fbpx

IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 1st Aug to 7th Aug, 2016

  • August 11, 2016
  • 5
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ARCHIVES

GS-1

Treasures/ Artefacts Found by ASI During Excavation

(Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.)

What: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered artefacts and found evidence of valuable treasures of rulers of different time periods of India.

  1. Binjore, District, Shri Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan, 2015-16
  • Two cultural assemblage found i.e. Early-Harappan and Mature-Harappan
  • Represented by various antiquities such as fish-hook, arrowheads, knife, Celt, bangles, terracotta bangles, faience bangles, shell bangles, beads of carnelian, agate, faience, gold foil and ring, terracotta toy cart frame, cake mustika & bull figurine
  • Harappan seal made of steatite depicting figure of unicorn with five letters on Harappan script.
  • The early Harappan level has revealed pottery similar to the Kot-diji, which includes vase, basin, jar and goblet.
  • Lots of storage pots have been found placed over stand to store the food grains.
  • The structures of Early-Harappan period were made of mud bricks
  • In the Early-Harappan phase Hakara ware (incised and mud appliqué design) has also been found.
  1. Rukministhan, District, Nalanda, Bihar, 2015-16
  • The mound revealed several structures like votive stupas, brick walls, steps to the north of the temple containing colossal image of Buddha and rammed floors etc.
  • These structures as per their nature and associated antiquities and potteries are ranging from Gupta to Pala period.
  • The important antiquities like terracotta sealing, inscribed tablets, fragments of sculptures of Ganesh and Avalokiteshvara, beads, sling balls, etc. were found during excavation.
  • The pottery revealed from excavation consists of red ware and red slipped ware.
  1. Suabarei, District Puri (Odisha) V, Bhubaneswar, 2015-16
  • It was an important Neo-Chalcolithic site in between the Daya River and the Gangua rivulet.
  • They were subsisted by hunting, gathering, fishing and farming as evident from the charred animal bones, fish bones, fish hook and charred grains.
  • Circular huts with post holes, series of hearths, floor levels, burning activities with ash & charcoal and flood deposits have also been encountered
  • Although the excavation has not yielded the any evidence of human burial, however, evidence of animal burial represented by animal bones along with miniature pots probably with favourite grave goods have been found which indicate the burial practice for their favourite animal.
  • Presence of carnivorous canine teeth also indicates the hunting of wild animals etc.
  1. Vadnagar, District, Mehsana, Gujarat, 2015-16
  • A multidisciplinary approach involving archaeology (geo and landscape archaeology), geo-informatics and sedimentology.
  • The earliest deposit of the sites goes back to 1st- 2nd Century BCE at Baba –no Tekdo locality as more than 300 coins of various metals and alloys such as copper, lead, potin, billon etc. of different periods
  • At Kirti Torana revealed remains of the 9th-10th Century CE so far. A few burnt brick structures like remains of houses, walls, floors, drains and a unique furnace was found
  1. Keeladi, District, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, 2015-16
  • Revealed early historic remains (c. 3rd BCE – 3rd CE) in the form of brick structures
  • Evinced interesting finds like Rouletted and Arretine pot sherds suggesting trade contacts maintained by this settlement with western world.
  • At a later date these varieties were imitated and manufactured locally at the site.
  • Inscribed pot sherds having names of individuals written in Tamil – Brahmi script over them.
  1. Vangchhia, District Champai, Mizoram- 2015-16
  • Discovered one of the Biggest Necropolis (Burials/related structures) in India.

 

GS-2

Issue of fisheries subsidies in WTO

(Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate)

What: India alongwith other WTO members such as South Africa and other African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries have been seeking effective Special and Differential (S&D) treatment for developing countries and LDCs

Why: For developmental needs, poverty reduction, livelihood and food security concerns.

Fisheries subsidy

  • India and some of the WTO member countries had earlier submitted papers before the Negotiating Group detailing the need and importance of S&D provisions particularly for the small, marginal and artisanal fisheries in the developing countries and LDCs.
  • Capacity building assistance would be a part of the S&D provisions.
  • Negotiations on fishery subsidies discipline, which was on hold since 2011, restarted just prior to Nairobi Ministerial Meeting held in December, 2015.
  • Since then, members have been showing interest for recommencing negotiations on fishery subsidy discipline.
  • In these negotiations, India and some of the WTO member countries have reiterated the need for S&D provisions, as an integral part of fishery subsidy discipline.

 

Indian Leather Development Programme

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

What: ILDP, a central sector scheme, is under implementation with an approved outlay of Rs. 990.36 crore during 12th Plan period

Six sub schemes

  1. Integrated Development of Leather Sector (IDLS)
  • Assistance is provided for technology up-gradation/modernization of leather units
  • Investment grant @30% to small & micro units and @20% to other units through nationalized banks with maximum assistance of Rs.2 crore for each product line.
  1. Human Resource Development (HRD)
  • Assistance is provided for placement linked skill development training to unemployed persons @ Rs. 15,000 per person
  • Assistance is provided for skill up-gradation training to employed workers @ Rs. 5,000 per employee.
  • Placement of 75% of trained persons is mandatory for availing assistance related to skill development training component.
  1. Mega Leather Cluster scheme
  • Providing infrastructure support to the Leather Industry by establishment of Mega Leather Cluster.
  • Minimum land area required for Mega Leather Cluster is 25 acres to be set up without tanneries and 40 acres with tanneries
  • Assistance upto 50% of the project cost is provided by the Government of India, limited to Rs. 125 crores
  1. Support to Artisan scheme
  • For formation of Self-help groups (SHGs), product development, capacity building, providing centralized common facilities centers and marketing linkages.
  1. Leather Technology, Innovation & Environmental Issues
  • Assistance is provided for up-gradation/installation of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) @ 50% of the project cost.
  • Pilot Projects under Technology Benchmarking for leather units, organizing Environment Related Workshops and Pilot projects for Solid Waste Management are also eligible for assistance
  1. Establishment of Institutional Facilities
  • Establishment of two new branches of Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI), with assistance of Rs. 100 crore for each branch, in the States of Punjab and Gujrat.

