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- GST Compensation
- Compensation to states for any loss in revenue due to the implementation of GST.
- Period of compensation: Compensation will be provided to a state for a period of five years from the date on which the state brings its State GST Act into force.
- Projected growth rate and base year: For the purpose of calculating the compensation amount in any financial year, year 2015-16 will be assumed to be the base year, from revenue will be projected. The growth rate of revenue for a state during the five-year period is assumed be 14% per annum.
- Base year revenue: The base year tax revenue consists of the states’ tax revenues from: (i) state Value Added Tax (VAT), (ii) central sales tax, (iii) entry tax, octroi, local body tax, (iv) taxes on luxuries, (v) taxes on advertisements, etc. However, any revenue among these taxes arising related to supply of (i) alcohol for human consumption, and (ii) certain petroleum products, will not be accounted as part of the base year revenue.
- Calculation and release of compensation: The compensation payable to a state has to be provisionally calculated and released at the end of every two months. Further, an annual calculation of the total revenue will be undertaken, which will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
- Levy and compensation of GST compensation cess: A GST Compensation Cess may be levied on the supply of certain goods and services, as recommended by the GST Council. The receipts from the cess will be deposited to a GST Compensation Fund. The receipts will be used for compensating states for any loss due to the implementation of GST.
- Any unutilised money in the Compensation Fund at the end of the compensation period will be distributed in the following manner: (i) 50% of the fund to be shared between the states in proportion to revenues of the states, and (ii) the remaining 50% will be part of the centre’s divisible pool of taxes.
- Institutes of Eminence
The scheme of Institutions of Eminence was rolled out by University Grants Commission (UGC). It aims to help 20 higher education (10 public and 10 private) institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years, and then eventually break into top 100 over time.
These selected institutions are proposed to have
- Greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions.
- They will be free to decide their fee for domestic and foreign students and have flexible course duration and structure.
- They will be exempted from approvals of government or UGC for academic collaborations with foreign institutions, except institutions in MEA and MHA’s list of negative countries.
Only higher education institutions, currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), are eligible to apply for eminence tag. The private Institutions of Eminence can also come up as greenfield ventures provided sponsoring organisation submits convincing perspective plan for 15 years.
- Compensatory afforestration
Compensatory afforestation means afforestation done in lieu of diversion of forest land for non-forest use. For this money is collected from companies to whom forest land is diverted. CAF bill,2015 has following objectives:
- To provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory
- To provide safety, security and, transparency in utilization of amounts realised in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose
- Ensure expeditious utilization of accumulated unspent amounts available with the ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 (FCA) governs diversion or use of forest land for non-forest purposes such as industrial or infrastructure projects.
- A company diverting forest land must provide alternative land for taking up compensatory afforestation.
- For the afforestation purpose, the company should pay for planting new trees in the alternative land provided to the state. The loss of forest ecosystem must also be compensated by paying for (NPV).
- In 2002, the Supreme Court of India observed that collected funds for afforestation were underutilised by the states and it ordered for centrally pooling of funds under ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund.
- The court had set up the ad hoc National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (National CAMPA) to manage the Fund.
- In 2009, states also had set up State CAMPAs that receive 10% of funds form National CAMPA to use for afforestation and forest conservation
- Sabang port
- Located at the mouth of the strategically important Strait of Malacca, Sabang is only 100 nautical miles from the southern tip of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Sabang, with its naval base, naval air station, and maintenance and repair facilities, has the potential to serve as the focal point of a budding strategic partnership between the two countries.
- Both countries(INDIA-INDONESIA) value the key sea lines of communication (SLOCs) that connect the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, and therefore the foundation of any strategic partnership will rest on how they both seek to manage the region’s strategically important chokepoints.
- The strategically important Straits of Malacca, Lombok and Sunda fall under the Indian Navy’s primary area of interest, and access to Indonesian naval bases such as Sabang will significantly enhance the Indian Navy’s ability to maintain a forward presence and monitor movements in the Straits of Malacca.
- Indonesia too has started recognising the benefits of a closer strategic partnership with India.