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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS from THE HINDU 29th September 2017 By Jatin Verma Educator Unacademy
Page-10:Traders to protest against govt.policies. Traders' bodies, including the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), will soon hold a series of protests across the nation against the government at the Centre on issues including: [ilthe ongoing official discussions to liberalise the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on Multi- Brand Retail Trade (MBRT), i] difficulties relating to complying with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and [iii]the ramifications of the sudden demonetisation exercise. Non acceptance of Issues highlighted by traders: These proposals include setting up of: [i] A National Internal Trade (retail & wholesale) Regulator, [ii] A comprehensive Domestic Trade Policy and ii] A Board for Internal Trade. The Traders are also unhappy with Govt's silence on the issue of the huge discounts and other incentives being offered by e-commerce firms through advertisements during the ongoing festive season, allegedly in violation of the FDI policy, and in turn hurting their local traders' business
As per the FDI policy, e-commerce entities can only be an information technology platform (they are banned from owning any inventory), and are not permitted to directly or indirectly influence e sale price of goods and services. There are around 6.34 crore traders in the country. The trading (wholesale/retail) sector gives employment to 12 crore people. The Left trade unions too are extending support to the traders as they claim the introduction of GST has put small and medium scale enterprises the sector that generates the maximum low skill jobs at a big disadvantage. The traders' contention is that proliferation of e-commerce sites across all products has meant backdoor entry to FDI in MBRT
Page-7: Search for a highly potent anti-snake venom. The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) is researching the venom of snakes from different Indian regions in order to create a highly potent Anti Snake Venom (ASV) Teams are being sent to various states to collect samples. A highly potent ASV is crucial for two reasons. [i]First, it will offer better relief for snakebite victims. [ii]Second, it will reduce the quantity of ASV required for treatment-ASVs, produced after an intensive and long process, are currently not highly effective. Challenges: [i]There is only one venom extraction centre in the country, which functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Tamil Nadu. Venom supplied to about half a dozern ASV-producing companies comes from this region. [ijAlso, snake venom varies regionally even within the same species. The aim of the ongoing research project is to determine the efficacy of the existing ASV against these venoms collected from various parts of the country . A 20 study carried out by the Registrar General of India pegged annual deaths by snakebite to nearly 50,000. Besides mortality, snakebite survivors often have to live with severe morbidity, including tissue damage and necrosis, amputations, and kidney failure.
Page-10:VVPAT to be used in Gujarat polls. The Election Commission of India will use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) gadgets with Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in all 50, 128 voting booths in Gujarat, which goes to the Assembly polls at the end of this year. . This is the first time an entire assembly poll will be conducted using EVMs equipped with VVPAT VVPAT machines, which will be attached to the EVMs, will allow voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. This would ensure transparency in the voting process
Page-I I : India signs MoU to train Afghan police. India and Afghanistan exchanged a memorandum of forces trained in India for the first time. The two leaders exchanged views on the security environment in Afghanistan and the extended region, and, in this context,agreed to continue close coordination and cooperation. MoU on Technical Cooperation on Police Training and Development will see India expand its capacity building of Afghan troops to include policemen and security forces, who are facing the brunt of Taliban attacks in the country,under a UN Development Programme project. Dr.Abdullah's visit was delayed by a day due to a sustained rocket attack on Kabul airport even as U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis landed there. The attacks also prevented Dr.Abdullah from inaugurating the India-Afghanistan trade and investment exhibition in New Delhi, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development. Dr.Abdullah, who is in India on a "working-visit", discussed deals under the Strategic Partnership Council this month, which included an Indian commitmentto I16"New Development Projects" as well as enhanced security cooperation. understanding,which will see Afghan police
Page-I l: Centre to review flexi-fares on select trains, says Goyal. The Union government will review the flexi-fare system introduced in premium trains last year. The Railways introduced the flexi-fare scheme in September 2016 in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains, under which 10% of the seats were sold at normal fare. The fare was increased thereafter by 10% for every 10% of the berths sold. The highest fare was 50% more than the normal price of the ticket. Besides, The Railways are also in discussions with the Indian Space Research Organisation to use GPS technology to monitor trains for punctuality vThe government was not considering any hike in the rail fares at present. The Railways had delayed the release of its timetable by a month to November I to redraft it focussing on speed and efficiency.