 

Measures Taken by the Government for Upliftment of Women in Agriculture Sector

(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.)

What: As per Census 2011, Sixty five percent (65%) of the total female workers in India are engaged in agriculture.

  • Of the total cultivators (118.7 million), 30.3% are female.
  • Out of 144.3 million agricultural labourers 42.6 % are Women.
  • In 2001, female agricultural labourers were 21% which increased to 23% in 2011

About: The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare implements various programmes of farmers including women in agriculture sector.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

  • Implemented by Ministry of Rural Development
  • To empower women in agriculture by making systematic investments to enhance their participation and productivity, as also create and sustain agriculture based livelihoods of rural women.
  • Under the Pariyojana, projects are conceived in such a manner that the skill base of the women in agriculture is enhanced to enable them to pursue their livelihoods on a sustainable basis.

Measures taken by the Government for upliftment of women in the agriculture are:

  1. Support to States Extension Programme for Extension Reforms
  • Ensuring utilization of minimum 30% of resources on programmes and activities for women farmers and women extension functionaries.
  • To encourage women farmers’ participation in planning and decision making process, their representation in farmers’ advisory committee at block, district and state level has been provided under the scheme
  1. Sub Mission on Seed and Planting Material (SMSP)
  • Training is provided under the components of the Scheme Seed Village Programme and Quality Control Arrangement of Seeds in which women farmers are equally benefitted.
  1. National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
  • 30% of allocation of fund is being earmarked for women farmer.
  • An intervention under NFSM providing cropping system based training to farmers including SC, ST and women farmers to create awareness on improved technology for increasing production and productivity of crops.
  1. National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP)
  • 30% of budgetary allocation is being earmarked for women beneficiaries/farmers.
  • Concerned implementing agencies will be responsible for monitoring implementation of these components i.e. allocation of resources for SC/ST/Women beneficiaries and maintenance of database for the same.
  1. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
  • 31 drudgery reducing technologies for women in agriculture developed by ICAR are promoted through training, demonstration and financial assistance.
  • Women beneficiaries are also provided 10% additional financial assistance for purchase of various agricultural machines and equipment.
  1. National Horticulture Mission
  • Women are organized into Self Help Groups and farm inputs and technological & extension supports are provided to make women self-reliant.
  1. (ICAR) has established a network of 645 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs)
  • Aiming at assessment and demonstration of technologies/products and its dissemination through number of extension programmes including training of farmers to update their knowledge and skill.
  • During 2015-16, as many as 205 women specific income generation technologies related to technological empowerment of rural women were assessed
  1. ICAR- Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA)
  • Forefront undertaking research on issues affecting women in agriculture.
  • Focused on participatory action research in different technology based theme areas involving rural women
  • To catalyse and facilitate R & D institutions to bring in farm women perspectives in their programmes.
  • Working to catalyse and facilitate R & D institutions to bring in farm women perspectives in their programmes.
  • Drudgery faced by farm women in various agricultural operations including household are being addressed with quantifiable data on the required parameters and designing/ refining women friendly farm tools & equipment.

 

“Giftmilk” Scheme to Improve Child Nutrition

(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.)

What: Government has approved a proposal for setting up an Institution for promotion of nutrition through milk/milk products (especially for children) utilizing Corporate Social Responsibility funds of NDDB’s subsidiaries and other voluntary donation.

NDDB

  • To promote, plan and organize programmers for the purpose of development of dairy and other agriculture based and allied industries and biological on an intensive and nation-wide basis and to render assistance in the implementation of such programs.
  • NDDB is implementing National Dairy Plan phase-1(NDP-1), a central sector scheme of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India to increase milk production in the country.

Giftmilk

  • NDDB registered a trust/ society known as ‘NDDB Foundation for Nutrition’(NFN) to implement this initiative known as “Giftmilk” to improve child nutrition thought consumption of milk & milk products by providing milk free of cost.
  • The supply of milk / milk product would be facilitated through dairy cooperatives only.
  • “Giftmilk” imitative in 3 schools -2 in Delhi & 1 in Telangana
  • “Giftmilk” is presently supported by NDDB’s subsidiaries who have contributed fro their CSR commitment.

 

Strengthening Public Distribution System

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

What: Government of India has enacted the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) on 10.09.2013, which has come into force with effect from 05.07.2013 for receiving subsidized foodgrains under TPDS upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50 % of the urban population of the country.

Under NFSA, the coverage under TPDS has been delinked from poverty estimates and the eligible households covered under the Act comprises of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households and Priority households.

As per the above coverage and based on 2011 census population, the number of persons eligible for subsidized foodgrains under TPDS in the country is estimated at about 81.35 crore.

TPDS

  • Strengthening and streamlining of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is a continuous endeavour.
  • To improve functioning of TPDS and effective implementation of it, Government has been regularly issuing advisories and holding meetings, conferences, etc.
  • State/UT Governments are requested for review of list of beneficiaries, improving the offtake of allocated foodgrains, ensuring timely availability of foodgrains at Fair Price Shops (FPSs), greater transparency in functioning of TPDS, improved monitoring and vigilance at various levels, improving the viability of FPS operations, etc.
  • (NFSA), 2013 also contains measures for reforms in TPDS, to be under taken progressively by the Central and State/UT Governments.
  • Reforms include cash transfer, door-step delivery of foodgrains at the FPS, application of information and communication technology tools including end to end computerization preference to public institutions/bodies in licensing of FPS, etc.
  • Government has initiated a plan scheme on ‘End-to-end Computerization of TPDS Operations during 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) on cost sharing basis with the States/UTs.
  • As part of beneficiary data digitization, States/UTs have been requested to seed the Aadhaar numbers wherever available so as to weed out the ineligible/bogus/duplicate beneficiaries.

