News digest: H1B visa process, GST collection, UPI transactions, and more

Trump’s plan: H1B visa only for ‘most-skilled’ workers


The Donald Trump government has proposed major changes to the H1B application process, including a rule requiring companies to electronically register their petitions in advance. This is aimed at awarding the popular American work visa to the most-skilled and highest-paid foreign workers. Read more here


GST collection drops below Rs 1 trillion in November


Goods and services tax (GST) collection stood at Rs 976 billion in November, falling Rs 24 billion short of the government’s average monthly target of Rs 1 trillion.


However, to mobilise Rs 12.3 trillion to reach the annual target, the government needed an average of Rs 1.107 trillion in each month from November to March. Taking this into account, the collection shortfall in November was around Rs 130 billion. If the trend continues, shortfall estimates by finance ministry officials as well as independent experts to the tune of Rs 500 billion could turn out to be true. Click here to know more


India for cooperation on economic offenders


India presented a nine-point agenda to G20 countries, calling for “strong and active cooperation” among them to comprehensively deal with fugitive economic offenders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the agenda in the second session of the G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems in the Argentine capital on Friday.


“Cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined,” the agenda read. Read more here


IL&FS employees held in Ethiopia fear for safety


Employees of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) taken hostage by local staff in Ethiopia fear for their safety, with some being confined to a company campus north of the African nation's capital Addis Ababa.


India has asked Ethiopian authorities to investigate and help the seven IL&FS employees who say they are being held by local staff because of non-payment of salaries by the debt-laden firm, a government official said on Saturday. Click here to know more


UPI transactions cross 500 million in November


Transactions through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the flagship payments platform in the country, crossed 500 million in November, according to the data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).


Growth in the number of transactions, however, was only 9 per cent over the previous month. In October, the volume of transactions through the UPI was 482.36 million. The value of the UPI transactions in November stood at Rs 822.32 billion, against Rs 749.78 billion in October, a rise of 10 per cent. Read more here 

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