Newspaper notes for UPSC 30-06-18

Hello friends, this is Newspaper notes for UPSC of 30-06-18, Please do leave your valuable comments , feedback and suggestions, kalyan@iksa.in , telegram: @naylak . Do subscribe to our website and please share this post with your friends.

Not all Swiss bank money illegal: govt.

Gs P3: Economy, Black money Imp of article : 2/10

  • Finance Minister said that the reported 50% rise in deposits by Indians in Swiss banks could not be presumed to be a case of black money parked abroad.
  • He added that the government would start getting details on bank accounts of Indians in Switzerland from next year under a bilateral tax treaty, and strong action would be instituted against anyone found guilty.
  • The Minister was responding to news reports that money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose to CHF (Swiss Franc)1.01 billion (Rs. 7,000 crore) in 2017.
  • Citing reports, FM said 40% of the deposits was the result of the liberalised remittance scheme introduced by former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. As per the scheme, an individual could remit up to $2,50,000 per year.
  • Almost exactly a year ago, in an address to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on July 1, 2017, PM had highlighted a record 45% drop in deposits by Indians in Swiss banks.

‘Soft policing’ stops social media misuse

Social Media, Lynching, Police Imp of article: 3/10 

  • Troubled by the rising frequency of such incendiary social media posts, the Assam police have been experimenting with a slew of ‘soft policing’ tactics.
  • These include making the local policemen campaign at weekly haat s or rural markets, where they would meet school and college students, parents and teachers, and motivate them to become informants on social media misuse.
  • Cyber cell staff say Facebook and Twitter are easier to track than WhatsApp.
  • But police claim to have infiltrated several WhatsApp groups in order to get to the mischief makers. They have also befriended many group administrators.
  • Higher officials  have been asking policeforce to educate people about the greater good if they lead us to people misusing social media. This strategy has helped them make arrests quickly in cases of lynching, moral policing, and posting of hate messages.

Iran not just an energy supplier

GS P2: IR Iran, Energy security Imp of article: 3/10

  • Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari said that Iran ensures overland connectivity between Eurasia and India and it is not just an energy supplier.
  • He said that the government should take into consideration the “totality” of India’s ties with Iran, while responding to U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand to cut down drastically energy imports from that country.
  • Our relationship with Iran has been built carefully and thoughtfully by all past governments as Iran for us is not just an energy supplier from the Persian Gulf region.
  • For us, Iran is a land power on the other side of Pakistan that provides us with an alternative route to Afghanistan, Our infrastructure-building activities in Afghanistan is done with support from Iran. Iran has the port of Chabahar where we have invested because access to Afghanistan is crucial for us.
  • He said India maintained relations with countries strictly on the basis of bilateral dynamics and in this context, Iran’s importance had remained undiminished over the past several decades.

FATF hands 10-point plan to Pak.

GS P2: IR , Pakistan. FATA

  • Unanimously agreeing to put into effect its February decision to place Pakistan in the grey list for inaction against terror funding, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has laid out a 10-point action plan for compliance with its guidelines.
  • Pakistan’s failure in implementing the elaborate action plan may result in it being included in the black list the next year.
  • The country has been instructed to take measures demonstrating that UN-designated terrorists and banned terror outfits such as Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, Taliban and Haqqani Network, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and their affiliates, are deprived of their resources and their sources of funding are choked.
  • The FATF, in its Paris Plenary that concluded on Friday, observed that Pakistan had this time round made a high-level political commitment to work with the global watchdog and the Asia Pacific Group, of which it is a member, to strengthen its anti-money laundering and counter terror-financing regime.
  • Pakistan will have to take steps to ensure that terror funding risks are properly identified, assessed and that supervision is applied on a risk-sensitive basis.
  • The FATF has also sought actions demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf.

IRDA okays LIC-IDBI Bank deal

GS P3 Economy, Regulator. Imp 2/10

  • The board of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, which met on Friday, has approved Life Insurance Corporation’s (LIC) proposal to increase its stake in troubled state-run lender IDBI Bank.
  • According to sources, IRDA has approved acquisition of up to 51% stake by LIC in IDBI Bank.
  • However, LIC needs to get a board-approved plan to bring down its stake to 15% over time. Now, the LIC board will have to consider the matter for approval.
  • The deal, which will trigger takeover regulations, will also require an approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • As per capital market regulations, any company that acquires 25% stake in a listed entity has to make an open offer to acquire 26% additional stake from public shareholders.
  • However, the markets watchdog may waive the requirement for LIC as it has done earlier in matters involving the government and public sector entities.
  • The deal, which will trigger takeover regulations, will also require an approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
  • As per capital market regulations, any company that acquires 25% stake in a listed entity has to make an open offer to acquire 26% additional stake from public shareholders.
  • However, the markets watchdog may waive the requirement for LIC as it has done earlier in matters involving the government and public sector entities.

Monsoon covers entire country 15 days in advance

  • The monsoon has covered the entire country, reaching Sriganganagar in western Rajasthan its last outpost  a fortnight ahead of schedule, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • The monsoon’s journey across the country before time isn’t unusual.
  • However, there’s no linkage between the speed with which the monsoon spreads out across the country and the quantum of rainfall.
  • Typically the monsoon traverses the northern-most portions of the country by July 1, and then takes about a fortnight to reach western Rajasthan.
  • This time, a Western Disturbance as well as pressure system across the northern portion of the Bay of Bengal has propelled the rains.
  • The bulk of the rain has been in the southern peninsula, with Kerala, Karnataka and Goa pooling in 20% more rain than normal.
  • East and Northeast India are experiencing a 26% deficit.
  • The southwest monsoon accounts for 70% of the rainfall in the country, where agriculture still remains a major contributor to the GDP.

