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Insights Daily Current Events, 03 April 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 03 April 2015

Indirect tax collection exceeds target

The indirect taxes collection has surpassed the revised estimates by Rs.4,000 crore to reach Rs.5.46 lakh crore for the fiscal ended March 2015, despite a slowdown in the manufacturing sector.

  • The total collection as on March 31 is Rs.5,46,479 crore, based on the provisional report against revised estimates of Rs.5,42,325 crore for 2014-15.

Indirect Taxes:

Indirect tax is a tax collected by an intermediary (such as a retail store) from the person who bears the ultimate economic burden of the tax (such as the consumer). The intermediary later files a tax return and forwards the tax proceeds to government with the return. In this sense, the term indirect tax is contrasted with a direct tax which is collected directly by government from the persons (legal or natural) on which it is imposed.

  • Some of the significant indirect taxes include Value Added Tax, Central Sales Tax, Central Excise Duty, Customs Duty, stamp duties, Goods and services tax (GST) and expenditure tax.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.


Rajasthan brings Bill against witchcraft

The Rajasthan state government recently tabled Prevention of Witch-Hunting Bill in the Assembly.

Details of the Bill:

  • The Bill provides for life imprisonment if witch-hunting causes death, and imprisonment up to five years and a fine for practising witch-hunting, witchcraft and so on. At least 60% of the fine will go to the victim for her treatment and rehabilitation.
  • The Bill proposes to impose a collective fine on the inhabitants of a place who abet the crime, harbour persons committing it, suppress evidence or fail to render all assistance in their powers to discover or apprehend the offenders. The fine shall be spent on the rehabilitation and resettlement of the victim.
  • The Bill prohibits any acts derogatory to human dignity such as forcing a woman to drink or eat any inedible or obnoxious substance or parading her naked or in scanty clothes or with painted face or body. Displacing her from her house and other property will be a punishable offence. At present, there is no penal provision in the law to prohibit or punish those accused of witch-hunting and such practices in the State.

The State government has proposed to roll out one or more schemes for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the victim and to conduct awareness programmes on superstitions and such practices.


Who is a Witch, according to the Bill?

  • In the Bill, the term “witch” is described as a woman, locally known as “Dayan”, “Dakan” or “Dakin”, who has been identified by any person or persons believing her to be in possession of, or as having, any evil power for causing any harm to any person or property.

What is Witchcraft?

  • “Witchcraft” has been described in the Bill as use of supernatural or magical powers with evil intention to call up a spirit or cast a spell or discover stolen goods.

It includes such other practices which are known as “Tona-Totaka”, “Tantra-Mantra”, “Jadu-Tona” and “Jhad-Phunk”.

Who is a Witch Doctor?

  • “Witch doctor” means a person who is locally known as “Gunia”, “Tantrik” or otherwise and claims that he has supernatural or magical power to control or cure a witch or performs any ritual purportedly to free a woman from evil spirit.

What is Witch Hunting?

  • “Witch-hunting” means any act or conduct on the part of any person, identifying, accusing or defaming a woman as a witch or harassing, harming or injuring such woman whether mentally or physically or by damaging her property.

Sources: The Hindu.


Nabard expects 50% credit growth in AP, Telangana

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) expects a 50% growth in credit disbursals to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to Rs 21,000 crore during fiscal 2015-16.

  • The bank also has formed regional advisory groups (think tanks) and technical groups for both the states to assist in advancing the lending mechanisms. It is also taking up a self-help group (SHG) digitisation drive, with the pilot to be taken up in Medak district in Telangana this year.


It is an apex development and specialized bank established on 12 July 1982 by an act by the parliament of India. Its main focus is to uplift rural India by increasing the credit flow for elevation of agriculture & rural non farm sector.

  • It was established based on the recommendations of the Committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the chairmanship of Shri B. shivaraman.
  • It replaced the Agricultural Credit Department (ACD) and Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC) of Reserve Bank of India, and Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).
  • It has been accredited with “matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in India”.
  • NABARD is active in developing financial inclusion policy and is a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

Its role and functions:

It looks after the development of the cottage industry, small industry and village industry, and other rural industries.

