NEW DELHI: The Documentation Identification Number (DIN) system of Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) will come into existence from today. The new system has been created as per the direction of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Now, every CBIC communication will have to have a Documentation Identification Number.
The step is aimed at bringing transparency and accountability in the indirect tax administration through widespread use of information technology.
Revenue Secretary Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “To begin with, in the indirect tax administration, the DIN would be used for search authorisation, summons, arrest memo, inspection notices and letters issued in the course of any enquiry. From now onwards, any communication from GST or Custom or Central Excise department without a computer-generated DIN, would be treated as invalid and shall be non-est in law or deemed to be as if it has never been issued.”
“The DIN system would ensure greater accountability and transparency in the indirect tax administration as well. It would also provide the taxpayer a digital facility to verify any communications. Further, the DIN system would be extended to other communications by the end of next month. No communication would be issued without DIN except only if it is in the specified exceptional circumstances,” said Dr Pandey.
CBIC Chairman Pranab K. Das said, “This measure would create a digital directory for maintaining a proper audit trail of such communications. Now all such specified communications with DIN would be verifiable on the online portal cbicddm.gov.in and any communication which is not in conformity with the prescribed guidelines as per the DIN related Circulars dated 05.11.2019 shall be treated as invalid.”
It would be pertinent to mention here that while specifying such exceptional circumstances the CBIC Circulars related to DIN dated 05.11.2019 say that whenever any such manual communication would be issued, it would be necessarily required to specify reason of issuing such a communication without DIN and written approval of the competent authority shall be obtained within 15 days.
CBIC has specified that any communication issued manually under exceptional circumstances would have to be regularised on the system within 15 working days of its issuance.
The CBIC, in exercise of its power under section 168(1) of the CGST Act, 2017/ Section 37 of the Central Excise Act, 1944/ Section 151A of the Customs Act, 1962, is implementing the system for electronic generation of a Document Identification Number (DIN) for all such communications sent by its offices to taxpayers and other concerned persons.
Worst Locust Attack In 27 Years; India Steps Up Control Operations
21 districts in Rajasthan, 18 in Madhya Pradesh, 1 in Punjab and 2 in Gujarat have undertaken locust control till now.
NEW DELHI: Amidst a wave of locust swarms sweeping across western and northwestern India, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) has stepped up locust control operations in the affected states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
As of Wednesday, there are active swarms of immature locust in Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jaipur Districts in Rajasthan and Satna, Gwalior, Seedhi, Rajgarh, Baitul, Devas, Agar Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh.
At present, 200 Locust Circle Offices (LCO) are conducting survey & control operations in close coordination with District Administration and agriculture field machinery of the affected States. Locust control operations are in full swing in coordination with State Agriculture Departments and Local Administration.
21 districts in Rajasthan, 18 districts in Madhya Pradesh, 1 district in Punjab and 2 districts in Gujarat have undertaken locust control till now.
For effective control of locusts beyond Scheduled Desert Areas, temporary control camps have been established in Ajmer, Chittorgarh and Dausa in Rajasthan; Mandsaur, Ujjain and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.
Till May 26, control operations against Locusts have been done in 47,308-hectare area in total 303 places in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh by LCOs in coordination with District Administration and State Agriculture Department.
89 fire brigades for pesticide spray; 120 survey vehicles; 47 control vehicles with spray equipment and 810 tractors mounted sprayers have been deployed for effective locust control, as per requirement during different days.
Usually, the locust swarms enter the Scheduled Desert Area of India through Pakistan for summer breeding in the month of June/July with the advent of monsoon.
This year, however, the incursions of locust hoppers and pink swarms have been reported much earlier because of the presence of a residual population of Locusts in Pakistan which they couldn’t control last season.
Since April 11, 2020, locust hoppers and from April 30, 2020, the incursion of pink immature adults have been reported in bordering districts of Rajasthan and Punjab, which are being controlled.
Pink immature adults fly high and cover long distances during day hours from one place to another along with the westerly winds coming from the Pakistan side. Most of these pink immature adults settle on the trees during night and mostly fly during the day.
Concerned over the early attack of locust swarms this year, the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar chaired a meeting with the pesticide manufacturers and all related stakeholders on May 6, 2020, to review the preparedness for locust control in the affected States.
Following directions of the Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar, a video conference was conducted under the chairmanship of Secretary (DAC&FW) Shri Sanjay Agarwal was conducted on May 22, 2020, with the District Administration and District Agriculture Officers of locust-threatened districts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh along with the representatives of NDMA.
Locust awareness literature, SOPs, approved pesticides and awareness videos were shared with the States in the meeting. Earlier, a video conference was held on May 5, 2020, with the Principal Secretary (Agriculture) and DMs of the locust prone districts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab under the chairmanship of Secretary, DAC&FW to review the preparedness and further coordination with the locust States for taking necessary action.
