Current Affairs - December, 2018

Latest Current Affairs December, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of December, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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HUL found guilty of Profiteering Rs 383 crore

National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) assessment has revealed consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) allegedly profiteering to the extent of Rs 383 crore after the large-scale goods and services tax (GST) rate cut last November.

The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) has asked HUL to deposit Rs 223 crore in central and state consumer welfare funds since the company itself had proactively deposited Rs 160 crore with the central consumer welfare fund.

National Anti-profiteering Authority

National Anti-profiteering Authority was constituted by the central government to provide an institutional mechanism under the GST law for checking the unfair profit-making activities by the trading community.

National Anti-profiteering Authority is headed by a senior officer of the level of Secretary to the Government of India. There will be four Technical Members from the Centre and/or the States.

GST consumer welfare funds

The GST law also provides for the creation of a Consumer Welfare Fund wherein undue benefits made by businesses under the GST law have to be deposited, in case it cannot be passed on to the identified recipient. The proceeds from the GST consumer welfare fund can be given as grant to the Centre and state governments as well as regulatory authorities.

Why the profiteering is rampant in India?

According to the anti-profiteering laws in India, businesses have to pass on the benefit of tax cuts as well as tax rebates to consumers. But the businesses often increase prices to commensurate with the reduced taxes due to the free nature of the market.

Also, there are no explicit guidelines for companies which they are required to follow so that the benefit of tax rebates and rate reductions on raw materials are passed on to consumers at the right measure across all final products. As a result, the NAA is witnessing a large number of complaints related to overcharging.

Italy’s Mount Etna Volcano erupts

Italy’s Mount Etna volcano erupted on 24th December 2018 resulting in more than 130 earthquakes of up to 4.3 in magnitude. The volcanic lava and ash spewed from a new fracture near its south-eastern crater for the first time in a decade and was visible for miles.

Etna’s eruptions are relatively frequent and there has been a gradual increase in activity on the volcano over the last month as reported by the according to Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology,

The volcanic eruption and the subsequent earthquakes have resulted in the closure of Sicily’s Catania Airport and the Hikers were told to come down to lower elevations to avoid the noxious fumes.

Mount Etna Volcano

Mount Etna is Europe’s highest and most active volcano outside the Caucasus. Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. The last major eruption was in 1992.

The volcano lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Mount Etna is in an almost constant state of activity. United Nations has designated Mount Etna has a Decade Volcano by the United Nations and it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A study by the UK lead team reveals that the whole structure of Europe’s premier volcano was edging towards the sea at a rate of 14mm per year.

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