 

Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

What: Cabinet approved Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 which is a historical Step towards making roads safe and save lakhs of innocent lives

Amendment aims to improve

  • Every year 5 lakh road accidents are reported in the country in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives
    • Government is committed to reduce the accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years
  • To address the issue of road safety, a draft Road Transport & Safety Bill was prepared soon after NDA Government came to power.
    • Most of the States have expressed reservations
  • In the present Motor Vehicle Act, there are 223 Sections out of which the Bill aims to amend 68 sections whereas Chapters 10 has been deleted and a Chapter 11 is being replaced with new provisions to simplify third party insurance claims and settlement process.
    • The amendments mainly focus on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens’ facilitation while dealing with the Transport Department. Strengthening rural transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services.
  • The important provisions include increase in compensation for Hit & Run cases from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 2 lakhs.
  • Provision for payment of compensation upto Rs. 10 lakh in road accidents fatalities.
  • Improving delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance
    • Include enabling online learning licenses, increasing validity period for driving licenses, doing away with the requirements of educational qualifications  for transport licenses are some of the features
  • Bill propose to improve the transport scenario in the country by permitting the States to grant exemptions in Stage carriage and contract carriage permits for promoting rural transport, public transport, last mile connectivity and for passenger convenience and road safety.
  • Bill proposes offences committed by Juveniles. The Guardian / owner shall be deemed to be guilty in cases of offences by the Juveniles and Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled
  • To improve the registration process for new vehicles, registration at the end of the dealer is being enabled and restrictions have been imposed on temporary registration.
  • In the area of road safety, bill proposes to increase penalties to act as deterrent against traffic violations. Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc.  Stricter provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations.
  • To help the road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill. The Bill also proposes to mandate the automated fitness testing for the transport vehicles with effect from 1st October 2018.  This would reduce corruption in the Transport Department while improving the road worthiness of the vehicle
  • To bring harmony of the registration and licensing process, it is proposed to create National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration through “Vahan” & “Sarathi” platforms. This will facilitate uniformity of the process across the country.
  • To facilitate transport solutions for Divyang, the bottlenecks have been removed in respect of grant of driving licenses as well as alterations in the vehicles to make it fit for use of Divyang.

 

Act East Policy

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

What:

  • The Act East Policy (AEP) focuses on the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region
  • AEP provides an interface between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
  • The policy which was originally conceived as an economic initiative, has gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions.
  • On the domestic front, the Government has taken measures for time bound completion of critical infrastructure projects in the North Eastern Region (NER) relating to road, rail, inland water transport, power, airports and telecom connectivity.

 

Interest Subvention Scheme to Boost Exports

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

  1. Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS)
    • It was introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20
    • Aims to incentivize export of merchandise which is produced/ manufactured in India
  1. Interest Equalisation Scheme on Pre & Post Shipment Rupee Export Credit
  • Scheme is available to manufacturers for all exports under 416 specified tariff lines [at ITC (HS) Codes at 4 digit level] and to exports made by manufacturers in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises across all ITC (HS) Codes.
  • Rate of interest equalisation is 3% per annum
  1. Duty Exemption/Remission Schemes
  • Advance Authorisation (AA), Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) and Duty Drawback (DBK) Scheme enable duty free import of inputs for export production, including replenishment of input or duty remission.
  • Schemes to promote exports of Gem & Jewellery
  1. Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme
  • Envisaged to act as a catalyst to promote India’s exports on a sustained basis.
  • Scheme provides assistance to Export Promotion Organizations/Trade Promotion Organizations/National Level Institutions/ Research Institutions /Universities /Laboratories, Exporters etc.
  • For enhancement of exports through accessing new markets or through increasing the share in the existing markets.
  1. Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme
  • Under operation through the Department of Commerce
  • To assist exporters for export promotion activities abroad
  • Assist Export Promotion Councils(EPCs) to undertake export promotion activities for their product(s) and commodities
  • To assist approved organizations/ trade bodies in undertaking exclusive non-recurring innovative activities connected with export promotion efforts for their members.

 

Compensation to victims of acid attacks

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

What: A new Section 357A has been inserted in the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 vide the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008

To: provide for compensation to victims of crime.

Implementation: a Victim Compensation Scheme (VCS) is required to be framed by the State Governments/ Union Territories in coordination with the Central Government.

Details:

In July 2016, the Central Government has launched the Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF) Scheme for women with one time grant of Rs.200.00 Crore under the Nirbhaya Fund

  • To support and supplement the existing Victim Compensation Schemes notified by States / UT Administrations
  • To reduce disparity in quantum of compensation amount notified by different States/ UTs for victims of similar crimes
  • To encourage States/UTs to effectively implement the Victim Compensation Schemes (VCS) notified by them under the provisions of section 357A of CrPC.
  • Provide financial support to victims of various crimes like sexual offences including rape, acid attacks, crime against children, human trafficking etc.
  • A minimum compensation of Rs 3.00 lakh has been allocated for the victim of acid attack under this scheme.

 

Launch of Mission Bhagirath

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

What: PM launched Mission Bhagiratha at Komatibanda Village, Gajwel, in Medak District of Telangana.

Objective: to provide safe drinking water to all

The Mission includes important development projects:

  • 1600 MW Thermal Power station of NTPC at Ramagundam
  • revival of a Fertilizer Plant at Ramagundam
  • Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences, Warangal
  • Manoharabad-Kothapalli Railway line

 

GS-3

Getting Rid of Filth and Pollution from Wastes

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

What: Comprehensive revision of Waste Management Rules for solid waste, plastic waste, biomedical waste, hazardous waste and electronic waste, and notification of construction and demolition waste management Rules during March–April, 2016.

How: These Rules emphasizes waste minimization, source segregation, resource recovery for recycling and reuse, extended producer responsibility, involvement of waste pickers and self-help group, enhanced scope for waste reuse / recycle in different application like usage in road, waste to energy, waste to oil etc.

