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1.Union Cabinet approves amendment in Benami Transactions (Prohibition) amendment Bill, 2015

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introducing amendments to the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015. These amendments seek to strengthen Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988 in terms of legal and administrative procedure.


The Bill seeks to (i) Amend the definition of benami transactions to widen the scope for legal action (ii) Specify penalties for entering into benami transactions and (iii) establish adjudicating authorities and Appellate Tribunal to deal with benami transactions.


Key Facts

  • The main purpose of these amendments is to overcome the practical difficulties that may arise in the implementation of the stringent provisions of the Bill after it becomes an Act.
  • The Bill also intends to effectively prohibit benami transactions and consequently prevent circumvention of law through unfair practices.
  • It empowers the Union Government to confiscate benami property by following due procedure. Therefore it promotes equity across all citizens.
  • The Bill provides immunity under the Benami Act to those who declare their benami properties under income declaration scheme.


About Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988

The Act prohibits benami transactions and provides legal provisions for confiscating benami properties. It defines a benami transaction as a transaction where a property is held by or transferred to a person, but has been provided for or paid by another person.


2.Union Cabinet approves Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

The Union Cabinet has approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 to protect transgenders from discrimination. Through this Bill the Union Government has evolved a holistic mechanism for the social, economic and educational empowerment of marginalized transgenders community.

Key Facts

  • The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against them and also bring them into the mainstream of society.
  • It will lead to greater inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.
  • The Bill will make all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Bill.
  • It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Union Government and Slate Governments/UT administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons.

3.India, Japan ink Social Security Agreement

India and Japan have signed a Social Security Agreement (SSA) and will come into force on 1 October 2016. The SSA will benefit Indian and Japanese professionals and skilled workers working in each other’s country and will also boost bilateral business linkages.

Key Facts

  • The SSA will help avoid double social security contributions i.e. Indian worker on a short-term contract in Japan will be exempt from making a social security contribution there vice versa.
  • This exemption will be provided to Indian worker, only if he is covered under the social security system of India and continues to pay his contribution during period of overseas contract.

Benefits: It will help for easy remittance of benefits in case of relocation. It will favourably impact the competitive position and profitability of Indian and Japanese companies with foreign operations in either country by reducing their cost of doing business abroad.

So far, India has so far signed similar comprehensive social security agreements with 15 countries. They are Canada, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Hungary, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, Austria, and Australia.

  1. CCEA approves construction of new dry dock within Cochin Shipyard Limited

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for construction of a new dry dock within the existing premises of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The new dry dock will be set up at an estimated cost of 1799 crore rupees with an objective to augment the shipbuilding and repair capacity of the country.

Key Facts

  • This big sized dry dock at CSL seeks to tap the market potential of building specialized and technologically advanced large vessels.
  • It is also considered as a critical requirement for promotion of ship building in the country and is a step in the direction of Make in India initiative.
  • The project proposal would generate employment within the country as the ship building and ship repair industry is a labour intensive industry.
  • It will have a multiplier effect on employment generation and help in the process of nation-building in terms of socio-economic development and growth of manufacturing sector.

4. Oldest and last Babri litigant Hashim Ansari passes away

Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigation in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri title suit, died on 20 July 2016 due to heart-related complications in the temple city of Ayodhya. He was 95.

Ansari, born in Ayodhya, was one of the seven main litigants from Muslim side in the 1949 Babri Masjid case regarding placing of Lord Rama idols in the premises. He was the lone surviving litigant of the case.


The other six main litigants were Mohammad Farooq, Ashhad Rashidi, Maulana Mahfuzurur Rahman, Mufti Hasbullah, Mahmud and Sunni Central Waqf Board.


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