22-August-2018 : TOD
- No to Kasturirangan Report
- The State government has told the Centre, two days before the deadline to submit recommendations on demarcation of ecologically-sensitive areas (ESAs), that it disagrees with the K. Kasturirangan-led panel report.
- The panel had suggested declaring 1,576 villages along the Western Ghats as ESA, which would heighten conservation measures as well as place restrictions on certain construction activities that involve landscape changes.
- Two reports on preserving the Western Ghats and stopping degradation — one submitted by Madhav Gadgil in 2011 and the later one submitted by Mr. Kasturirangan — have come into debate after the floods in Kerala and Kodagu.
- No NOTA in RajyaSabha Election
- The Supreme Court scrapped the use of NOTA (none of the above) option for Rajya Sabha polls.
- The option is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections and not elections held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha.
- The option of NOTA may serve as an elixir in direct elections but in the election to the Council of States, it would not only undermine the purity of democracy but also serve the Satan of defection and corruption.
- The court pointed out that in the voting in Rajya Sabha elections, there is a whip and the elector is bound to obey the command of the party.
- The court held that NOTA in an indirect election would not only run counter to the discipline expected from an elector under the Tenth Schedule but also be “counterproductive to the basic grammar of the law of disqualification... on the ground of defection.”
- Wage Inequality in India – ILO
- Real average daily wages in India almost doubled in the first two decades after economic reforms, but low pay and wage inequality remains a serious challenge to inclusive growth, the International Labour Organization warned in its India Wage Report.
- The ILO has called for stronger implementation of minimum wage laws and strengthening of the frameworks for collective bargaining by workers. This is essential to combat persistent low pay in some sectors and to bridge the wage gaps between rural and urban, male and female, and regular and casual workers.
- Overall, in 2009-10, a third of all of wage workers were paid less than the national minimum wage, which is merely indicative and not legally binding. That includes 41% of all casual workers and 15% of salaried workers.
- SGST and Cess on it
- The Kerala government is looking forward to imposition of a 10% cess on State GST and rise in its borrowing limit from the present 3% to 4.5% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to raise sufficient resources for the post-floods reconstruction challenges that Kerala faces.
- Can states levy a cess over and above GST?
Yes, states can levy such a cess if and only if it is approved by the GST Council. However, this is an unlikely outcome as it would set a precedent where any State will be able to request levying a cess above GST, which defeats the purpose of a uniform tax rate across the country.
- Has there been such a demand before?
Some States had earlier requested a sugar cess, which was denied by the GST Council.
- If approved, what are the challenges?
According to tax analysts, there are several procedural details that will have to be worked out before the cess is implemented. One has to do with whether the cess will apply only on intra-State supplies, or whether suppliers of goods to Kerala from other States also have to impose the cess. Another aspect that will need clarity is that since Kochi is an international port, will imports also bear the burden of the cess?
- When will the GST Council decide on this?
The formal request must first be presented to the Council. Following this, there is a precedent for the Council to hold an unscheduled meeting via video conference. The Council had late last year held such a meeting to discuss options regarding drastically falling GST revenues following a slew of rate cuts.
- Windrush generations
- Those arriving in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries have been labelled the Windrush generation.
- This is a reference to the ship MV Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on 22 June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, as a response to post-war labour shortages in the UK.
- The ship carried 492 passengers - many of them children.
- Article 35A
- Article 35A is a provision incorporated in the Constitution giving the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature a carte blanche to decide who all are ‘permanent residents’ of the State and confer on them special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare.
- The provision mandates that no act of the legislature coming under it can be challenged for violating the Constitution or any other law of the land.