On March 11, 2020 a High- Level virtual meeting on Desert Locust in South-West Asian countries was held at the office of the FAO representative in India. Representatives of four member countries (Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan) and the Plant Protection Division of FAO, Rome also participated in the meeting.
The MoS (Agriculture & FW) Shri Kailash Choudhury and Secretary DAC&FW attended the meeting. It was decided to hold the virtual meetings of technical officers of member countries every Monday via Skype and nine meetings have so far been held.
Advisories have been issued to the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab regarding the locust attack and necessary measures to be taken for effective control and pesticides that are to be used for effective Locust control in the cropped area.
Currently, Locust Control Offices have 21 Micronair and 26 Ulvamast (47 spray equipments) which are being utilized for locust control.
On approval of the Agriculture Minister Shri Tomar, supply order for additional 60 sprayers has been placed to M/s. Micron, United Kingdom. e-Tender has been invited for the empanelling agencies to provide services of drones for aerial spraying of insecticides for effective control over tall trees and inaccessible areas.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved “Conditional exemption to Government entity (DPPQS) for use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System for anti-locust operations” on May 21, 2020, and in accordance with this order, two firms have been finalized through tender for use of the drones for the spray of pesticides for Locust control.
Meanwhile, supply order for procurement of an additional 55 vehicles has been placed to strengthen the control potential. Adequate stock of Pesticide is being maintained (53,000 litres Malathion) with Locust Control Organizations.
Under ‘Submission on Agriculture Mechanization’, assistance for 800 tractors mounted spray equipments has been sanctioned for Rajasthan costing Rs. 2.86 crores.
Also, under RKVY sanction for the hiring of vehicles, tractors and for purchase of pesticides has been issued for Rajasthan worth Rs. 14 crores.
Under RKVY sanction for purchase of vehicles, spray equipments, safety uniform, android application and training has also been issued for Gujarat at a cost of Rs. 1.80 crores.
As per FAO’s Locust Status Update of May 21, 2020, the current situation remains extremely alarming in East Africa where it is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods.
New swarms will migrate to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border as well as to Sudan and West Africa.
As vegetation dries out, more groups and swarms will form and move from these areas to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border.
Good rains are predicted during the first half of June along the Indo-Pakistan border that would allow egg-laying to occur.
During 2019-20, India witnessed a massive locust attack which was successfully controlled. Starting from May 21, 2019 till 17th February 2020, a total of 4,03,488 ha area was treated and locust was controlled.
Along with this, the State Agriculture Department of Rajasthan and Gujarat coordinated Locust control in cropped areas of the State. During 2019-20, Control operations were done in 3,93,933 ha area of 11 districts of Rajasthan; 9,505 ha area in 2 districts of Gujarat and 50 ha area in 1 district of Punjab.
Senior Locust Forecasting Officer of FAO who visited India on 16-17 January 2019 also appreciated the efforts of India in Locust control.
Everyday Locust Control Organizations and District Authorities and State Agriculture Department officials with control spray vehicles of LCOs, tractor mounted with sprayers and fire tenders, are undertaking Locust control operations in early morning hours.
The immature locust is very active and their mobility makes it difficult to control the swarm at one location and it takes 4 to 5 days of control at different locations to control a particular locust swarm.
Locust is an omnivorous and migratory pest and has the ability to fly hundreds of kilometers collectively. It is a trans-border pest and attacks the crop in a large swarm.
Found in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, they inhabit some 60 countries and can cover one-fifth of Earth’s land surface.
Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world’s human population. Swarms of locusts in the desert come to India from Africa/ Gulf/ South West Asia during the summer monsoon season and go back towards Iran, Gulf & African countries for spring breeding.
In India, more than 2 lakh square kilometers area comes under Scheduled Desert Area. Locust Warning Organization and 10 Locust Circle Offices (LCO) of Government of India are situated in Rajasthan (Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Phalodi, Barmer, Jalore, Churu, Nagaur, Suratgarh) and Gujarat (Palanpur and Bhuj) are responsible for monitoring, survey and control of Desert Locust in Scheduled Desert Area in coordination with State Governments.
COVID-19: India Now Producing Over 3 Lakh PPEs And N95 Masks Every Day
States and UTs have been provided with around 111 lakh N-95 masks and 74.48 lakh PPEs.
NEW DELHI: The Health Ministry said that India has significantly ramped up its domestic production capacity related to Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs and N95 masks and the requirements of the States and Union Territories are being sufficiently met.
Today, the country is producing more than three lakh PPEs and N95 masks per day.
States and Union Territories, as well as Central Institutions, have been provided with around 111 lakh N-95 masks and 74.48 lakh PPEs.
