Friday Evening News Brief, July 21

Friday evening brief Jul 21 2017
Good evening!
Here’s everything that transpired during the course of the day…
The Income Tax department detected over Rs 19,000 crore black money in ICIJ, HSBC cases. Finance minister Arun Jaitley said investigations into information, put into public domain by the ICIJ ( International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), pertaining to about 700 Indians allegedly linked to offshore entities based in no tax or low tax jurisdiction, have led to detection of more than Rs 11,010 crore of credits in undisclosed foreign accounts. The government constituted a multi-agency group in April 2016 for speedy investigation in the cases of Indians allegedly having undisclosed foreign assets.
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Leader of Opposition in Gujarat assembly Shankarsinh Vaghela quit Congress. Life turned a full circle for Vaghela, a BJP rebel who merged his Rashtriya Janata Party with Congress 17 years back, as he resigned from the Congress party on his 77th birthday. With this, Bapu, as Vaghela is lovingly called in Gujarat, brought an end to months-long speculation on whether he will quit Congress or not. But he continued to play his cards close to his chest as he did not reveal his future course of action.
Mukesh Ambani unveiled Jio feature phone in Mumbai today. The ultra-budget feature phone – called Jio Phone – will hit the market by August 15. In a bold and unexpected move, RIL announced that the handset’s “effective” price will be Rs 0. This is because the company will collect a 100% refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500, which will be refunded after 3 years. The device was announced at company’s annual general meeting alongside a few low-priced Jio 4G plans at the Reliance Industries AGM.
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The government is considering change in country’s financial year, Jaitley said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told lawmakers that financial year might be changed from April-March to January-December. The matter has been examined recently by a committee constituted by the government under the chairmanship of former Chief Economic Adviser Shankar Acharya. The report of the committee has been received, the Finance Minister said. A change in the financial year will require amendments to various statues including tax laws during the transitional period.
The United States will bar Americans from travelling to North Korea in coming weeks. The move comes a month after a US tourist, student Otto Warmbier, died following his imprisonment by Pyongyang. China-based Young Pioneer Tours, which had taken Warmbier to North Korea, and Koryo Tours said the ban will come into force on July 27 — the anniversary of the end of the Korean War — with a 30-day grace period. It was unclear whether the ban would be imposed by a US executive order.
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