Steps to address issues related to water pollution, air pollution, industrial pollution, improper waste disposal etc.

  1. Notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards;
  2. Formulation of environmental regulations / statutes;
  3. Setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality;
  4. Introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG etc.), ethanol blend etc.;
  5. Promotion of cleaner production processes;
  6. Launching of National Air Quality index by the Prime Minister in April, 2015;
  7. Implementation of Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) norms in 63 selected cities and universalization of BS-IV by 2017;
  8. Decision taken to leapfrog directly from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards by 1st April, 2020;
  9. Taxing polluting vehicles and incentivizing hybrid and electric vehicles;
  10. Ban on burning of leaves, biomass, municipal solid waste;
  11. Promotion of public transport network of metro, buses, e-rickshaws and promotion of carpooling, Pollution Under Control, lane discipline, vehicle maintenance;
  12. Revision of existing environmental standards and formulation of new standards for prevention and control of pollution from industries;
  13. Regular co-ordination meetings at official and ministerial level with Delhi and other State Governments within the NCR;
  14. Issuance of directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and under Section 18(1)(b) of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
  15. Installation of on-line continuous (24×7) monitoring devices by major industries;
  16. Preparation of action plan for sewage management and restoration of water quality in aquatic resources by State Governments;
  17. Implementation of National River Conservation Plan for abatement of pollution in identified stretches of various rivers and undertaking conservation activities including education and awareness creation, community participation, electric/improved wood crematoria and river front development;
  18. Implementation of schemes for setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP), promotion of waste minimization strategies, Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management, setting up of Treatment and Disposal Facilities for hazardous and biomedical waste, setting up of Sewage Treatment Plants etc.
  19. Re-categorisation of industries based on the pollution potential.

 

India’s INDC Targets

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

  • It will achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030
    • With the help of transfer of technology
    • Low cost international finance including from Green Climate Fund (GCF)
    • India has set renewable power deployment target of 175 GW by the year 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar and 60 GW from wind energy.
    • The revised Tariff Policy has several provisions aimed at accelerating deployment of renewable energy in the country
  • 8% solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) by the year 2022;
  • Renewable Generation Obligation on new coal/lignite based thermal plants;
  • bundling of renewable power with power from plants in case of fully depreciated power plants whose Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have expired
  • Exemption of renewable energy from inter-state transmission charges.

 

Manned Space Programme

(Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.)

The major advancements in India’s space programme during the last two years include

  1. Insertion of India’s Mars Orbiter around the planet Mars
  2. realisation of indigenous Cryogenic engine and building indigenous capability of launching 2 Ton class satellites
  3. realisation of space based services for en-route navigation & safety-of-life applications in aviation sector
  4. completion of Indigenous satellite navigational system–NavIC
  5. placement of an observatory in space “ASTROSAT” enabling simultaneous multi-wavelength (from Ultraviolet to X-Ray) observations of stars and galaxies
  6. deployment of an indigenously built S-Band Unfurlable Antenna (6 meter) in space for satellite based mobile communications
  7. technology demonstration of reusable launch vehicle, (viii) launching of 20 satellites in a single launch mission

Now what?

  • ISRO has taken up the development of critical technologies as part of pre-project activities for the Manned Space Programme.
  • Major activities identified under Pre-Project are Crew Module (CM) systems, Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS), Flight Suit and Crew Escape System (CES).
  • The Crew module was flight tested in the experimental mission of GSLV MkIII on December 18, 2014 and the re-entry characteristics and the recovery of the Crew Module were successfully demonstrated.
  • As of now, Manned Space Programme is not an approved programme.
  • Currently, ISRO is developing critical technologies relevant for human spaceflight for building future capacity.
  • No cooperation or assistance has been sought from any other country during the last two years in this regard.

 

New IPR Policy

(Topic: issues relating to intellectual property rights)

What: The Government has approved the National IPR Policy on 12th May 2016. The policy lays down the following seven objectives:

  1. IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion- Generation of IPRs: To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society;
  2. Generation of IPRs- To stimulate the generation of IPRs;
  3. Legal and Legislative Framework: To have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest;
  4. Administration and Management: To modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration;
  5. Commercialization of IPR: Get value for IPRs through commercialization;
  6. Enforcement and Adjudication: To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements;
  7. Human Capital Development: To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs

IPR policy:

  • Lays the roadmap for future development in the field of IPRs
  • Comprehensive and holistic, and cannot be said to lack specifics.
  • Lists specific action points to be implemented towards fulfilment of the aforementioned objectives.
  • Certain points like transfer of Copyright and Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion have been acted upon and the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules accordingly changed.
  • Augmentation of manpower, including recruitment of 458 Patent Examiners, has been done.

 

National Disaster Mitigation Fund

(Topic: Disaster and disaster management)

About: The Government of India has released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) on 01.06.2016.

The National Disaster Mitigation Fund (NDMF) has not been set up.

Objective for creation of NBMF is for the projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation which is being served by the existing Centrally Sponsored Schemes / Central Sector (CS) Schemes such as

  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana
  • Krishonnati Yojana
  • National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture
  • MGNREGA
  • Major Irrigation projects
  • Namami Gange-National Ganga plan
  • River Basin Management
  • National River Conservation Plan and Water Resource Management

Keeping in view the above, the Government feels that at present there are sufficient schemes to take care of mitigation measures in different projects and the need for creation of separate NDMF has not been felt.

Financial management of disasters is undertaken as per the mechanisms available in DM Act, 2005 and there is no fund namely Disaster Management Fund.

