall be fitted with FASTag mandatory as may be specified by the central government, from time to time by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorised dealer, as the case may be,” a notification issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said today.

The notification follows amendment to Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 by the central government as per powers vested in it under Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.

The notification said in case of any vehicle which is sold in the form of drive-away-chassis without windscreen, FASTags shall be fitted on the windscreen by the vehicle owner before the registration of such vehicles.

The notification explained that a FASTag means “an onboard unit (transponder) or any such device fitted on the front windscreen on the vehicle”.

The tag can be purchased from tag issuers and if it is linked to the prepaid account then the vehicle owner is required to recharge/ top up the tag as per requirement.

FASTag is presently operational at about 370 toll plazas across National Highways. The system is inter-operable and the same FASTag can be used across all toll plazas under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme.

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Demonetisation greatest money-laundering scheme integrated by govt: Shourie

Modi govt is only about 300-feet statute, bullet trains: Arun Shourie

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Today’s Paper : Banging the Narendra Modi authorities over sliding monetary development and increasing job deficits, former Union Minister Arun Shourie has likened demonetisation with suicide, saying these is too “a daring step”.

He also called it the major money-laundering scheme.

“It was the major money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented completely by the government, ” It was an “idiotic jolt” this individual continued, “everyone who black color converted it into white, ” he said.

“This is a government by ‘ilhaam’ (revelation). The Primary Minister has the ‘ilhaam’ one night that demonetisation should be done and he does it. In any case it was a bold step. Need to remind you suicide too is a bold step, ” Shourie said within an interview with NDTV when asked why in his view, the authorities went in for demonetisation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs you, 000 currency notes on November 8 last season.

“Which argument (offered by the federal government in defence of demonetisation today survives? Black money? All of it converted white. Terrorism? Terrorists are still coming into India. At the end they have nothing to say, ” he added.

Shourie also took a dig at BJP President Amit Shah who has said that current slowdown is “due to technical reasons”, terming him “that famous economist? ” and underscoring that official figures simply cannot be brushed under the carpet….READ MORE 

Just two days left: Aadhaar-PAN linking mandatory from July 1 for taxpayers

As many as 2.07 crore taxpayers have already linked their Aadhaar with PAN

Aadhaar, aadhaar card

Today’s Paper : The government has made it mandatory to link existing Aadhaar numbers with PAN of taxpayers with effect from July 1.

Amending income tax rules and notifying the same, the government has made quoting of the 12-digit biometric Aadhaar or the enrolment ID a must at the time of application of permanent account number (PAN).

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley through an amendment to tax proposals in the Finance Bill for 2017-18 had made Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns and provided for linking of PAN with Aadhaar to check tax evasion through use of multiple PAN cards.

The revenue department said “every person who has been allotted PAN as on July 1, 2017, and who in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 139AA is required to intimate his Aadhaar number, shall intimate his Aadhaar number to the principal director general of income tax (systems) or DGIT (systems)”.

Besides, it entrusted principal DGIT (systems) or DGIT (systems) with specifying the formats and standards along with procedure for verification of documents filed with PAN application or intimation of Aadhaar number.

The rules will come into force from July 1, 2017, the revenue department said while amending Rule 114 of the I-T Act, which deals in application for allotment of PAN.

As many as 2.07 crore taxpayers have already linked their Aadhaar with PAN.

There are over 25 crore PAN card holders in the country while Aadhaar has been issued to 111 crore people.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of an I-T Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and ITR filing, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of right to privacy.

Pursuant to this, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had said the linking of Aadhaar and PAN will be a “must” for filing of income tax returns (ITR) and obtaining PAN from July 1.

While Aadhaar is a biometric authentication issued by the UIDAI, PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number alloted by the I-T department to individuals and entities.

RBI issues new Rs 500 notes with inset letter A, old notes to remain valid

This was in continuation of Rs 500 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series notified on Nov 8, 2016

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Today’s Paper : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced on Tuesday that it has issued Rs 500 denomination notes with inset letter A. However, the old notes, which were introduced after Prime Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive in November, 2016 will continue to remain the legal tender.

The central bank, in a statement, said that this was in continuation of the issue of Rs 500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series, which were notified on November 8, 2016. From time to time, the bank introduces new series of legal tender.

“In continuation of issuing of Rs 500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series from time to time which are currently legal tender, a new batch of banknotes with inset letter “A” in both the number panels, bearing the signature of Urjit R Patel, governor, Reserve Bank of India; with the year of printing ‘2017’ on the reverse, are being issued,” an official statement said.

This comes after RBI Deputy Governor N S Vishwanathan said in March that the central bank did not have any plan to introduce new denomination currencies as it wanted to encourage cashless transactions in the country, according to IANS.

Arun Ram Meghwal, minister of state for finance, said that the government was not planning to print Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 currency notes, Financial Express reported.

