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French Government Laments Washington’s Decision to Open Investigation Into Digital Tax Scheme

France is a sovereign nation

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Bruno Le Maire, France's Economy Minister, defended France's sovereign right to draw up its tax scheme a day after President Donald Trump's Administration ordered a probe into the fiscal policy. Pixabay

The French government on Thursday lamented Washington’s decision to open an investigation into its new tax regime for digital giants like Amazons and Google.

Bruno Le Maire, France’s Economy Minister, defended France’s sovereign right to draw up its tax scheme a day after President Donald Trump’s Administration ordered a probe into the fiscal policy, which could escalate toward sanctions or tariff hikes.

Le Maire said: “I want to highlight that this is the first time in the history of relations between the US and France that the American administration has decided to open a Section 301 procedure. I firmly believe that, between allies, we can and should be able to settle our differences without threats,” reported Efe news.

“France is a sovereign nation. It decides on its fiscal policy in a sovereign manner and it will continue to decide its fiscal policy in a sovereign manner.”

French, Government, Digital Tax
The French government on Thursday lamented Washington’s decision to open an investigation into its new tax regime for digital giants like Amazons and Google. Pixabay

The US Trade Representative can open a Section 301 against a foreign nation if it believes a nation is contravening trade agreements or damaging US commerce.

It is the same mechanism Trump used when he kicked off his trade war with China, which was centered on Washington’s trade deficit with Beijing.

French senators approved the so-called GAFA tax, an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, on Thursday. The policy levies higher taxes on digital giants providing services to French netizens and plug gaps that allow those companies to avoid taxes on huge amounts of profit generated in the country.

But US officials saw the measures is unfair for American firms.

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Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, said: “The US is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies.”

Le Maire said the new legislation in France could accelerate discussions on the topic of digital service tax at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development with the aim of drumming a universal policy.

“We will find common solutions, a solution at OCDE level, and we will move onto agreements instead of threats,” he told senators. (IANS)

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Delhi Government Gives Nod To a Project to Create Reservoirs in Yamuna Flood Plain

The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday approved the inter-departmental committee report

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The pilot for the project, which has the potential for ending Delhi's water shortage, particularly during summer months, is aimed to start in a month's time. Pixabay

To achieve self-sufficiency of water, the Delhi government on Wednesday gave its nod to a project to create reservoirs in the Yamuna flood plain by store overflowing water from the river during the monsoon season, an official statement said.

The pilot for the project, which has the potential for ending Delhi’s water shortage, particularly during summer months, is aimed to start in a month’s time, the statement said.

The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday approved the inter-departmental committee report on the project.

The report recommended that an amount of Rs 77,000 per acre should be paid to the farmers for leasing their land for the pilot project.

Delhi, Government, Project
To achieve self-sufficiency of water, the Delhi government on Wednesday gave its nod to a project to create reservoirs in the Yamuna flood plain by store overflowing water from the river. Pixabay

“The farmers will get the sum according to the number of acres of land they give the government on lease for the pilot project,” the government said.

The government claims that the pilot project will prove to be a game-changer not only for Delhi, but for the whole country which is facing huge water crisis in different parts.

It also said the project is first of its kind in the country.

“The important project aims at conserving water in the Yamuna floodplains and creating a mega reservoir between Palla and Wazirabad to deal with the water shortage in Delhi, particularly during summer months,” the government said.

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The project envisages creation of small ponds in the floodplains which will catch overflows from the Yamuna during the monsoon.

“Most of the approvals have been received for the pilot project, barring two from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) committees, which are expected very soon,” it said.

Kejriwal also thanked Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for the quick approvals by the Centre for the project and cooperation Delhi received from Centre for the pilot project. (IANS)