GST Council is likely to extend the tenure of the National
Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) till November 30, 2020.
the Council will also discuss a proposal to levy Goods and Services Tax (GST)
on extra-neutral alcohol (ENA) which is used for manufacturing alcoholic
liquor for human consumption.
is a derivative of sugarcane molasses and is not an alcoholic liquor for
human consumption but can be used as a raw material or input after
processing and substantial dilution in the production of whisky, gin,
NAA has been constituted under Section 171 of the Central GST Act, 2017 to
ensure that the reduction in the rate of tax or the benefit of input tax
credit is passed on to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in
means unfair profit realized by traders by manipulating prices, tax rate
adjustment. In the context of the Goods and services tax
(GST),profiteering means that traders are not reducing the prices of the
commodities when the GST Council reduces the tax rates of commodities and
main function is to ensure that traders are not realizing unfair profit by
charging high price from the consumers in the name of GST.The
responsibility of the NAA is to examine and check such profiteering
activities and recommend punitive actions including cancellation of
to a document, the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) has found 25
batches of drugs of 18 pharmaceutical companies to be of substandard
quality since January 2018.
17 out of the 18 companies are private, one is a public sector unit (PSU)
which is the Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL).
these, seven companies have been blacklisted for two years which means
they are barred from supplying generic drugs to Jan Aushadhi scheme.
of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementing agency of Pradhan
Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).
was established in 2008 and comes under the Department of Pharmaceuticals.
It got registered as an independent society in 2010 under the Societies
primarily focuses on coordinating marketing of the generic drugs through
the Jan Aushadhi stores and sourcing of medicines from Pharma CPSUs and
Private Sector. It also manages the supply chain and ensures proper
running of the Jan Aushadhi stores.
Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a campaign launched by
the Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide quality medicines at
affordable prices to the masses. Jan Aushadhi stores have been set up to
provide generic drugs.
generic drug is a copy of drug medication created to be the same as an
already marketed brand-name drug. It equals in dosage form, safety,
strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics
and intended use.
patents have expired, companies other than the original manufacturer can
produce and sell the drug. This usually results in significant reduction
in costs. These off-patent drugs are called generics internationally.
Government has decided to scrap an agreement with China which was signed
by the previous government in 2017.
agreement titled ‘Protocol on Establishment of Joint Ocean Observation
Station’ was reportedly meant to allow China to build an observatory at
Makunudhoo, westernmost atoll of the Maldives in the north.
agreement had raised security concerns in India that construction of such
an observatory would allow China to keep an eye on the important Indian
Ocean shipping route through which many merchant and other ships pass.
the recent visit, Indian PM while referring to Maldives external debts to
China had said that India’s role in the partnership is meant to empower
and not weaken countries by increasing dependency on the country.
the biggest concern for India in terms of its maritime security has been
the increasing maritime expansion of China in the region since the Chinese
navy had entered the Indian Ocean and China announced its fully functional
naval base in Djibouti in 2017.
will be two major policy events taking place in the coming days which are
the Budget and a GST Council meeting.
will reveal the government’s intent and vision for the next five years.
While there are a number of issues that it can take up at both these
events, there are three main problems that are important.
first is the issue of private investment which despite the government
efforts so far has not recovered enough to shoulder its share of the
burden as a prime driver of economic growth.
second issue is the fiscal deficit and whether the government is
artificially stopping itself by curtailing public expenditure in order to
meet an arbitrary target which means can the government afford to shift
the target meaningfully to say 4% from the current 3.4%.
third important policy element is whether the government can afford to
reduce GST rates even further and whether there are any more steps it can
take to widen the tax net.
government has taken several policy measures for creating an environment
for the private sector to grow such as the (a)Insolvency and Bankruptcy
Code (b)Make in India initiative (c)power sector reforms, (d)easing of FDI
norms and (e)efforts to improve the ease of doing business.
there are a few steps the government can take that can make it more
attractive for the private sector to invest such as (a)Government
continuing its spending on capital expenditure and (b)Reducing the
corporate tax rate to 25% from 30% for the rest of the big companies.
there is private consumption expenditure which has began to show signs of
weakness. The government should encourage individuals to spend more is to
increase the amount of money in their pockets by reducing the tax burden.
economists has recommended that Government should look at collapsing the
GST rates from 12% and 18% categories into a 15-16% single category which
will help in expanding the tax base and increase tax compliance.
Prime Minister has talked about the major themes in Indo-Bhutan relations,
the SAARC region as well as Indian Prime Minister upcoming visit to
said that India and Bhutan ties are at their highest possible point in
relations as both countries has no outstanding issues.
two countries are cooperating on various projects such as Mangdechhu
project which is in the final stages of completion and other bilateral
projects such as the South Asia Satellite programme.
the Indian proposal of a Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) within the
Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) grouping, Bhutan PM said that the
country signing on to BBIN for the economic benefits must be balanced with
our desire to preserve our environment, tradition and culture too.
he said that it is too early to call off SAARC. Geographically, we are
grouped together but we aren’t doing well economically together.
also said that India and Pakistan need to work together for South Asian
region as nothing can move ahead without their cooperation.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) was established
with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8 December 1985.
comprises of eight Member States namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,
India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Secretariat of SAARC
is in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Prime Minister has said that China should maintain status quo in the
Doklam region. He said that as long as the status quo was maintained there
will be peace and tranquillity in the region.
statement came in the backdrop of China building up of military
infrastructure on the Chinese side of the Doklam plateau that has been
part of a boundary dispute between Bhutan and China.
also said that the boundary talks between China and Bhutan had made good
progress with 25 rounds completed. However, he reiterated Bhutan’s policy
of not establishing ties with any permanent member of the UN Security
is an 89 sq.km patch of territory in Chumbi Valley between Sikkim and
Bhutan which is claimed by China. It’s called the Donglang region by
China,Bhutan calls it Doklam Plateau and India refers to it as Doka La.
