Summary of The Hindu 17th FEBRUARY 2024

Congress gets relief on appeal after IT lien on accounts

·         The Congress on Friday said that all its bank accounts had been frozen by the Income tax ( IT ) department over discrepancy in filing it’s 2018-19 tax returns , terming the action and assault on democracy by Narendra Modi government “ .

·         The Income tax Appellate Tribunal ( ITAT ) provided partial relief to the party by allowing it to operate its account after setting aside ₹115 crore in lien . This means Rs.115 crore has been frozen . “ This amount is much more than in our current account “ .

·         In all, 11 bank accounts were frozen , including two accounts of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC ).

·         The accounts were frozen due to Income tax demand of Rs.210 crore for the assessment year 2018-19 , and a dispute regarding cash receipts of Rs.14.4 lakh given to party by its MLAs and MPs as donation to their salaries .

ED probe finds no FEMA violation in Paytm case

·         The Enforcement Directorate ( ED )  has not found any violation under the Foreign Exchange Management Act ( FEMA ) during the enquiry of Paytm Payment Banks Limited ( PPBL ) .

·         On January 31 , RBI had issued a circular barring PPBL from taking further deposits , tops ups and undertaking credit transactions into its customer account  , wallets , fastags  and National Common Mobility Cards .

·         The action was taken after a Comprehensive Audit report and other external reports disclosing “ persistent Non compliances and continued material supervisory concerns in the bank , warranting further supervisory action “ .

·         The ED was asked to scrutinize the financial transactions regarding offenses under FEMA Prevention of Money Laundering Act ( PMLA ) .However , ED found no violation under FEMA .

SKM’s nationwide shut calls evoke mixed response

·         The ” Grameen Bharat Bandh “ call was given by the SKM ( Samyukt Kisan Morcha ) to press the central government to meet farmers’ demand , including a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price ( MSP ) .

·         The bandh had mixed response in Punjab , Haryana ,  Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh .

·         Normal life was disrupted in Punjab owing to the bandh . Shops and commercial establishment were closed in most of the rural

Torpedoes refueller aircraft in new deal cleared by DAC

·         The Defense Acquisition Council ( DAC)  on Friday accorded Acceptance of Necessary ( AON ) , the first step in the procurement  process , for the proposal worth ₹84,500 crore . The Proposal included some long pending deals – such as for heavyWeight  Torpedoes ( HWT ) , for the Navy’s scorpene class  submarine and flight refueling aircraft for IAF.

·         Other major deals include medium range maritime Reconnaissance and multi mission maritime aircraft for the Navy and Coast Guard , new Generation anti tank mines , air defense tactical control radar , and software defined radios .

Use Chabahar port , India tells central Asian countries

·         India has called central Asian Countries to use the Chahbar coast of Iran to enhance trade and connectivity with India and other countries to the world .

·         Participating in sixth Regional Dialogue of the Secretaries of Security Councils Advisors / National Security  in the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek ,Deputy NSA Vikram Misri called for “ inclusive and representative “ government in Afghanistan and said the approach for Taliban based government should be based on consensus .India does not recognises Taliban govt but it’s ,’ technical team ‘ is stationed in Afghanistan .

·         During the interaction with delegates from Iran, Russia , Kyrgyzstan , Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, Mr Misri invited “ Centrally Asian neighbors to utilize the Chabahar port as well as Shahid Beheshti terminal at the port for maritime trade with India and other countries of the world .”

 Tribal body threatens to shut govt . Offices in Churachandpur

·         A day after two people were killed in Manipur’s Churachandpur district during protests against the suspension of a Kuki Zo policeman , the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum ( ITLF ) on Friday issued an ultimatum , to two senior officials to “  leave the district within 24 hours “ .

·         The ITLF  threatened to shut all govt offices of the two did not move out.

·         This came even as the Manipur govt ordered suspension of internet services throughout Churachandpur for five days .

World

Navalny’s last walk : fury across world over death of Putin’s key opponent

·         Russian opposition leader Alexie Navalny died on Friday after collapsing and losing consciousness at the penal colony north  of the Arctic Circle where he was serving a jail term , the Russian prison service said.

·         Mr. Navalny rose to prominence more than a decade ago by lampooning President Vladimir Putin and the Russian elite  whom he accused of corruption , avarice and opulence .

·         In 2020 Navalny was poisoned , and sent to Berlin for treatment . On returning from Berlin he was arrested on several Charges , he was since then in Jail .

·         Navalny at his time was thought to be a major contender of Putin .

Fears of Palestinian expulsion grows , as satellite photos show Egypt building a wall near Gaza .

·         Egypt is building a wall and is leveling land near it’s border with the Gaza strip ahead of a planned Israeli offensive , targeting the border city of Rafah , satellite images analyzed on Friday show .  Egypt has publicly acknowledged the construction . Earlier , Egypt has warned Israel not to forcibly expel more than one million displaced Palestinians currently residing in Rafah .

·         The Israel Defence minister has said that Israel has “ no intention” to push Palestinian citizens across the border .

Sports

500 test wickets for R Ashwin

·         R Ashwin became the second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble to take 500 wickets in test cricket .

·         He became 9 th bowler to complete this fear overall.

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