The Hindu Editorial Analysis – 4th May’19 | PDF Download

The Hindu Editorial Analysis – 4th May’19 | PDF Download

GST buoyancy

  • Collections from the Goods and Services Tax in April for economic activity in March scaled a new high.
  • The GST inflows of ₹1,13,865 crore in April are the highest recorded since the tax regime was introduced in July 2017.
  • They represent an increase of over 10% compared to the same month a year ago, and over 15% buoyancy over the average monthly GST collections in 2018-19 of ₹98,114 crore.
  • To be clear, GST revenues have crossed the ₹1 lakh crore mark in March, January and October as well.
  • The government has acknowledged that economic growth did slow down in 2018- 19, owing to declining private consumption growth, a tepid increase in fixed investments and muted exports.
  • The hope would be that the latest GST numbers are a harbinger of better growth momentum for 2019-20.
  • The growth rate of the economy fell from 8.2% in the first quarter to 7.1% in the second and 6.6% in the third, so any improvement in the final quarter numbers due at the end of May should provide some succour.
  • Healthier GST collections, if sustained, will also mean lessbpressure on the Centre to cover its fiscal deficit.
  • This perplexing trend may be attributed to increasing compliance among businesses amidst the aggressive push by the tax authorities to widen the tax base.
  • GST filings, for instance, were the highest in March this year.

An image makeover of the Belt and Road Initiative

  • April 27, Beijing: Second Belt and Road Forum
  • Attended by 37 heads of state or government. 
  • The list included strategic partner Russia and almost all from Central and Southeast Asia, two important areas of BRI operation.
  • IMF Managing Director: “from stimulating infrastructure investment to developing new global supply chains”
  • China claimed participation from 150 countries at the forum, which included a CEO conference, where agreements worth $64 billion were signed.
  • Concerns about the viability of BRI projects have not dissolved; it is just that immediate benefits sometimes obscure the direness of future consequences.
  • Terms are agreed bilaterally and non-transparently with the leadership, and benefits do not trickle down to the population;
  • Contracts go to Chinese companies, are implemented by Chinese labour, with raw materials and products from China;
  • Most projects are over-valued and economically unviable;
  • Most financing is by Chinese loans on unrealistic terms, leading eventually to “debt traps”; foreign companies and private investment are spurned;
  • Corruption flourishes in the absence of transparency, labour laws are flouted and environmental compliance is lax
  • President Xi Jinping: promised a total makeover of the BRI.
  • The question is how this rhetoric will translate into action.
  • All in all, it was a show of China’s self-confidence about its place in the world at a time of churn in global politics.
  • India’s absence was gracefully handled, with the Chinese Foreign Minister confirming that it would not affect the ongoing high-level India-China dialogue.
  • Mr. Xi announced in 2017 that it would enhance digital connectivity and integration of big data to build the “digital silk road of the 21st century” .
  • India’s attitude to BRI has to be set in the larger picture of the relationship with China, which combines a strong economic partnership with major strategic challenges, further complicated by the global geopolitical flux.

NEWS

  • 8 dead as Cyclone Fani hits Puri
  • Rain, winds leave destruction across coastal Odisha; over one million evacuated
  • The extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani barrelled into the Odisha coast on Friday morning, unleashing torrential rain and winds gusting up to 175 kmph, killing at least eight people, bringing rail and air transport to a halt, and swamping towns and villages, officials said.
  • While the system weakened to a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’, it is expected to cause significant damage as it moves north-northeast through coastal Odisha and West Bengal towards Bangladesh.

 

  • CBI searching for evidence on eleven ‘murdered’ girls
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is searching for evidence related to the 11 girls believed to have been murdered by kingpin Brajesh Thakur, who is accused of the rape and sexual abuse of children in his shelter home in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.
  • The agency got wind of the alleged murders from the rescued children. The names of these girls, who mysteriously disappeared from the balikagruh (girls’ home), emerged in multiple statements of children, who said the 11 girls were murdered by Thakur and his accomplices.

 

  • Only 10 of 100 Ganga sewage projects completed
  • The National Democratic Alliance government has only finished 10 of the 100 sewage infrastructure projects commissioned after 2015 under the Namami Gange mission, according to records.
  • Commissioning of sewage treatment plants (STP) and laying sewer lines are at the heart of the mission to clean the Ganga. Nearly ₹23,000 crore has been sanctioned of the ₹28,000 crore outlay for sewage management work. River-front development, cleaning ghats and removing trash from the river — the cosmetic side of the mission — make up about for ₹1,200 crore of the mission outlay.
  • The bulk of the projects completed were those commissioned before the Ganga mission began work in earnest under programmes such as the Ganga Action Plan-1 and Ganga Action Plan-2, which began in 1987 and 1996 respectively.
  • For instance, as of March 31, 27 of the 37 completed STP projects and sewer infrastructure were those commissioned before 2015, says a report on the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) website.
  • Not keeping record of pre-natal tests is criminal: SC
  • In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld provisions in the anti-pre-natal sex determination law which ‘criminalises’ non-maintenance of medical records by obstetricians and gynaecologists and suspend their medical licence indefinitely.
  • Azhar listing a crucial political decision: France
  • France on Friday termed the listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist a very important “political decision” as for the first time the world has reached a decision on the issue.
  • Separately, diplomatic sources said the link to Pulwama is that the process started after the terror attack and United Nations Security Council had mentioned the incident.
  • Pak. uses terror as a tool against India: ex-CIA official
  • Pakistan, obsessed with India as a perceived existential threat, has “created terrorist groups to be a tool” in its struggle against its neighbour, a former top American spymaster has said.
  • Former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, in a podcast discussion with former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Thursday, alleged that Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. “What they don’t realise is that it’s impossible to keep those terrorist groups under control. And that eventually comes back to bite you… I believe that Pakistan… maybe the most dangerous country in the world,” said Mr. Morell, who played a key role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

 

 

 

 

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Updated on 21 May 2019  |  by admin