The RBI had announced on 16 December, 2016 that it would issue Rs 500 notes with the inset letter ‘E’ in both the number panels, the report added.

Additionally, the central bank said that the notes will bear Swachh Bharat logo on the backside of the banknote and that some of the notes would carry and additional character in the space between the prefix and the number of the banknote.

Indian ‘spy’ Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death in Pakistan

Jadhav was arrested on March 3 last year by Pakistan security officials in Balochistan

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A Pakistani army court today sentenced alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for “for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”, the military announced.

“The spy has been tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Pakistan Army Act and awarded death sentence,” the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa “has confirmed his death sentence awarded by FGCM,” it added.

Jadhav was “arrested” on March 3 last year by Pakistan security officials in Balochistan after he entered from Iran. He has been accused by Pakistan of planning “subversive activities” in the country.

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India has acknowledged Jadhav as a retired Indian Navy officer, but denied the allegation that he was in any way connected to the government. (readmore…)

Linking PAN to Aadhaar is now compulsory. Here’s how to do it

1.08 cr assessees done with linking; over 25 cr PAN card holders, 111 cr Aadhaar holders in India

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If you have not linked your Aadhaar with your PAN on the income tax portal yet, you should not delay it. As per latest circular from income tax (I-T) department, it is now mandatory to link Aadhaar and (PAN) permanent account number while filing tax returns.

The rule which will be applicable from July 1, 2017 is aimed at tax evaders who hold multiple PAN cards to escape paying tax. Therefore, after linking both the Aadhaar and PAN, the government hopes to keep tabs on the taxable transactions of a particular individual or entity, whose identity and address will be verified by his Aadhaar card

By linking the two, entities will no longer have to submit their Income Tax acknowledgement to the I-T department, thus saving tax payers a lot of trouble.

When linking, make sure that name, date of birth and gender displayed on the income tax website matches with the detail on your Aadhaar Card. Here’s how to do it:

  • The first step towards linking Aadhaar with PAN is to register on Income tax e-filing portal.
  • If you are an already registered user on e-filing portal, login to e-filing portal of Income tax department by entering your PAN as User ID, date of birth and password.
  • On logging in to the site, a pop up window will appear prompting you to link your PAN card with Aadhaar card.
  • You can input your Aadhaar number enter ‘captcha’ code and click on ‘link now’.
  • In case you have decided to link Aadhaar with PAN later click on ‘later’ button.
  • On logging, if no pop up window appear, go to profile Setting and click on ‘link Aadhaar’.
  • Enter your Aadhaar number enter captcha code and click on ‘link Aadhaar’.
  • The system will match your name, date of birth and gender with PAN card and Aadhaar database, if detail matches, you will get the message “Aadhaar – PAN linking is completed successfully.”

Around 1.08 crore assessees have Aadhaar-linked PAN but the number is abysmally low as there are over 25 crore PAN card holders in the country, while Aadhaar has been issued to 111 crore people. According to statistics with the tax department, only six crore people file income tax returns at present. (readmore…)

In pics: Chenani-Nashri, India’s longest tunnel, launched by Modi on Sunday

The tunnel will bypass Patnitop, Kud, and Batote and will reduce traffic jams on NH 44 in winter

Jammu-Srinagar Chenani-Nasri tunnel

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated Asia’s longest bi-directional road tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway to the nation. The Chenani-Nashri tunnel will cut down travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours.

Modi was accompanied by Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Minister of State for PMO and MP from Kathua-Udhampur constituency, Jitendra Singh.

The Rs 2,519-crore all-weather tunnel is equipped with world-class safety features and has been built in a record four years on the hilly terrain of Jammu and Kashmir, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said earlier.

“This state-of-the-art 10.89-km tunnel between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu and Kashmir, an engineering marvel on the most difficult terrain of the Himalayas, was built in a record four years,” the minister had said.

“The project will result in a saving of Rs 27 lakh per day based on traffic estimates and would cut the travel distance between Jammu and Sringar by 41 km,” Gadkari said.

He said the tunnel will be equipped with advanced scanners to ward off any security threat. The project forms part of the proposed widening of NH-44 (old NH-1A) from Jammu to Srinagar.

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The longest highway tunnel in India also happens to be Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel with fully transverse ventilation system, he said. It also comes with fully-integrated tunnel control system with ventilation, communication, power supply, incident detection, SOS call box and fire fighting. ( read more…)

Here are some of the salient features of Chenani Nashri Tunnel Project:
  • Reduction in travel time by about two hours
  • Large Deforestation and tree cutting is saved
  • Safe, all-weather route to commuters
  • Fuel savings to the tune of Rs 27 lakhs per day
  • Protected with a world-class security set up
  • Boost economic activities and tourism in J&K
  • Reduction in traffic on bypassed 41 kms length will help preserve the ecology and environment of the region.

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