Govt clarifies KYC needed only for cash purchase of jewellery above Rs 10 lakh

Agencies
January 9, 2021

New Delhi, Jan 9: The Department of Revenue (DoR), Ministry of Finance has clarified that any purchase of gold, silver, jewellery, or precious gems and stones below Rs 2 lakh does not require PAN or Aadhaar of a customer as mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) document.

Sources said that the notification issued under PML Act, 2002, on December 28, 2020, is a requirement of FATF Dealers in Precious Metals and Precious Stones (DPMS) to carry out KYC and Customer Due Diligence only when they conduct cash transactions above Rs 10 lakh.

"This is a requirement of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) - the global money laundering and terrorist financing overseer which as the inter-governmental body sets international standards aimed to prevent illegal activities on terror funding and money laundering," they added.

According to sources, one of the recommendations requires the DPMS sector to fulfil obligations of Customer Due Diligence (CDD) when they conduct cash transactions above a certain limit (USD/EUR 15,000). India is a member of FATF since 2010.

"The misinformation being circulated in certain section of media that any purchase, even if below Rs 2 lakh, of gold, silver, jewellery or precious gems and stones in cash require KYC are baseless," sources added.

Since in India, cash transactions above Rs 2 lakh are not allowed under section 269ST of Income-tax Act, 1961, dealers not receiving cash more than Rs 2 lakh in compliance with the existing provisions of the Income-tax Act will not be covered under this notification, they said further.

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Agencies
January 12,2021

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Washington, Jan 12: Facebook, Google and Microsoft have announced that they were freezing political contributions from their political action committees (PAC) in the wake of the January 6 riot in the US Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters.

"Following last week's awful violence in D.C., we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies," Xinhua news agency quoted Facebook spokesman Andy Stone as saying in a statement on Monday.

Alphabet Inc's Google said it would pause contributions from its PAC.

"We have frozen all NetPAC political contributions while we review and reassess its policies following last week's deeply troubling events," a Google spokesperson said.

Microsoft said the company is halting its political spending until after it assesses the implications of last week's events.

"The PAC regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress, but it will take additional steps this year to consider these recent events and consult with employees," the company said in a statement.

Also on Monday night, Amazon announced that it will pause donations from its PAC to lawmakers who voted against the certification of the presidential election results.

"We intend to discuss our concerns directly with those Members we have previously supported and will evaluate their responses as we consider future PAC contributions," an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement.

The attack on the Capitol building took place on January 6 while Congress was in session considering the ratification of the electoral college votes electing Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President.

Before the violence, Trump, who has claimed that their election was invalid because there was massive fraud, told a rally of his supporters before the Congress session began to go there.

A section of his supporters stormed the Capital and invaded the Senate chamber and the offices of the Speaker and others, bring the session to a halt and evacuating the legislators to safe places.

Five people, including a police officer, were killed during the riots.

Congress met later and put its seal on the election of Biden and Harris, who will be sworn-in on January 20.

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Agencies
January 16,2021

Los Angeles, Jan 16: Over 22 billion records were exposed worldwide amid 730 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2020, a new report revealed on Friday.

Thirty five percent of breaches were linked to ransomware attacks, resulting in tremendous financial cost, while 14 per cent of breaches were the result of email compromises, according to an analysis of breach data by cyber exposure company Tenable's Security Response Team (SRT) from January through October last year.

One of the overarching themes of the threat landscape in 2020 was that threat actors relied on unpatched vulnerabilities in their attacks as well as chaining together multiple vulnerabilities as part of their attacks.

"Every day, cybersecurity professionals in India and the rest of the world are faced with new challenges and vulnerabilities that can put their organisations at risk," said Satnam Narang, Staff Research Engineer at Tenable.

"The 18,358 vulnerabilities disclosed in 2020 alone reflects a new normal and a clear sign that the job of a cyber defender is only getting more difficult as they navigate the ever-expanding attack surface," Narang added.

From 2015 to 2020, the number of reported common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) increased at an average annual percentage growth rate of 36.6 per cent.

In 2020, 18,358 CVEs were reported, representing a 6 per cent increase over the 17,305 reported in 2019, and a 183 per cent increase over the 6,487 disclosed in 2015.

"Pre-existing vulnerabilities in virtual private network (VPN) solutions — many of which were initially disclosed in 2019 or earlier -- continue to remain a favorite target for cybercriminals and nation-state groups," the report mentioned.

Web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are the primary target for zero-day vulnerabilities, accounting for over 35 per cent of all zero-day vulnerabilities exploited in the wild, it added.

"In 2021, it's essential that we have the tools, awareness and intelligence to effectively reduce risk and eliminate blind spots. It's only through looking at where we've come from that we can effectively plan for what lies ahead," Narang noted.

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Agencies
January 14,2021

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Madurai, Jan 14: The renowned bull taming event “Jallikattu” began in Tamil Nadu with traditional fervour and enthusiasm at Avaniyapuram in this district on Thursday.

Minister for Cooperation Sellur K Raju and District Collector T Anbalagan flagged off the event at 0800 hours that will go on till 1600 hours.

It is the first officially permitted Jallikattu event organized as part of the ongoing Pongal festivities in the state.

Official sources said, around 430 tamers and 830 registered bulls were participating in the day-long event.

Former AICC President Rahul Gandhi will watch the Avaniyapuram Jallikattu today -- in what is scheduled to be his first visit to the state ahead of this year’s assembly election as part of the party’s “Rahulin Tamizh Vanakkam” initiative.

Mr Gandhi, who will arrive by a special flight at Madurai from New Delhi this afternoon, will drive straight to the venue.

After witnessing the event for a couple of hours, he will return to the National Capital.

The Congress leader will be accompanied by TNCC president K.S.Alagiri, Congress Legislative Party Leader K.R.Ramasamy and DMK’s youth wing secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin and others. Around 2,000 policemen were deployed at the Jallikattu venue under the direct supervision of Commissioner of Police Prem Anand Sinha.

The Jallikattu event is being conducted by ensuring compliance with the COVID-19 safety norms.

Arrangements have been made in the spectators’ gallery to ensure personal distancing. The spectators were allowed after undergoing thermal screening and wearing face masks.

The Palamedu Jallikattu will be held on Friday.

Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam will witness the World-renowned Alanganallur Jallikattu event here on Saturday.

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