 

Status of Cottage and Agro-Based Rural Industries

(Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment)

What: Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) through Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and Coir Board is implementing schemes to promote cottage and agro-based rural industries:

  1. Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)
  • A credit linked subsidy scheme, for setting up of new micro-enterprises and to generate employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas
  • The maximum cost of projects is rs.25 lakh in the manufacturing sector and rs.10 lakh in the service sector.
  • Up to 2016-17 (upto 30.6.2016), 3.80 lakh micro enterprises have been set up by utilizing margin money amounting to rs.7735.13 crore.
  • 13 lakh jobs have been created from these units.
  1. Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI)
  • Launched in 2005-06 for making Traditional Industries more productive and competitive by organizing the Traditional Industries and artisans into clusters.
  • Upto 31.07.2016, 45 clusters have been granted final approval with a total project cost of Rs.86.12 crore benefiting around 37356 artisans.
  1. Coir Udyami Yojana
  • Formerly known as REMOT Scheme
  • A credit linked subsidy scheme, which provides assistance for setting up of coir units with a maximum cost of project upto Rs.10 lakhs plus working capital, which shall not exceed 25% of the project cost.
  • The pattern of assistance is 40% as Govt. Subsidy, 55% as loan from Banks and 5% as beneficiary contribution.
  • Scheme is open to all individuals, companies, SHGs, NGOs, Institutes, etc.
  1. Mahila Coir Yojana
  • An exclusive skill development programme for rural women artisans in coir sector.
  • Training is provided in spinning of coir yarn/various coir processing activities.

 

Developments in Bio-Technology Sector

(Topic: Awareness in the field of bio-technology)

What: India’s research performance in Pharmacology and Biotechnology indicates that India’s scholarly output based on publication data is nearly 5 % of the world’s total in 2014 and showing strong average growth of over 12 % annually.

The Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) is implementing an integrated human resource development programme. It comprises of

  • Sc./ M. Tech. teaching program,
  • Fellowships for doctoral and post-doctoral research in biotechnology
  • Biotechnology Industrial Training program for post graduate students for skill upgradation
  • Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowships also provided to 50 scientists each year.

The Department established Biotechnology Industry Research Assessments Council (BIRAC) as a Section 8 (not for profit) Public Sector Enterprise in 2012 with a mandate to build the biotechnology innovation ecosystem in the country.

  • Since its inception, BIRAC has provided funding to entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs and translational organizations to the tune of Rs. 677 crores which has helped innovation research to bring high quality and affordable products towards commercialization.
  • It is proposed to set up an independent regulator for bio-technology including Genetically Modified (GM) crops for which the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill (BRAI) Bill, 2013 was introduced in 15th Lok Sabha and was lapsed with the tenure of the same.
  • BRAI Bill 2013 has now been revised taking into consideration recent developments in genetic engineering technologies for reintroduction through appropriate legislative process.
  • As an interim measure to implement the best practices contained in the BRAI Bill, establish a separate office dealing with biosafety issues it is proposed to get Genetically Engineered products within the existing regulatory framework under the Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro-organisms/ Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells (Rules, 1989) of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), 1986.
  • The proposed Office of Biotechnology Regulation will have an Inter-Ministerial Board represented by senior officials of concerned ministries for overall supervision along with strengthened risk assessment and management system through a functional unit of multidisciplinary scientists

 

NEEFP and NEEAPP Schemes – A Novel Step Towards Achieving Energy Efficiency

(Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life)

What: the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture company of four Power Sector PSUs, has designed innovative programmes

Called: Energy Efficient Fans Programme (EEFP) and Energy Efficient Agriculture Pumps Programme (EEAPP)

For: enhancing energy efficiency in domestic and agriculture sectors.

Details:

  • Under this programme, 50 watt fans are provided by EESL at Rs. 1,150 per unit on upfront payment, or at total of Rs. 1,200, if taken on EMI
  • The EMI is adjusted against electricity bills of consumers.
  • The EEAPP has been launched by EESL to replace the old and inefficient pump sets of farmers free of cost.
  • EESL would also provide smart control panels to enhance the ease of operation of pumps by the farmers.
  • The energy efficient pumps, which are 4 or 5 star rated, ensure a minimum of 30% reduction in energy consumption. The reduction of energy consumption in agriculture would result in reduction in subsidy that the State Government provides to distribution companies.

 

Solarisation of Ports

(Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports)

What: The Government proposes to implement utility-scale Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant projects at various major ports across the country.

Funding: The funds for establishment of solar power projects are arranged by the major ports from their own resources and no funds have been released from the Ministry.

Objectives:

  1. Part of the Green Port Initiative launched by this Ministry.
  2. Contributing to reduction in carbon emissions and consequently improving environment.
  3. Reduce cost of power purchased from grid by utilization of solar power for power generation.
  4. Meeting with Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) as mandated by State Governments.

 

Depletion of Ground Water

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

What: The scientists of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and University of California, United States of America had made an attempt to estimate ground water depletion in north-western India

Used: Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS) change observations from NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data for the period from August, 2002 to October, 2008.

Area of study: about 4.4 lakh sq.km covering the States of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, as a single unit without actual field mapping of ground water levels.

Result: ground water is depleting in the aforementioned four States at a mean rate of 4.0±1.0 cm/year equivalent height of water (17.7±4.5 cubic km/year)

Analysis of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB):

  • GRACE mission’s ground water storage studies are satellite based estimates and coarse resolution of GRACE data limits its applicability to study ground water dynamics.
  • CGWB estimations are, however, based on field data and bring out smaller scale variations in the ground water storage pattern over a vast region.

Steps by government to improve groundwater level

  • “Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Ground Water in India” has been prepared, which envisages construction of different types of Artificial Recharge and Rainwater Harvesting structures in the Country.
  • Special focus is given through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for water conservation and water harvesting structures to augment ground water.
    • In addition, priority has been given for construction of farm ponds in the year 2016-17 to harvest rain water.
  • Department of Land Resources, Government _of India is implementing ‘Watershed Development Component’ of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchaai Yojana (PMKSY) since 2015-16.
    • One of the major activity under the ‘Watershed Development Component’, inter-alia, includes rainwater harvesting
  • CGWB has undertaken the Demonstrative Rain Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge Projects during XI Plan under the Scheme of “Ground Water Management & Regulation”, in priority areas.
  • The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has circulated a Model Bill to all the States/UTs to enable them to enact suitable ground water legislation for its regulation and development which includes provision of rain water harvesting.
  • Launched ‘Jal kranti Abhiyan’ (2015-16 to 2017-18) in order to consolidate water conservation and management in the Country through a holistic and integrated approach involving all stakeholders, making it a mass movement.
  • ‘Jal Gram Yojana’ component of ‘Jal Kranti Abhiyan’ envisages selection of two villages in every district, preferably ‘over-exploited ‘ or facing acute water scarcity, as ‘Jal Grams’ to ensure optimum and sustainable utilization of water.

