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Government decides to impose a Swachh Brarat Cess at the rate of 0.5% on all serviceS presently liable to service tax



Government decides to impose a Swachh Brarat Cess at the rate of 0.5% on all serviceS presently liable to service tax, with effect from 15th November 2015; Proceeds from this cess to be exclusively used for Swachh Bharat initiatives 
Swachh Bharat Cess is not another tax but a step towards involving each and every citizen in making contribution to Swachh Bharat. In this direction, the Government has decided to impose, with effect from 15th November 2015, a Swachh Brarat Cess at the rate of 0.5% on all services, which are presently liable to service tax. This will translate into a tax of 50 paisa only on every one hundred rupees worth of taxable services. The proceeds from this cess will be exclusively used for Swachh Bharat initiatives. 


In the General Budget, 2015-16, a provision was made for levying a Swachh Bharat Cess on all or any of the services, for the purposes of financing and promoting Swachh Bharat initiatives or for any other purpose relating thereto.

We are a country of more than 120 crore people. For such a vast and populous country we do have our fair share of cleanliness concerns. In fact, persons entrusted with the job of keeping our country clean, struggle constantly. Ceanliness also has huge impact on public health. Dirty surrocundings also cause many diseases, like, malaria, dengue, diarrhea, jaundice, cholera etc., with associated high public health expenditure. According to the Government of India estimates, expenditure on health adds up to Rs.6,700 crore annually (approximately Rs.60 per capita). Increased allocation for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan can prevent many of these diseases with consequential benefit to one and all.

Study by American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene reveals that between 2006 and 2012, India reported an annual average of 20,474 dengue cases, with direct medical cost of about Rs.3500 crore per annum. 

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India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, members of the proposed South Asian Regional Intelligence and Coordination Centre on Transnational Organized Crime (SARICC-TOC), finalizes the Draft Structure and Terms of reference of SARICC-TOC 
During the recently held International Conference ‘Networking the Networks’ in national capital, delegates from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar discussed threadbare the modalities for creation of a regional platform to be called ‘South Asian Regional Intelligence and Coordination Centre on Transnational Organized Crime’ (SARICC-TOC), for information/intelligence sharing to enable all Member States to respond Transnational organized crimes. The SARICC meeting concluded with representatives of the proposed SARICC-TOC, namely, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar and finalized the draft structure and Terms of reference of SARICC-TOC. This is all the more relevant since the South Asia region lacks such regional coordination mechanism on the lines of Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) or Asia-Pacific Information & Coordination Center for Combating Drug Crimes (APICC) to facilitate criminal intelligence sharing and operational coordination related to organized crime, including illicit drug trafficking and related activities such as precursor trafficking and money laundering.

Earlier, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India hosted a 3-day International Meet ‘Networking the Networks’ from 2nd – 4th November 2-4, 2015 in the national capital. The theme of the meeting was ‘Countering illicit financial flows originating from organized crime’. The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) provided technical assistance for the meeting. The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley inaugurated the ‘Networking the Networks’ Conference on 2nd November, 2015.

Three Day International Meet identified the best practices of the existing international organizations and regional platforms for fast cooperation on illicit financial flows and capacity building. These practices cover a wide range of issues, such as, organization and setup of regional networks, connection between various networks, new methodologies to disrupt illicit financial flows, capacity building, use of IT tools, international and interagency cooperation.

Various international/regional organizations/networks, such as United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Vienna, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA), World Customs Organization (WCO), Brussels, Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC), Asia-Pacific Information & Coordination Center for Combating Drug Crimes (APICC) participated in the 3 day meeting. Besides these international organizations, law enforcement officials and Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) from a number of countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and United States of America participated in the meeting. From India, officials of Department of Revenue, Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) India, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN), Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics (NACEN), Reserve Bank of India, National Investigation agency (NIA), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) participated in the meeting among others. 



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