Central Road and Infrastructure Fund brought under Union Finance Ministry
• The Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) has been taken away from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and has been brought under the domain of the Union Finance Ministry.
• It will now be under the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Finance Ministry.
• The Central Road and Infrastructure Fund was earlier known as the Central Road Fund. It was renamed after amending the Central Road Fund Act, 2000.
• The objective of the amendment was to use proceeds of the road cess under CRIF to finance other infrastructure projects such as waterways, some portion of the railway infrastructure and even social infrastructure.
Imran Khan to take oath as the Pakistan’s PM on August 11
• Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan announced that he will take oath as Prime Minister on August 11, 2018.
• Khan’s party PTI emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly in the July 25 polls. However, the party is still short of numbers to form its government independently.
• To meet the required number of votes, the PTI has reportedly approached the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), PML-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) as well as Independents for coalition.
• Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto-led Pakistan Peoples Party agreed to form a “coordinated joint strategy” in an attempt to give a tough time to PTI in Parliament.
Mahesh Malani: First Hindu to win National Assembly seat
• Mahesh Malani of Pakistan Peoples Party’s became the first Hindu candidate to win a National Assembly seat.
• Malani contested & won the National Assembly (NA-222) Tharparkar-II seat in southern Sindh province, after defeating 14 candidates.
• Non-Muslims got the right to vote & contest on general seats in Pakistan in 2002 after the then president Gen Pervez Musharraf made amendments in the Constitution.
Recent GST rate cut is ‘credit negative’: Moody’s
• Rating agency Moody’s said that the recent Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate cuts on 88 items will weigh on government’s revenue collection and is ‘credit negative’ as it will put pressure on efforts of fiscal consolidation.
• The GST Council had recently cut tax rates on white goods as well as various handicrafts items and paints.
• The revenue loss from the most recent tax cuts was estimated to be at about 0.04 to 0.08 percent of GDP annually.
• The tax cuts will pressure the government’s fiscal consolidation effort, which is already diminished relative to the original fiscal deficit targets set last fiscal year.
Hyderabad to host International Blockchain Congress
• Hyderabad will host a 3 day International Blockchain Congress on August 3, 2018.
• Jointly hosted by NITI Aayog, Telangana & Goa governments, the Congress will bring together over 3000 blockchain enthusiasts, innovators, businesses and regulators.
• Global Blockchain Protocol Consortium will be launched at the congress.
• The consortium is a body of various countries to further progress the evolution of blockchain technology.
States agree to supply milk under Mid-Day Meal
• Several states have recently agreed to supply milk for 2 days a week through Mid-Day Meal & Anganwadi schemes.
• The move aims to absorb surplus stock and ensure better prices to farmers, animal husbandry and dairy.
• The move comes after observing that the farmers are in distress in key milk-producing states because of fall in procurement rate amid surplus milk production and piling up of skimmed milk powder.
Assam to implement PRANAM Scheme
• Assam government will implement PRANAM (Parent Responsibility & Norms for Accountability and Monitoring) Scheme from October 2, 2018.
• The scheme aims to ensure that government staff takes care of their parents & physically challenged siblings.
• It mandates deduction of 10-15 percent of the gross salary of employees who do not take care of their parents & disabled siblings.
International Tiger Day
• International Tiger Day was celebrated across the world on July 29, 2018 to raise awareness about tiger conservation.
• The Day was first observed in 2010 at the Saint Petersberg Tiger Summit in Russia.
• The day was proclaimed after the authorities witnessed alarming fall in the number of wild tigers.
• Many factors have caused their numbers to fall, including habitat loss, climate change, hunting and poaching.