 

Focus on Crop Diversification and Allied Activities

(Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints)

What: Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) is implementing Crop Diversification Programme in Original Green Revolution States of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh as a sub scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) since 2013-14

To: divert the area of water guzzling paddy to alternate crops like pulses, oilseeds, maize, cotton and agro forestry system.

Under Crop Diversification Programme, assistance is being provided for four major components / interventions viz.

  1. alternate crop demonstrations
  2. Farm mechanization and value addition
  3. Site specific activities
  4. Contingency for awareness, training, implementation, monitoring, etc

Other schemes promoting crop diversification

  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
  • Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI)
  • National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP)
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
  • National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET)
  • Soil Health Card Scheme
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
  • Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)

Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Implementing various schemes to boost farmers’ income promotion and development of food processing sector in the country

  • Mega Food Parks
  • Scheme for Modern Abattoirs
  • Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure
  • Scheme for Creation/Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation
  • Scheme for Quality Assurance and Scheme for Human Resources and Institutions

 

Security features of currency notes

(Topic: Indian Economy)

What: A study on Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) issues, including estimation of FICN in circulation, has been undertaken by Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata under the overall supervision of National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Result: the face value of FICN in circulation was found to be about Rs. 400 crores. It was found the value remained constant for the last 4 years.

Security features:

  • The design and security features of banknotes are decided by the Government of India from time to time, in consultation with Reserve bank of India (RBI).
  • An FICN Coordination Group (FCORD) has been formed in the Ministry of Home Affairs to share the intelligence/information amongst different security agencies of States/Centre to counter the menace
  • Government has recently introduced revised numbering pattern in all denominations of banknotes.

 

Poor saving habit

(Topic: Indian Economy)

What: A survey by HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited) named ‘Generations and Journeys’

Result:

  • A large number (47 per cent) of working age people in India have either not started saving for their retirement or have stopped or faced difficulties while saving for their future.
  • 21 per cent of the working age population surveyed have not even started saving for retirement.

Details:

Household saving has two components

Financial saving

  • Financial assets like bank deposits, shares and debentures, etc.

Physical saving

  • Household construction, their possession of machinery and equipment and valuables, etc.

It is not clear from the published report of the HSBC Survey whether it refers only to the financial savings of the Indian labour force.

National Accounts Data- 2014-15

  • Indian households saved about 19.1 per cent of the of the Gross domestic product, of which their physical savings consisted of 11.4 percentage points and financial savings consisted of 7.7 percentage points

National Sample Survey Office, 2013

  • Survey on Household Assets and Liabilities revealed that about 82.2 per cent of the rural households and 81.1 per cent of the urban households reported possession of bullion and ornaments.
  • The strong bullion preference of Indian households, along with the generally high inflation and inadequate access to banking and financial channels that prevailed during the last decade, to a great extent, explained the saving behavior of Indian households.

To improve financial inclusion and the channels for financial savings, steps taken are:

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
  • About 22.65 crore of bank accounts have been created till 27th July 2016
  • A balance of over Rs.40750 crore in these accounts.
  • Re-launch of the certificate savings scheme called Kisan Vikas Patra
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana to contribute to the financial security to the girl child
  • Increase in the limit of deduction under the Income Tax Act for health insurance premium, contribution to specific pension funds and contribution by the employees to National Pension Scheme
  • Increasing the access to formal financial system by utilizing the postal network
  • Government’s initiatives like Make-in-India, Skill India, Start-up India, Stand-up India and other measures to boost productive activities and employment are also likely to improve the savings of Indian labour force.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Goods and Services Tax (GST) 

 

Following are the answers to the various frequently asked questions relating to GST:

 

Question 1.What is GST? How does it work?

Answer: GST is one indirect tax for the whole nation, which will make India one unified common market.

  • GST is a single tax on the supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer.
  • Credits of input taxes paid at each stage will be available in the subsequent stage of value addition, which makes GST essentially a tax only on value addition at each stage.
  • The final consumer will thus bear only the GST charged by the last dealer in the supply chain, with set-off benefits at all the previous stages.

 

Question 2. What are the benefits of GST?

 Answer: The benefits of GST can be summarized as under:

For business and industry

  • Easy compliance: A robust and comprehensive IT system would be the foundation of the GST regime in India. Therefore, all tax payer services such as registrations, returns, payments, etc. would be available to the taxpayers online, which would make compliance easy and transparent.
  • Uniformity of tax rates and structures: GST will ensure that indirect tax rates and structures are common across the country, thereby increasing certainty and ease of doing business. In other words, GST would make doing business in the country tax neutral, irrespective of the choice of place of doing business.
  • Removal of cascading: A system of seamless tax-credits throughout the value-chain, and across boundaries of States, would ensure that there is minimal cascading of taxes. This would reduce hidden costs of doing business.
  • Improved competitiveness:Reduction in transaction costs of doing business would eventually lead to an improved competitiveness for the trade and industry.
  • Gain to manufacturers and exporters: The subsuming of major Central and State taxes in GST, complete and comprehensive set-off of input goods and services and phasing out of Central Sales Tax (CST) would reduce the cost of locally manufactured goods and services. This will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market and give boost to Indian exports. The uniformity in tax rates and procedures across the country will also go a long way in reducing the compliance cost.

