DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS UPSC | 19th October 2020 | RaghukulCS

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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS UPSC | 19th October 2020 | RaghukulCS

News Analysis

Context: GST cess will stay says finance panel chief N.K.Singh – It will continue till States’ dues are paid

Prelims facts (Economy, Polity)

What is GST?

  • Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax used in India on the supply of goods and services. It is a destination-based tax.

What are states’ dues of GST?

  • Under the GST (Compensation to States) Act, states are assured compensation for the gap between revenues at a compounded growth rate of 14 per cent over the base year revenue of 2015-16 and the actual revenues from GST for five years ending June 2022 through levy of cess on demerit and sin goods.

What is cess in GST?

  • Cess is a form of tax levied over and above the base tax liability of a taxpayer.
  • Under the GST regime, certain sin goods and luxury items attract a cess.
  • Cess is calculated based on the value of the product without GST.

What is finance commission?

  • The Finance Commission is commission periodically constituted by the President of India under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution to define the financial relations between the central government of India and the individual state governments.
  • It is a constitutional & autonomous body.
  • Distribution of ‘net proceeds’ of taxes between Center and the States, to be divided as per their respective contributions to the taxes.
  • Determine factors governing Grants-in-Aid to the states and the magnitude of the same.
  • To make recommendations to the president as to the measures needed to augment the Fund of a State to supplement the resources of the panchayats and municipalities in the state on the basis of the recommendations made by the finance commission of the state.
  • The Chairman of a finance commission is selected from people with experience of public affairs. The other four members are selected from people who:
    • Are, or have been, or are qualified, as judges of a high court,
    • Have knowledge of government finances or accounts, or
    • Have had experience in administration and financial expertise; or
    • Have special knowledge of economics
  • Every member will be in office for the time period as specified in the order of the President, but is eligible for reappointment.

Context: GST cess will stay says finance panel chief N.K.Singh – It will continue till States’ dues are paid

Prelims facts (Environment & Ecology)

  • A recent publication by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) reveals that India home to 62 species of skinks and says about 57% of all the skinks found in India (33 species) are endemic.
  • Skinks are highly alert, agile and fast moving and actively forage for a variety of insects and small invertebrates.
  • It is harmless, insectivorous lizards found across the country in every bio-geographic zone.
  • The reduced limbs of certain skink species or the complete lack of them make their slithering movements resemble those of snakes, leading people to have incorrect notion that they are venomous. This results in several of these harmless creatures being killed.

Context: Fight will go on against Centre’s agriculture laws, says Punjab CM

Mains (GS-III : transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints, Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices, issues of buffer stocks)

About New Agriculture reforms:

  • Until 2020, the first sale of agriculture produce could occur only at the market yards (mandis) of APMC. However after the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 came into force it allows farmers to sell outside APMC mandis in India.
  • The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, provides for contract farming, under which farmers will produce crops as per contracts with corporate investors for a mutually agreed remuneration.
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, removes commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities.

Context: China passes law to safeguard national security, sensitive tech

Mains (GS-II : Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries)

  • It allows Beijing to act against nations that abuse export controls.
  • It could wield against the U.S. as tensions — especially in technology — continue to rise.
  • Foreign individuals and groups can also be found liable for violating export control rules.
  • In September, China launched a long­ expected “unreliable entities list”, widely seen as a weapon to retaliate against the US which has used its own “entity list” to shut Huawei out of the U.S. market.

Context: Armenia, Azerbaijan report truce violations

Prelims facts (Geography locations)

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