The Bank has been given certain roles as follows:

  • It Serves as an apex financing agency for the institutions providing investment and production credit for promoting the various developmental activities in rural areas
  • It takes measures towards institution building for improving absorptive capacity of the credit delivery system, including monitoring, formulation of rehabilitation schemes, restructuring of credit institutions, training of personnel, etc.
  • Co-ordinates the rural financing activities of all institutions engaged in developmental work at the field level and maintains liaison with Government of India, State Governments, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other national level institutions concerned with policy formulation
  • It Undertakes monitoring and evaluation of projects refinanced by it.
  • NABARD refinances the financial institutions which finances the rural sector.
  • It regulates the institution which provides financial help to the rural economy.
  • It provides training facilities to the institutions working the field of rural upliftment.
  • It regulates the cooperative banks and the RRB’s, and manages talent acquisition through IBPS CWE.
  • NABARD is also known for its ‘SHG Bank Linkage Programme’ which encourages India’s banks to lend to SHGs.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, NABARD.


Sebi for including family trusts, NBFCs in QIB segment

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has proposed including ‘systematically important’ non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) and some registered family trusts in the qualified institutional buyers (QIB) category. Further, the regulator has suggested any other entity registered with Sebi and having a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore may also be considered a QIB.


  • The move will put such entities at a par with institutional investors like banks and mutual funds (MFs).

Who are qualified institutional buyers?

Currently, QIBs are defined under Sebi regulations as institutional investors generally perceived to possess expertise and the financial muscle to evaluate and invest in capital markets.

  • The existing QIBs include public financial institutions like scheduled commercial banks, MFs, foreign institutional investor and venture capital funds.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India. It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 12 April 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.


SEBI is composed of

  • The chairman who is nominated by Union Government of India.
  • Two members, i.e., Officers from Union Finance Ministry.
  • One member from the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The remaining five members are nominated by Union Government of India, out of them at least three shall be whole-time members.

For the discharge of its functions efficiently, SEBI has been vested with the following powers:

  • To approve by−laws of stock exchanges.
  • To require the stock exchange to amend their by−laws.
  • Inspect the books of accounts and call for periodical returns from recognized stock exchanges.
  • Inspect the books of accounts of financial intermediaries.
  • Compel certain companies to list their shares in one or more stock exchanges.
  • Registration of brokers.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.


India ranks 119 on Global Business Resilience Index

India ranked 119th among 130 countries on an index measuring business resilience of nations based on economic, risk quality and supply chain factors, dropped seven notches from last year.

Details of the 2015 FM Global Resilience Index:

  • The Index has been topped by Norway for being the country best suited for companies seeking to avoid disruptions in their global supply chain operations. Venezuela is ranked last on the list.
  • On the economic parameter, which takes into account gross domestic product, political risk and oil intensity, India is ranked 115th, the same as last year.
  • In the risk quality factor, it ranked 109th for its quality of natural hazard and fire risk management, a slight improvement from its 113th rank in 2014.
  • In the third category of supply chain, which looks at corruption control, infrastructure and local supplier quality, India is ranked 89th, falling 11 spots from the previous year.
  • Among the top 10 countries that are most resilient, Norway is followed by Switzerland (2), Netherlands (3), Ireland (4), Luxembourg (5), Germany (6), Qatar (7), Canada (8), Finland (9) and the US (10). At the 123rd spot, Pakistan is in the bottom 10 countries on the index.
  • The other least resilient nations to business supply chain disruption are Dominican Republic (126), Nicaragua (127) and Kyrgyz Republic (129).

The report also says that:

  • Economically, India suffers from a formidable tangle of problems. A third of its population still live in extreme poverty — one of the highest incidences outside sub-Saharan Africa. The implementation of economic reforms has been identified as a priority by India’s new government. The exception is the country’s relatively low exposure to natural hazards, which suggests that India’s destiny, to an encouraging extent, lies in its own hands.

The index provides an annual ranking of 130 countries and territories according to their business resilience to supply chain disruption.

Sources: BS.

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