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India and Britain sign 3 bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) that will cover International Transactions

The Advance Pricing Agreement programme was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012

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New Delhi, November 18, 2016: India and Britain on Friday signed three more bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) taking the total number of these pacts to a total of 111 so far, an official statement said.

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“The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed three three bilateral APAs here today taking the total number of APAs signed (both-bilateral and unilateral) so far to 111,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

“These three agreements cover international transactions in the nature of payment of intra-group service charges and pertain to the telecom industry. They also have a roll-back provision,” the statement said.

With this, India and Britain have concluded five bilateral APAs and some more would be concluded in the near future, it added.

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Authorities from both countries had earlier exchanged mutual agreements amongst them under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) Article of the India-UK Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).

The Advance Pricing Agreement programme was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012 with a view to provide a predictable and non-adversarial tax regime and to reduce the litigation in the Indian transfer pricing arena.

An APA can be entered into for a maximum of five years at a time. Since the notification of the APA scheme on August 30, 2012, a total of about 700 APA applications have been received during the first four years of the programme, which indicates the wide acceptance by the taxpayers, it said.

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“The Indian APA programme has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in a fair and transparent manner,” it added. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393