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INSIGHTS CURRENT EVENTS: 20 September 2014

Telangana seeks 40 p.c. share in Central taxes

 

The chief minister of the newborn state- Telangan- has demanded for higher share in taxes collected by the centre in the state.

Other demands include-weaver of outstanding loans to the centre,
grants-in-aid to the tune of Rs. 23,475 crore for the next five years and special development packages and tailored schemes for Telangana.

These demands were made by the chief minister before the 14th Finance Commission headed by Y.V. Reddy, former RBI governor.

Reasons for these demands:

  • Nine out of ten districts in Telangana are declared as backward areas.
  • Since most of the sectors touching the lives of people fall within the purview of states, states need more resources.
  • There has also been an increase in non-tax revenues of the Centre from off-shore royalties, sale of spectrum and disinvestment proceeds.
  • Levy of cess and surcharge by the centre has also reduced the size of the divisible pool.

Finance Commission:

It is a constitutional body constituted under article 280 of the Indian Constitution by the President of India after every five years.

It is a quasi-judicial body consisting of a Chairman and four members appointed by the President and hold office during his pleasure.

It was formed to define the financial relations between the Centre and states.

They submit their recommendations to the president which are advisory in nature.

Functions of the Finance Commission:

  • Distribution of net proceeds of taxes between Centre 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 president as to take the measures needed to augment the Consolidated 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.

Sources: The Hindu, fincomindia.nic.in.

 

 

INS Sindhurakshak

The second Board of Inquiry (BOI) constituted by the Defence Ministry to probe the feasibility of reusing INS Sindhurakshak has recommended decommissioning of the kilo-class submarine.

The board said that the vessel is not seaworthy and hence is not fit to sail again.

In August 2013, a massive fire broke out on Sindhurakshak followed by a series of explosions, killing all 18 Navy personnel, including three officers, aboard.

INS Sindhurakshak:

INS Sindhurakshak is a Russian-made Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy. It was the ninth of the ten Kilo-class submarines in the Indian Navy.


Sources: The Hindu, WIKI.

 

 

The Real Estate ( Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013

 

The bill aims at regulating contracts and transfer of property, both of which are under concurrent list. The bill if enacted will override the provisions of state real estate laws if found inconsistent.

Features of the bill:

  • The Bill regulates transactions between buyers and promoters of residential real estate projects. It establishes state level regulatory authorities called Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs).
  • Residential real estate projects, with some exceptions, need to be registered with RERAs. Promoters cannot book or offer these projects for sale without registering them. Real estate agents dealing in these projects also need to register with RERAs.
  • 70% of the amount collected from buyers for a project must be maintained in a separate bank account and must only be used for construction of that project. The state government can alter this amount to less than 70%.
  • The Bill establishes state level tribunals called Real Estate Appellate Tribunals. Decisions of RERAs can be appealed in these tribunals.

Sources: PIB, prsindia.org.

 

The Supreme Court insistence on revealing the identity

The Supreme Court recently insisted that the identity of the secret informer— who gave the copy of the entry registers of the official residence of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director, exposing his meetings with 2G spectrum scam accused — be revealed.

The Whistle Blowers protection act protects people coming forward to expose corruption.

But it does not have any explicit provisions on posting of anonymous complaints pertaining to corruption.

Chapter II on Public Interest Disclosure in the Act says, “No action shall be taken on public interest disclosure by the Competent Authority if the disclosure does not indicate the identity of the complainant…” thus making it mandatory to reveal the complainant’s identity to the Competent Authority.

The Whistle Blowers Protection Act

It seeks to establish a mechanism to register complaints on any allegations of corruption or wilful misuse of power against a public servant. The act also provides safeguards against victimisation of the person who makes the complaint.

The act aims to balance the need to protect honest officials from undue harassment with protecting persons making a public interest disclosure. It punishes any person making false complaints. However, it does not provide any penalty for victimising a complainant.

Highlights :

  • It seeks to protect whistleblowers, i.e. persons making a public interest disclosure related to an act of corruption, misuse of power, or criminal offence by a public servant.
  • Any public servant or any other person including a non-governmental organization may make such a disclosure to the Central or State Vigilance Commission.
  • Every complaint has to include the identity of the complainant.
  • The Vigilance Commission shall not disclose the identity of the complainant except to the head of the department if he deems it necessary. The act penalises any person who has disclosed the identity of the complainant.
  • The act prescribes penalties for knowingly making false complaints.

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p style=”text-align: right”>Sources: The Hindu, prsindia.org

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