Reacting to reports in a section of media expressing concern about the quality of PPE coveralls, the ministry clarified that HLL Lifecare Limited, HLL, procuring agency of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is procuring PPE coveralls from manufacturers and suppliers tested and approved by the labs nominated by the Ministry of Textiles.
Procurement is being done only after their products qualify in the test prescribed by the technical committee of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Ministry advised all the States and Union Territories to ensure procurement after following the prescribed testing for PPEs from Ministry of Textiles’ nominated labs. In addition, manufacturers who have got their products qualified from these labs are also being brought on Government e-Marketplace, GeM.
Information of manufacturers whose products have qualified the tests is available on the Ministry of Textiles’ website.
Amid COVID-19, Wheat Production And Procurement Records Smashed In Madhya Pradesh
The procurement is 4 crores more than last year. Last year 73.69 lakh MT wheat was procured.
BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that Madhya Pradesh has had record production and procurement of wheat, thanks to hard work of farmers. It assumes greater importance in view of the Corona crisis, he added.
CM Chouhan has said that the farmers of those districts where wheat procurement has been delayed due to Corona crisis, need not worry, as procurement will continue till May 31 there.
Madhya Pradesh has smashed all previous records of wheat production due, mainly to hard work of farmers, he said.
The Chief Minister, in a message to the farmers today said that the situation was very difficult two months ago with no arrangements for wheat procurement in place. In a very short period, the state government has made all necessary arrangements for wheat procurement in a systemic manner.
Despite the adverse conditions arising out of Corona pandemic the state has registered a record wheat production and the government has made record procurement.
Farmers Benefited by Proper Arrangements
The Chief Minister said that two months ago there were no arrangements for wheat procurement in the state. From April 16 to May 25, total 114.70 lakh MT i.e. 11.47 crore quintals of wheat has been procured from 156.03 lakh farmers.
Private Mandis have also been opened. The option of E-trading has been made available. In places where wheat is yet to be procured, SMSs will be sent to farmer and procurement will continue till May 31 there, he said.
CM Chouhan has urged the farmers to reach procurement centres only after receiving the SMS and to observe social distancing there. They should wear a face mask or towel to cover the mouth and nose for safety against Corona. They should also maintain a distance of two yards from each other.
Important Decisions towards Farmers’ Welfare
The Chief Minister said that the state government has taken several important steps towards the welfare of farmers.
The state government has taken the initiative of paying last year’s contribution of insurance for 15 lakh farmers amounting to Rs. 2200 crore. This facilitated payment of Rs. 2900 crore crop insurance amount to farmers. It was decided to pay insurance amount for the year 2019-20. It cleared the docks for payment of over Rs. 4 thousand crores to farmers. CM Chouhan informed that under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana a sum of Rs. 1362 has been released to 68.13 thousand farmers.
CM Chouhan said that last year crop loans on zero per cent interest were given to farmers. The last date for their repayment has been extended up to May 31. This has entailed a financial burden of Rs. 55 crore on the government.
The state government has decided to extend crop loans on zero per cent interest in the year 2020-21 also. The last date for payment of electricity bills of farm consumers without surcharge has been extended up to May 31.
It has been decided to replace burnt or defunct transformers used by farmers without any surcharge, he added.
All Records of Procurement Smashed
The state government has offered several options to farmers for selling their produce and the number of procurement centres has been increased from 3511 last year to 4507 this year. It has resulted in wheat procurement in record time and timely payment to the farmers.
The procurement is 4 crores more than last year. Last year 73.69 lakh MT wheat was procured.
Earlier, the maximum 84.89 lakh MT wheat was procured in 2012-13.
This year all records have been smashed due to excellent arrangements made by the state government despite Corona crisis.
Details of Whet Procurement
Number of Farmers from whom Wheat Procured
7.36 Crore Quintal
Highest Procurement so far- 2012-13
8.48 Crore Quintal
11.47 Crore Quintal
Last year, in 2019-20 total of 7.36 crore quintal whet was procured from 9.66 lakh farmers. So far highest procurement of 8.48 crore quintal was made from 10.27 lakh farmers in 2012-13.
In current year 11.47 crore quintal wheat has been procured from 15.03 lakh farmers.
Gram, mustard, Masoor have also been procured in the state. From May 24 1.40 lakh MT (14 lakh quintal) gram has been procured from 95 thousand farmers, 73 thousand MT (7.30 lakh quintal) mustard from 34 thousand 300 farmers and 600 MT (6000 quintals) Masoor has been procured from 1,047 farmers through 691 procurement centres.
Last year gram was procured on the basis of a maximum of 15 thousand per hectare, which has been increased to 20 quintals per hectare as a result of which farmers are selling more produce.
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