India, Thailand decide to boost defence cooperation
   Date :04-Nov-2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks with his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha during a meeting on the sidelines of the 16th ASEAN-India Summit, in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday. (PTI) 
By Manash Pratim Bhuyan :
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the defence industries sector and explore possibility of boosting trade ties during their talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit. Both the leaders also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries, including in the areas of physical and digital spheres, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. In a tweet, the Prime Minister’s office said both leaders held extensive deliberations on accelerating the friendship between India and Thailand. Modi arrived here on a three-day visit on Saturday to attend the ASEAN-India, the East Asia and the RCEP summits.
The MEA said Modi and Chan-o-cha reviewed the progress made in bilateral relationship and noted that frequent high level meetings and exchanges at all levels have created positive momentum in the relationship. PM meets Indonesian President Joko Widodo at ASEAN summit: PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during which the two leaders resolved to work closely to deal with the threats of terrorism and extremism. Noting that India and Indonesia are close maritime neighbours, both leaders reiterated their commitment to work together for peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. Modi congratulated Widodo on the start of his second term as the President of Indonesia and conveyed that as the world’s two largest democratic and plural societies, India was committed to work with Indonesia to strengthen ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment, the MEA said in a statement. Modi holds talks with leaders of three key maritime neighbours: AS NEW Delhi seeks to expand its naval presence in the Indian Ocean region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held separate bilateral meetings with the top leadership of Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar, the three strategically-located maritime neighbours of India.
The Prime Minister held the meetings on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit. It is learnt that the issue of maritime security cooperation figured in all the three meetings. Modi meets Aung San Suu Kyi: PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held a “constructive” meeting with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during which they explored ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas of connectivity and capacity building. Modi and Suu Kyi held the meeting on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, in a tweet, called the meeting constructive.
Aditya Birla Group celebrates 50 yrs in Thailand BANGKOK, DIVERSIFIED conglomerate Aditya Birla Group (ABG) on Sunday celebrated its 50 years of operations in Thailand. The event was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other dignitaries from the Thai and Indian Government. Aditya Vikram Birla had made a foray into Thailand by setting up a spinning unit. Currently, the group has catapulted to become one of the largest diversified enterprises in the Southeast Asian country with nine plants spanning diverse sectors such as textiles, carbon black and chemicals. Addressing a gathering here, Modi said, “We are here in Thailand with whom India has a strong cultural linkage. And, we are marking 50 years of a leading Indian industrial business in Thailand. This reaffirms my belief that commerce and culture have inherent powers to unite.” Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said it was a matter of great pride to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ABG in Thailand, in the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India starting faceless tax assessment regime to forestall discretion in tax collection: PM
By Manash Pratim Bhuyan
BANGKOK, INDIA is rolling out “faceless tax assessment” to forestall any discretion or harassment in tax collection, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday as he highlighted major reform initiatives launched by his Government in the financial sectors in the last five years. The Prime Minister, speaking at an event to mark the golden jubilee of the Aditya Birla Group’s operations in Thailand, also asserted that India now has one of the most people-friendly tax regimes globally, and that efforts are on to further improve taxation system. In presence of a large number of Indian and Thai business tycoons, the Prime Minister specifically mentioned about how rolling out of the Goods and Services Tax has resulted in economic integration in the country, adding that his Government was working towards making it more people-friendly.
“In the last five years, we have lowered the tax burden on the middle class considerably. We are now starting faceless tax assessment so that there is no scope for discretion or harassment,” the Prime Minister said. There has been criticism by the Congress that tax officials in the Modi Government have been harassing businesses and political leaders critical of the ruling establishment. In August, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman conveyed to India Inc. They will not face any harassment as a new system was being put in place to make officials accountable for their actions. “In today’s India, the contribution of the hard working tax payer is cherished. One area where we have done significant work is taxation. I am happy that India is one of the most people friendly tax regimes,” Modi said. In his address, Modi also talked about cut in the corporate tax rates.
“You would already have heard of India’s decision to cut the corporate tax rates. Our GST has fulfilled the dream of economic integration of India. We want to work towards making it even more people friendly,” the prime minister said. The Prime Minister also elaborated on steps being taken by his Government to improve ease of doing business in the country and their impact reflected in several ratings about the India growth story. “India has jumped 79 places in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings in five years. From 142 in 2014 we are 63 in 2019. This is a massive achievement. For the third year in row, we are among the top 10 reformers. The variables for doing business in India are many,” he said. “We are a large and diverse nation. There are the Central, State and local Governments. In such a context, a directional shift shows our commitment to reforms.
The people and Government came together to make the business environment better,” the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister said India was receiving substantially more tourists in the last few years, which he said, meant that “our efforts on the ground are bearing fruit. The fact that India has better roads, better air connectivity, better cleanliness and better law and order is bringing the world to India”. In his address, Modi also congratulated the Aditya Birla group for its commendable work in Thailand, saying it is creating opportunities and prosperity for many in the country. “We are here in Thailand, with whom India has strong cultural linkages. And, we are marking fifty years of a leading Indian industrial house in this nation. This reaffirms my belief that commerce and culture have inherent powers to unite,” the Prime Minister said.