Bilateral Current Affairs
Bilateral Current Affairs February 4th Week 2016
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India, UK sign two bilateral advance pricing pacts

  • India has signed two bilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) with the United Kingdom in its efforts to provide certainty and stability in tax policies to foreign investors.
  • The two bilateral APAs were signed with two Indian group entities of a UK based multinational company,” said the Central Board of Direct Taxes on 1st February, adding that they address the issues of payment of management and service charges and payment of royalty.
  • Under the pacts, the two Indian companies will now have tax certainty for 12 years each (five years under mutual agreement procedures and seven years under APA). Transfer pricing disputes for each of the two companies on the same transaction were also resolved with the tax department under MAP for the years 2006-07 to 2010-11, said the CBDT.
  • The Finance Ministry had introduced APAs, which allow for prospective agreements between the tax payer and the tax authority over transfer prices, in 2012 through the Finance Act, 2012.
  • India had also signed a bilateral APA with Japan in December 2014. The total number of such pacts signed by the country is 41 out of which 38 are unilateral and three are bilateral. Tax experts welcomed the move and said that management charges and royalty payments have been a contentious issue in transfer pricing.

2) India, Brunei agree to boost defence ties, ink three pacts

  • Current Affirs India and Brunei signed three memoranda of understanding to cooperate in the fields of defence, health and youth affairs & sports. The representatives of both the countries signed the documents in presence of the visiting Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari at capital Bandar Seri Begawan. Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhari was also present during the signing ceremony.
  • Defence ties between India and Brunei dates back to many decades. The latest MoU is to consolidate the relationship and institutionalise them, besides expanding its scope. In health sector, it is proposed to use India’s space technology expertise in diagnostics, exchange of medical professionals and pharmaceutical regulatory practices.
  • The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah has agreed to pay an official visit to India in the near future. Vice President Ansari summed up his visit in the community reception saying, it was successful and that India has got some takeaways from the tour.

3) India, Thailand laid roadmap for boosting ties

  • India and Thailand have laid a roadmap for further strengthening bilateral ties including in the defence sector. The two countries expressed their shared interest in securing international sea lanes. Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari who is on a visit to Thailand, held talks with Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and said he sees a very promising future for the bilateral relation of the countries.

4) Telangana inks trade pacts with Ontario

  • Ontario Province, Canada and Telangana on 4th February inked a slew of MoUs in the areas of education, infrastructure, IT and research.
  • Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, who spoke at a plenary session attended by Ontario delegates and representatives from Indian companies and institutions, said generating trade, jobs and economic growth for both regions is the intent.
  • The key pacts include the new manufacturing unit to be set up by Datawind, joint venture between Astra Microwave Products Limited and Vaughan, Ontario-based broad based systems. It will provide broadcasting services, satellite uplinking and medical imaging products to India and other regional markets.
  • Another MoU between IIT, Hyderabad and Hamilton, Ontario-based McMaster University to generate opportunities to create intellectual property through innovation and to commercialise research outcomes was signed.