‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

GST Council decides to lower rates on 66 items

   You should know:

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Sunday decided to reduce tax rates on 66 items including cashew nuts, packaged foods such as sauces and pickles, agarbatti, insulin, school bags, children’s colouring books, cutlery, and some tractor components.
  • The Council has also reduced the tax rate on cinema tickets costing Rs. 100 or less.
  • Tax rate on cashew nuts has been reduced to 5% from 12%, while the rate on sauces, pickles, mustard sauce, and other similar packaged foods has been reduced to 12% from the 18% earlier set.
  • The rate on agarbatti has been reduced to 5% from 12%, and the same has been done for insulin.
  • There will be no GST on children’s colouring books, while that on school bags has been reduced to 18% from 28%.
  • The rate on components that can only be used in tractors has been reduced to 18% from 28%.
  • The Council also decided to increase the limit under the compensation scheme from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 75 lakh.
  • Those opting for the scheme will have to pay tax at the rate of 1% for the trading community, 2% for those engaged in manufacturing, and 5% for restaurants.

Objectives behind this move:

  • To maintain revenue neutrality, and this also eases the burden on SMEs and small businesses in trading, manufacturing, and the restaurant business because they are mass job creators.
  • This should mean that a significant number of SME sector players should benefit from not having to meet with detailed compliances under GST and also having a less financial burden, on account of GST.
  • It has also been decided that for cinema tickets costing Rs. 100 or less, the tax rate will be reduced to 18%, and for tickets costing above Rs. 100, it will remain at 28%
  • The reduction of GST rates indicates that many consumer items may see a price reduction

   Source: Times of India


‘’Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

NE people struggle to bridge culture gap

   Struggle for change:

  • Cases of crimes against Northeast people rise in Gurugram and Delhi.
  • Recent Case,
  • Her name was Ranjitha. She was 18 and full of zest. She had left her village in Assam and come to the Millennium City in search of a job to support her family after her father lost his job. But less than 24 hours after she got placed as a domestic help at an upscale condominium in DLF Phase-4, she was found dead under mysterious circumstances inside its premises.
  • Centre for Struggling Women (CSW) convener said, Just a few hours before her death, Ranjitha told her relatives that she did not want to stay with her employer. A few hours later, she was found dead. No suicide note was found.
  • Still there is no action, no arrests.
  • Several protests and demonstrations demanding justice for the teen were held. An FIR was lodged and a Special Investigation Team was also constituted. But her death continues to remain a mystery till date.

Why treated badly:

  • Interaction with NE women in Gurugram had revealed that they were being treated like second-class citizens.
  • The locals are quite aggressive when dealing with them and the police also don’t support them. So, they stay together in ghettos where there is at least some sense of security.
  • The Gurugram police know that they are poor migrants and their family members will come to the city, stay for a day or two, claim the body or take the victim back home. There will be no sustained pressure to follow-up. The Gurugram police play on this. A weak case is registered and sometimes a settlement is reached.
  • The situation is slightly better in Delhi, where thanks to strong NE students’ organisations, instances of crimes against the Northeast people are brought to the limelight and pressure is put on the police to take action.
  • North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) said, Gurugram police still seem to be working under the clutches of MNCs and local businesses.
  • On proposal of Haryana Government an activist said, Deployment of a few NE police personnel is not enough, many more complimentary measures need to be taken. Most of the migrants work in unregulated sectors and the labour laws are not effective.

   Additional Information:

  • An estimated 10,000 people from the Northeast are staying in Nathupur, Chakkarpur and Sikanderpur villages in Gurugram and are mostly employed in call centres, retail, and hospitality sectors.

   Source: Indian Express