2017,Indian had objected a road construction by China in the Doklam
plateau. In this context, Bhutan had formally launched a diplomatic
protest complaint against China and also stated that its sovereign
territory is being violated. Further, this was seen by India as a threat
for its own borders and an assault on Bhutan
India and China mutually agreed to de-escalate tensions in the Doklam
plateau bringing closure to the dispute that created fears of outright
armed conflict between the two nuclear weapon states.
region holds immense strategic importance for India and China. Lying east
of Sikkim, it has a commanding view of the Chumbi valley and overlooks the
narrow Siliguri Corridor that links the North-East to the rest of India.
Minister has called a meeting of all parties represented in Lok Sabha or
Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue of ‘one nation, one election’.
Nation, One Election is the method of holding single elections for both
Lok Sabha and States instead of separate and continuous elections.
Nation, One Election is needed as India being one of the largest countries
in the world, every year one or the other state is geared up for an
election in India.
the separate elections leads to (a) massive expenditure (b) diversion of
security and civil staff from primary duties (c)impact on governance due
to the model code of conduct and (d)disruption to normal public life.
to conduct simultaneous elections in India, many amendments to the
constitution of India are required. Besides, the deployment of security
forces located in widely varying geographic and climatic conditions at the
same time will also be extremely difficult
elections would mean arbitrarily curtailing or extending the term of
existing legislatures to bring their election dates in line with the due
date for the rest of the country. Such a measure would undermine democracy
Nation One Poll’ is a good idea for Indian polity but its feasibility
needs to be thoroughly examined by involving all the stakeholders in
debate and discussion.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD) is observed on 17th June.
The theme for 2019 is “Let’s grow the future together”.
Global observance of WDCD is being hosted by the government of Turkey in
Day to Combat Desertification 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the UN
Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). UNCCD is the sole legally
binding international agreement linking environment and development to
sustainable land management
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed every year
since 1995. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17
the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought”.
day aims to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat
desertification. It seeks to remind people that land degradation
neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community
involvement and co-operation at all levels.
is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It
is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. According
to UNCCD, by 2045 some 135 million people may be displaced as a result of
15 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) calls for sustainable
management of forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing
land degradation, halting biodiversity loss.
the recent G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global
Environment for Sustainable Growth, held in Japan, G20 economies has
adopted a new implementation framework for actions to combat marine
new framework is aimed at facilitating further concrete action on marine
waste, on a voluntary basis. In 2017, at G20 Hamburg Summit in Germany,
the member countries had adopted the “G20 action plan on marine litter”.
The plan seeks to promote and initiate measures and actions at local,
national, and regional levels to prevent and reduce marine litter.
the new framework, G20 members are tasked with promoting a comprehensive
approach to prevent and reduce plastic waste discharge to the oceans through
various measures and international cooperation.
the member countries will share best practices, promote innovation and
boost scientific monitoring and analytical methodologies.
has decided to host the first meeting under the new framework 2019 autumn
at the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue.
pollution is one of the biggest environmental crisis today. Researchers
estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced
since the early 1950s. About 60% of that plastic has ended up in either a
landfill or the natural environment.
is an uncertainty over selection of a formally recognised Opposition party
and the Leader of Opposition in the 17th Lok Sabha.
is no provision in the Constitution or in the Lok Sabha Rules of Procedure
in regard to the recognition of the LoP.
convention, an Opposition party can claim to have a Leader of Opposition
in any of the houses provided the party has won 10% of the seats (55 in
the Lok Sabha, which is a 543-member house).
was no Leader of Opposition till 1969 and the concept emerged only after
the break-up of erstwhile Congress party in power. The 10% condition was
put forward by GV Mavalankar, the first Lok Sabha speaker. Mavalankar had
ruled in the Lok Sabha that the strength of the main Opposition party, to
be officially recognised as such, must be equal to the quorum of the
house. Quorum is equivalent to 10% of the members.
statutory definition of the Leader of Opposition has been provided in the
Salary and Allowances of Leader of Opposition Act of 1977. According to
the Act, Leader of Opposition will be from the Opposition party having the
greatest numerical strength and recognised as such by the Lok Sabha
Speaker or the Rajya Sabha Chairperson in the respective houses.
1977 Act has not set the 10% condition as a prerequisite for Leader of
Opposition. The 10% condition for LoP has been incorporated in
Direction 121(1) in Parliament (Facilities) Act 1998.
of Opposition in the Lok Sabha is an important position as the LoP
is involved in appointments to key offices including that of the Lokpal,
CBI director, chief vigilance commissioner, chief information commissioner
and the chairperson of the NHRC
analysis of Common Service Centres (CSC) data from 2014 to 2019 has shown
that there has been a four-fold increase in the number of transactions
through CSCs since 2014.
Services Centre (CSC) programme is an initiative of the Ministry of
Electronics & IT (MeitY). It was launched in 2006. CSCs act as access
points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India.
e-Governance Services India Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV)
incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 by the Ministry of Electronics
and Information Technology (MeitY) to monitor the implementation of the
Common Services Centres Scheme.
Government launched the CSC 2.0 scheme in 2015 to expand the outreach of
CSCs to all Gram Panchayats across the country. Under CSC 2.0 scheme, the
aim was to set up at least one CSC in each of the 2.5 lakh GPs across the
country by 2019.
2016, CSC- Wi-Fi Choupal was initiated. It seeks to boost internet
connectivity at the last mile by utilizing Bharat Net infrastructure. It
engages Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) as Community Internet Service
Net project (previously known as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN))
seeks to provide high speed broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats