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Insights Daily Current Events, 25 April 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 25 April 2015

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RS passes Bill on transgender rights

A private member’s Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha for the first time in over three decades, with MPs cutting across party lines to unanimously endorse by voice vote a proposed legislation that aims to promote the rights of transgenders, including reservations and financial aid.

Details:

  • The Bill aims at formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national policy for the upliftment of transgenders. After Act comes into force, there will be strong provisions to prevent abuse and violence towards transgenders.
  • A National Transgender Welfare Commission and a special transgender court will also be set up.
  • There are 58 clauses and 10 chapters in the Bill depicting different aspects of transgenders life from childhood to oldage, so that they are supported and integrated in the society.
  • The bill demands reservation for the community in education, financial assistance and social inclusion.

Introduction of a private member’s bill is a common practice. But such bills, soon after being introduced, are either withdrawn, left pending, or are taken up in the other house.

Tamil Nadu was the first State to constitute a welfare board for the transgender community in the Country.

Sources: The Hindu.

 

eVisa to Chinese nationals likely

India is planning extend e-visa on arrival facility to Chinese nationals, a move that has been held up for several years due to opposition from security agencies.

eVisa:

eVisa facility is available for citizens of over 40 eligible countries.

  • The application for e-Tourist Visa must be made minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival.
  • Visa is valid for 30 days from the date of arrival and can be obtained twice in a calendar year.
  • e-Tourist Visa allows arrival at only 9 airports in the country.

Who is not eligible?

  • Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders.
  • Not available to individuals endorsed on Parent’s/Spouse’s Passport i.e. each individual should have a separate passport.
  • Not available to International Travel Document Holders.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, Indiavisa.

 

 

Opposition stalls GST Bill, Sonia leads walkout

The GST Bill has met with stiff resistance from the opposition parties in the Lok Sabha.

  • The Congress-led Opposition wants the bill to be sent to a parliamentary panel called the standing committee for scrutiny of the changes made in it before the house debates and votes on it.
  • The bill amends the Constitution and so requires a two-thirds majority in both houses to vote for it, already has the consent of states, who are key stakeholders.
  • The bill on GST, which will be the biggest tax reform after 1947, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December last year. A single rate of GST will replace central excise, state VAT, entertainment tax, octroi, entry tax, luxury tax and purchase tax on goods and services to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services.
  • While liquor has been completely kept out of the GST, petroleum products like petrol and diesel will be part of the new regime from a date to be decided at a future date by the GST Council, which will have two-third of its members from states.

GST:

The goods and services tax (GST) is a comprehensive value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services. It is an indirect tax levy on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods as well as services at a national level.

  • Through a tax credit mechanism, this tax is collected on value-added goods and services at each stage of sale or purchase in the supply chain.
  • The system allows the set-off of GST paid on the procurement of goods and services against the GST which is payable on the supply of goods or services. However, the end consumer bears this tax as he is the last person in the supply chain.
  • Experts say that GST is likely to improve tax collections and boost India’s economic development by breaking tax barriers between States and integrating India through a uniform tax rate.

What are the benefits of GST?

  • Under GST, the taxation burden will be divided equitably between manufacturing and services, through a lower tax rate by increasing the tax base and minimizing exemptions.
  • It is expected to help build a transparent and corruption-free tax administration. GST will be is levied only at the destination point, and not at various points (from manufacturing to retail outlets).
  • Currently, a manufacturer needs to pay tax when a finished product moves out from a factory, and it is again taxed at the retail outlet when sold.

How will it benefit the Centre and the States?

It is estimated that India will gain $15 billion a year by implementing the Goods and Services Tax as it would promote exports, raise employment and boost growth. It will divide the tax burden equitably between manufacturing and services.

What are the benefits of GST for individuals and companies?

In the GST system, both Central and State taxes will be collected at the point of sale. Both components (the Central and State GST) will be charged on the manufacturing cost. This will benefit individuals as prices are likely to come down. Lower prices will lead to more consumption, thereby helping companies.

Why are some States against GST; will they lose money?

  • The governments of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu say that the information technology systems and the administrative infrastructure will not be ready by April 2016 to implement GST. States have sought assurances that their existing revenues will be protected.
  • The central government has offered to compensate States in case of a loss in revenues.
  • Some States fear that if the uniform tax rate is lower than their existing rates, it will hit their tax kitty. The government believes that dual GST will lead to better revenue collection for States.
  • Some states also say that the information technology systems and the administrative infrastructure will not be ready by April 2016(deadline) to implement GST.

However, backward and less-developed States could see a fall in tax collections. GST could see better revenue collection for some States as the consumption of goods and services will rise.

Sources: The Hindu, gstindia.com.

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