What is the lowdown on the Goods and Services Tax

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is the new system proposed to be rolled out from July 1 this year for taxing all goods and services that you consume. 
The Goods and Services Tax or GST will replace the myriad local, State-level and Central taxes that are built into the price you pay for products, and the service tax as well as cesses that are dovetailed to your outgoes when you dine at a restaurant or pay your mobile phone bills.
  • Multiple Central and State-level indirect taxes, such as sales tax, excise duty, Central value-added tax (VAT) and State VAT. The alphabet soup of taxes, differing regulations across 29 States, and difficulties in inter-State trade which often involve hours of highway snarls at border checkpoints to collect  and check documents, are a recipe for inefficiency and a proven incentive for tax evasion by sticking to the informal sector.

NASA Finds Evidence of Hydrothermal Vents on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

NASA has made the next big announcement about Saturn: The Cassini team found evidence of hydrothermal vents on Enceladus’s ocean floor.
 
What are hydrothermal vents?
Hydrothermal vents are fissures in the rocky core of Enceladus. They release water that has been heated by geothermal activity, and the jets of hot water carry minerals and nutrients that could support life.

Labour code to provide social security cover to all workers

Small entrepreneurs have raised some concerns over the government’s proposal to provide social security coverage to its entire workforce.
Small entrepreneurs feel that they may have to bear a little bit of financial burden due to contribution (towards social security schemes).

RBI tightens norms on bank performance

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come out with a revised prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for banks, spelling out certain thresholds, the breach of which could invite resolutions such as a merger with another bank or even shutting down of the bank.
  • The revised norms have set out three thresholds. The thresholds are based on capital, net non-performing assets, profitability and leverage ratio.

Hold fiscal deficit at 3% till FY20, says N.K. Singh panel

The Centre can take a pause on the fiscal consolidation front over the next three years by maintaining a fiscal deficit to GDP ratio of 3% till 2019-20, the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Review Committee chaired by former Revenue Secretary N.K. Singh has recommended.
Source: Business Line

Panel to suggest norms for Bitcoins, virtual currencies

To examine the existing framework for virtual currencies, the department of economic affairs in the Ministry of Finance has constituted an inter- disciplinary committee chaired by Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) with representatives from the departments of revenue and financial services and the ministries of home Affairs as well as electronics and Information Technology.
  • The committee will also include experts from the RBI, the central government’s think tank NITI Aayog and the country’s largest bank, State Bank of India.

Global interest in PSLV soars

The Indian PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) space vehicle has received more than double its normal share of inquiries from prospective customers ever since it launched a record 104 satellites in a single flight in February. ISRO is also ramping up availability of the PSLVs.
The PSLV, with a near impeccable 37 successes in 39 flights is a clear leader in the category of rockets that lift small satellites to low Earth orbits or LEOs.