Editorials and Opinion :

Reform 101

GS P2: Education, Regulator . Imp of article: 7/10

  • The provisions of the new Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Bill drafted by the Centre have far-reaching implications for the expansion and quality of human resource development, at a time when access to skill-building and educational opportunity are vitally important.
  • There were 864 recognised universities and 40,026 colleges in the country in 2016-17, while the gross enrolment ratio of students was only about 26%. To put this in perspective, there were only 20 universities and 500 colleges at the time of Independence.
  • The Centre should give sufficient time to academia, the teaching community and society at large to submit considered opinions on the draft proposals.
  • Among the key questions that need resolution is the future role of multiple regulatory bodies that currently exist for engineering, medicine and law; the Yash Pal Committee had recommended that they should be brought under the ambit of a single commission.
  • There is a case to include other professional education streams as well, including architecture and nursing. The aim should be to set academic benchmarks for each stream, with sufficient autonomy to innovate on courses and encourage studies across disciplines.
  • Among the more contentious issues arising out of the draft Bill is the Centre’s decision to shift grant-giving powers for higher education institutions to the Ministry of Human Resource Development or a separate body. The UGC has been doing this so far.
  • Maintaining a balance on allocation of funds and ensuring transparency will now depend on the proposed advisory council to the HECI. It is welcome that the States are represented on the advisory council, giving it a federal character, although it is the Centre that will have the final say in all matters, not even the apex HECI.
  • Higher education is challenged today by fast-paced technological changes affecting the economy and the need to create a workforce that has the requisite skills.
  • Reform should, therefore, lead to the creation of an agency that has the intellectual corpus to help universities and colleges adapt, and the vision to plan for public funding in the emerging spheres of activity.

A broken tax chain

GS P3: GST,Tax.  Imp of the article 5/10 .

The article is very critical of GST, can remember some valid criticism which is backed by data.

  • year on, what has the GST achieved? ? One should not expect instant results. There will be many short comings when a complex reform is rolled out. But the question is this: is the economy headed in the right direction?
  • Arguments in favour of the GST were that it would lead to
    • ease of doing business;
    • make markets efficient;
    • yield higher tax collections; and lead to lower prices.
    • With higher tax collection, the government would be able to deliver better services.
  • Thus, the GST was presented as a win-win situation for everyone.

The Issues :

  • Businesses have not yet experienced ‘ease of doing business’ though some have adjusted to it. To begin with, the GST rates were fixed rather late.
  • The IT functioning of the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) has been unsatisfactory due to problems or inordinate delays in access because of the volume of traffic.
  • The complexity of the system became apparent as for or each State one was operating in, three returns had to be processed every month. Then there was an annual return to be filed. So for each State, a business had to file 37 returns in a year. Even though it was computerised, accounting was difficult. So, even though 17 taxes were replaced by one tax made up of many parts, simplification did not follow.
  • The small businesses operating under the Composition Scheme had their own woes. They could not give input tax credit (ITC) and if anyone bought from them, then the buyer had to pay the tax that the small business should have paid. This was the reverse charge mechanism (RCM). These small businesses were not permitted to make inter-State sales so that their market became limited in case they were at the border of the State.
  • Taking cognisance of these, the government made rapid changes during the year through the GST Council (the body set up to govern GST). But this only added to the confusion. Some components of the GST which were considered essential to its design were suspended or altered permanently. For example, the e-way bill (to track goods being transported) was postponed to April 2018. The RCM was suspended and may resume now. The tax rate for businesses under the Composition Scheme was brought down.
  • Prices have not fallen. Of course, there are many factors underlying inflation such as a rise in petroleum goods prices, the weather and so on. But the GST has contributed to inflation because services are now taxed higher, — the rate has risen to 18% from 15%.
  • Even though essential goods are exempt under the GST, as basic goods and services prices rise, all prices increase.
  • Exemptions from GST: The tax rate structure (0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%) also adds to the complexity. Then there are different rates for gold and jewellery. Some petro-goods and alcohol (human consumption) are not a part of the GST. Electricity and real estate are also out of the GST. The multiplicity of tax rates and exemptions means that the cascading effect continues.

Very critical points of GST

  • India does not have a full GST which is applicable from raw material to the final good/service. The chain is broken in many places. This partial GST is a result of trying to fulfil many policy objectives.
  • The GST is not bigger than the policy changes introduced in 1991 and hence not the biggest reform. It is not yielding more revenue to enable governments to spend more on services for the poor.
  • Further, by damaging the unorganised sectors, it has set back output and employment in the economy rather than leading to a higher growth rate.
  • These problems emanate from introducing a very complex tax in a complex economy. In brief, while there are a few gains, the economy is not headed in the right direction because of the faulty design of the GST.
Download the PDF Notes : Newspaper notes for UPSC of 30-06-18

4 thoughts on “Newspaper notes for UPSC 30-06-18”

  1. i always prefer kalyan newspaper notes for my preparation instead of the bulky newspaper……
    thx a lot kalyan……U R THE BEST!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply