1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Transparent Taxation-Honoring the Honest’ platform on August 13, 2020. The platform includes three major reforms- faceless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayers’ charter.
2. Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced on August 13, 2020 that the Indian government will fund the implementation of a major connectivity project in the Maldives with USD 400 million line of credit and USD 100 million grant.
3. The Indian Government on August 12, 2020 announced that it has allowed the sale and registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries. The move is aimed at reducing the upfront cost of these vehicles, as pre-fitted batteries account for almost 30-40 percent of the total cost of the vehicle.
4. The Indian government has extended an assistance of USD 1 million to Antigua and Barbuda to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The provided assistance is aimed at improving health capacities and infrastructure in the Caribbean country.
5. The Assam state government is all set to roll out Arunodoi Scheme from October 2, 2020, with an aim to provide financial assistance to around 17 lakh families in the state. Under the scheme, Rs 830 will be given every month to the eligible 17 lakh families to buy the essential items of food.
6. Russia and Brazil have signed a strategic cooperation agreement for the production and marketing of the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine ‘Sputnik V’. Under the strategic agreement, the Russian Direct Investment Fund together with pharmaceutical companies in the state of Parana will organise the production of the Sputnik V vaccine and its distribution in Brazil and other Latin American countries.
7. Israel’s Defense Ministry conducted a successful test of the nation’s advanced missile defense system-Arrow-2 interceptor-against long-range ballistic attacks on August 12, 2020. The Arrow-interceptor is a part of the multi-layered system, which Israel has developed to defend against both short and mid-range missiles. It can also intercept long-range missiles.
8. Japan signed its largest-ever loan package worth USD 3.1 billion for Bangladesh on August 12, 2020 in Dhaka. The loan will be given under concessional terms for seven projects in Bangladesh under Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). The loan carries an interest rate of 0.65 percent with a repayment period of 30 years including an initial 10 years as grace period.