Page-12 World News: Japan to hold snap elections on Oct. 22. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election, as fresh opinion polls showed a fledgling conservative party led by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike was gaining momentum ahead of the expected October 22 vote. Mr.Abe, a conservative who returned to power in 2012, is hoping a boost in his voter support in recent months will help his Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition maintain a simple majority. It currently holds a two-thirds "super" majority. Koike's new Party of Hope only formally launched on Wednesdayhas upended the election outlook after the former LDP member announced she would lead the group herself "This will be a tough battle, but it's all about how we will protect Japan and the lives and peaceful existence of the Japanese people," Mr.Abe told a group of lawmakers. The cabinet will formally decide the date of the poll later. . A number of opposition lawmakers boycotted a session at which the lower house was dissolved to protest Mr.Abe's calling the election and creating a potential political vacuum at a time when tensions are high with North Korea.
Business Page13:FMurgesCPSEsto spend aggressively Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to aggressively push capital expenditure and warned against any slackness as the government looks to boost growth through increased public spending. While reviewing the capital expenditure plans of important CPSEs, e the minister also asked them to give"liberal dividends" to the government so that the money could be used for funding physical-social infrastructure The meeting took place against the backdrop subdued private investments and sagging growth, which slowed to a three-year low of 5.7% in the first quarter of the current fiscal. Heads of major CPSEs in sectors like petroleum, defence, power, road transport, railways, coal, mines, steel and atomic energy have assured the government of raising capital expenditure by an additional 325,000 crore. It also came to attention that most public sector undertakings have very low or no debt on their balance sheet which is reflected in their low debt to equity ratios.
'Pay liberal dividends' CPSEs were asked to raise more debt and not to rely entirely on cash and free reserves for finding new investments and capital expenditure. The CPSEs which have free reserves and surplus cash "were asked to consider declaring liberal dividends" so as to promote more productive use of such resources for financing much needed physical and social infrastructure, the finance ministry's statement said. The CPSEs were also asked to release outstanding payments expeditiously to help improve the liquidity in the market, besides raising more resources through innovative financing arrangements like InvlTs, and monetisation of assets. Since private investment is low, public spending along with investment from CPSEs is expected to drive economic activities and help perk up growth. . It also came to attention that most public sector undertakings have very low or no debt on their balance sheet which is reflected in their low debt to equity ratios.
Page 13 Business: Centre pegs second-half borrowing at 2.08 lakh cr. Economic Affairs Secretary said that the government plans to borrow 2.08 lakh crore from the market in the second half of 2017-18, reiterating its commitment to meet the fiscal deficit target of 32% cent of GDP To finance the fiscal deficit for the current financial year, the Budget has pegged gross borrowing at 5.8 lakh crore and net borrowing at-4.25 lakh crore. . The government borrowed 72 lakh crore in the first half [April to June and has pegged gross borrowings at 32.08 lakh crore in the remaining six months of the financial year ending March 31. The net borrowings in the October-March period of the year has been pegged at 1.92 lakh crore. Amid talks of stimulus package to boost sagging economic growth, Secretary said deficit targets are set in the Budget and the finance ministry will stick to them as of now. . He further said that the assessment of additional borrowing requirement, if any, would be made in December. He added however that there seems to be no need for additional borrowing Central Public Sector Enterprises, capital expenditure of more than 3.75 lakh crore was moving as per the plan.
. Business Page 13: . The Centre is considering a proposal from the industry to allow small firms to file quarterly returns even as they pay taxes on a monthly basis under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime This follows the troubles these small firms are having regarding complying with the GST norms due to their limitations in getting: i] professional help, [i]lack of connectivity and [ii]technological glitches. Discussions were on regarding the threshold limit for small firms who could be granted such a relaxation . CIl said in a statement that: il filing of GST return may be made on a quarterly basis, as against the current monthly filing requirement as the MSME sector is still not weil equipped with the IT infrastructure and a qualified manpower.This small measure will help bring them into the GST mainstream. [i] Merchant exporters account for over 30% of country's exports who usually work on razor thin margins of 24% The imposition of GST has made their costing go haywire, particularly for products having higher GST rate, as they have to pay GST and seek refund after some time lag.
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