For Central and State Governments

  • Simple and easy to administer: Multiple indirect taxes at the Central and State levels are being replaced by GST. Backed with a robust end-to-end IT system, GST would be simpler and easier to administer than all other indirect taxes of the Centre and State levied so far.
  • Better controls on leakage: GST will result in better tax compliance due to a robust IT infrastructure. Due to the seamless transfer of input tax credit from one stage to another in the chain of value addition, there is an in-built mechanism in the design of GST that would incentivize tax compliance by traders.
  • Higher revenue efficiency: GST is expected to decrease the cost of collection of tax revenues of the Government, and will therefore, lead to higher revenue efficiency.

For the consumer

  • Single and transparent tax proportionate to the value of goods and services: Due to multiple indirect taxes being levied by the Centre and State, with incomplete or no input tax credits available at progressive stages of value addition, the cost of most goods and services in the country today are laden with many hidden taxes. Under GST, there would be only one tax from the manufacturer to the consumer, leading to transparency of taxes paid to the final consumer.
  • Relief in overall tax burden:Because of efficiency gains and prevention of leakages, the overall tax burden on most commodities will come down, which will benefit consumers.

 

Question 3.  Which taxes at the Centre and State level are being subsumed into GST?

Answer:                  

At the Central level, the following taxes are being subsumed:

  1. Central Excise Duty
  2. Additional Excise Duty
  3. Service Tax
  4. Additional Customs Duty commonly known as Countervailing Duty
  5. Special Additional Duty of Customs

At the State level, the following taxes are being subsumed:

  1. Subsuming of State Value Added Tax/Sales Tax
  2. Entertainment Tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies), Central Sales Tax (levied by the Centre and collected by the States)
  3. Octroi and Entry tax
  4. Purchase Tax
  5. Luxury tax
  6. Taxes on lottery, betting and gambling.

 

Question 4.  What are the major chronological events that have led to the introduction of GST?

Answer: GST is being introduced in the country after a 13 year long journey since it was first discussed in the report of the Kelkar Task Force on indirect taxes. A brief chronology outlining the major milestones on the proposal for introduction of GST in India is as follows:

  1. In 2003, the Kelkar Task Force on indirect tax had suggested a comprehensive Goods and Services Tax (GST) based on VAT principle.
  2. A proposal to introduce a National level Goods and Services Tax (GST) by April 1, 2010 was first mooted in the Budget Speech for the financial year 2006-07.
  • Since the proposal involved reform/ restructuring of not only indirect taxes levied by the Centre but also the States, the responsibility of preparing a Design and Road Map for the implementation of GST was assigned to the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers (EC).
  1. Based on inputs from Govt of India and States, the EC released its First Discussion Paper on Goods and Services Tax in India in November, 2009.
  2. In order to take the GST related work further, a Joint Working Group consisting of officers from Central as well as State Government was constituted in September, 2009.
  3. In order to amend the Constitution to enable introduction of GST, the Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in March 2011. As per the prescribed procedure, the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance of the Parliament for examination and report.
  • Meanwhile, in pursuance of the decision taken in a meeting between the Union Finance Minister and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on 8th November, 2012, a ‘Committee on GST Design’, consisting of the officials of the Government of India, State Governments and the Empowered Committee was constituted.
  • This Committee did a detailed discussion on GST design including the Constitution (115th) Amendment Bill and submitted its report in January, 2013. Based on this Report, the EC recommended certain changes in the Constitution Amendment Bill in their meeting at Bhubaneswar in January 2013.
  1. The Empowered Committee in the Bhubaneswar meeting also decided to constitute three committees of officers to discuss and report on various aspects of GST as follows:-
  2. Committee on Place of Supply Rules and Revenue Neutral Rates;
  3. Committee on dual control, threshold and exemptions;
  4. Committee on IGST and GST on imports.
  5. The Parliamentary Standing Committee submitted its Report in August, 2013 to the Lok Sabha. The recommendations of the Empowered Committee and the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee were examined in the Ministry in consultation with the Legislative Department. Most of the recommendations made by the Empowered Committee and the Parliamentary Standing Committee were accepted and the draft Amendment Bill was suitably revised.
  6. The final draft Constitutional Amendment Bill incorporating the above stated changes were sent to the Empowered Committee for consideration in September 2013.
  • The EC once again made certain recommendations on the Bill after its meeting in Shillong in November 2013. Certain recommendations of the Empowered Committee were incorporated in the draft Constitution (115th Amendment) Bill. The revised draft was sent for consideration of the Empowered Committee in March, 2014.
  • The 115th Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2011, for the introduction of GST introduced in the Lok Sabha in March 2011 lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
  • In June 2014, the draft Constitution Amendment Bill was sent to the Empowered Committee after approval of the new Government.
  1. Based on a broad consensus reached with the Empowered Committee on the contours of the Bill, the Cabinet on 17.12.2014 approved the proposal for introduction of a Bill in the Parliament for amending the Constitution of India to facilitate the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.  The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 19.12.2014, and was passed by the Lok Sabha on 06.05.2015. It was then referred to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha, which submitted its report on 22.07.2015.

 

Question 5.How would GST be administered in India?

Answer: Keeping in mind the federal structure of India, there will be two components of GST – Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST).

  • Both Centre and States will simultaneously levy GST across the value chain.
  • Tax will be levied on every supply of goods and services.
  • Centre would levy and collect Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), and States would levy and collect the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) on all transactions within a State.
  • The input tax credit of CGST would be available for discharging the CGST liability on the output at each stage.
  • Similarly, the credit of SGST paid on inputs would be allowed for paying the SGST on output.
  • No cross utilization of credit would be permitted.

 

Question 6. How would a particular transaction of goods and services be taxed simultaneously under Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST)?

Answer: The Central GST and the State GST would be levied simultaneously on every transaction of supply of goods and services except on exempted goods and services, goods which are outside the purview of GST and the transactions which are below the prescribed threshold limits. Further, both would be levied on the same price or value unlike State VAT which is levied on the value of the goods inclusive of Central Excise.

         

A diagrammatic representation of the working of the Dual GST model within a State is shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: GST within State

 FIG

Question 7.Will cross utilization of credits between goods and services be allowed under GST regime?

Answer:

  • Cross utilization of credit of CGST between goods and services would be allowed.
  • Similarly, the facility of cross utilization of credit will be available in case of SGST.
  • However, the cross utilization of CGST and SGST would not be allowed except in the case of inter-State supply of goods and services under the IGST model which is explained in answer to the next question.

Question 8. How will be Inter-State Transactions of Goods and Services be taxed under GST in terms of IGST method?

Answer:

  • In case of inter-State transactions, the Centre would levy and collect the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on all inter-State supplies of goods and services under Article 269A (1) of the Constitution.
  • The IGST would roughly be equal to CGST plus SGST.
  • The IGST mechanism has been designed to ensure seamless flow of input tax credit from one State to another.
  • The inter-State seller would pay IGST on the sale of his goods to the Central Government after adjusting credit of IGST, CGST and SGST on his purchases (in that order).
  • The exporting State will transfer to the Centre the credit of SGST used in payment of IGST.
  • The importing dealer will claim credit of IGST while discharging his output tax liability (both CGST and SGST) in his own State.
  • The Centre will transfer to the importing State the credit of IGST used in payment of SGST.
  • Since GST is a destination-based tax, all SGST on the final product will ordinarily accrue to the consuming State.

A diagrammatic representation of the working of the IGST model for inter-State transactions is shown in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2

 Fig 1

Question  9. How will IT be used for the implementation of GST?

Answer:

For the implementation of GST in the country, the Central and State Governments have jointly registered Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) as a not-for-profit, non-Government Company to provide shared IT infrastructure and services to Central and State Governments, tax payers and other stakeholders.

The key objectives of GSTN are to provide a standard and uniform interface to the taxpayers, and shared infrastructure and services to Central and State/UT governments.

  • GSTN is working on developing a state-of-the-art comprehensive IT infrastructure including the common GST portal providing frontend services of registration, returns and payments to all taxpayers, as well as the backend IT modules for certain States that include processing of returns, registrations, audits, assessments, appeals, etc.
  • All States, accounting authorities, RBI and banks, are also preparing their IT infrastructure for the administration of GST.
  • There would no manual filing of returns.
  • All taxes can also be paid online.
  • All mis-matched returns would be auto-generated, and there would be no need for manual interventions.
  • Most returns would be self-assessed.

 

Question 10. How will imports be taxed under GST?

Answer:

  • The Additional Duty of Excise or CVD and the Special Additional Duty or SAD presently being levied on imports will be subsumed under GST.
  • As per explanation to clause (1) of article 269A of the Constitution, IGST will be levied on all imports into the territory of India.
  • Unlike in the present regime, the States where imported goods are consumed will now gain their share from this IGST paid on imported goods.

Question 11. What are the major features of the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014?

Answer: The salient features of the Bill are as follows:

  • Conferring simultaneous power upon Parliament and the State Legislatures to make laws governing goods and services tax;
  • Subsuming of various Central indirect taxes and levies such as Central Excise Duty, Additional Excise Duties, Service Tax, Additional Customs Duty commonly known as Countervailing Duty, and Special Additional Duty of Customs;
  • Subsuming of State Value Added Tax/Sales Tax, Entertainment Tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies), Central Sales Tax (levied by the Centre and collected by the States), Octroi and Entry tax, Purchase Tax, Luxury tax, and Taxes on lottery, betting and gambling;
  • Dispensing with the concept of ‘declared goods of special importance’ under the Constitution;
  • Levy of Integrated Goods and Services Tax on inter-State transactions of goods and services;
  • GST to be levied on all goods and services, except alcoholic liquor for human consumption. Petroleum and petroleum products shall be subject to the levy of GST on a later date notified on the recommendation of the Goods and Services Tax Council;
  • Compensation to the States for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the Goods and Services Tax for a period of five years;
  • Creation of Goods and Services Tax Council to examine issues relating to goods and services tax and make recommendations to the Union and the States on parameters like rates, taxes, cesses and surcharges to be subsumed, exemption list and threshold limits, Model GST laws, etc. The Council shall function under the Chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister and will have all the State Governments as Members.

 

 

Question 12. What are the major features of the proposed registration procedures under GST?

Answer: The major features of the proposed registration procedures under GST are as follows:

  • Existing dealers: Existing VAT/Central excise/Service Tax payers will not have to apply afresh for registration under GST.
  • New dealers: Single application to be filed online for registration under GST.
  • The registration number will be PAN based and will serve the purpose for Centre and State.
  • Unified application to both tax authorities.
  • Each dealer to be given unique ID GSTIN.
  • Deemed approval within three days.
  • Post registration verification in risk based cases only.

 

Question 13. What are the major features of the proposed returns filing procedures under GST?

Answer: The major features of the proposed returns filing procedures under GST are as follows:

  • Common return would serve the purpose of both Centre and State Government.
  • There are eight forms provided for in the GST business processes for filing for returns. Most of the average tax payers would be using only four forms for filing their returns. These are return for supplies, return for purchases, monthly returns and annual return.
  • Small taxpayers: Small taxpayers who have opted composition scheme shall have to file return on quarterly basis.
  • Filing of returns shall be completely online. All taxes can also be paid online.

 

Question 14. What are the major features of the proposed payment procedures under GST?

Answer: The major features of the proposed payments procedures under GST are as follows:

  1. Electronic payment process– no generation of paper at any stage
  2. Single point interface for challan generation- GSTN
  3. Ease of payment – payment can be made through online banking, Credit Card/Debit Card, NEFT/RTGS and through cheque/cash at the bank
  4. Common challan form with auto-population features
  5. Use of single challan and single payment instrument
  6. Common set of authorized banks
  7. Common Accounting Codes

 

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Search now.....