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My Notes- 13JAN2016 13-01-2016

Jallikattu

Central Government has issued a notification to allow Jallikattu in TN, Bullock cart races in MH and overturned the 2011 notification that prohibited using these animals as performing animals. Here exception is made only to the traditional sports on cultural context and the general prohibition on using bulls, bears, panthers and other wild animals as performing animals still continues. Few Safeguards are also issued by the Government notification for avoiding the cruelty to animals during jallikattu and Bullock cart races.

Supreme Court of India in 2014 upheld the ban imposed by 2011 order on using the animals for performing purposes.  It described Jallikattu as inherently cruel and violates prevention of cruelty to animals’ act 1960.

Animal welfare Board of India filed a petition in Supreme Court on the notification issued by its ministry. Supreme Court is in resonance with the argument that cruel treatment of animals can’t be a matter of human festivity in 21st century.

NFSA – Leaving no poor person behind

NFSA beneficiary list is too wide and most inclusive than the BPL list and is more reliable. It has excluded a small percentage of population from the scheme. This along with the PDS reforms can improve the food security situation in the country.

In this context the following points can be noted

1)      If a program has only few people exempted from beneficiaries, the operational and administrative cost of exclusion will be very higher compared to the cost involved in making them as beneficiaries.

2)      Exclusionary errors can lead to loss of genuine beneficiaries from the net.

3)      Most of the exclusionaries will be from middle class and their exclusion decreases pressure on the system to deliver.

In this context, instead of choosing minimal exclusionary program Government can shift to universalization.

Budget – waning lustre

In India the focus on Budget as an annual policy exercise is decreasing and continuous policy change and midyear announcements are increasing. It appears that, India is shifting to a long-term fiscal policy rather than on annual budget. According to former cabinet secy, TSR Subramanian, it is reducing the budget to just an annual budget document.

The annual budgets are often criticized as momentum breakers as Government action decreases in February as all Government departments shift to budget mode. In this context, new approach is said to be better in imparting economic stability and to ensure continuity. Added to this, as parliament sits often, in every session a quarterly account statement can be submitted instead of making it an annual exercise.

 

Question of the day

 The changing relevance of the budget as a political and policy tool in India reflects a global phenomenon and is more a reactionary change to the changing times. What do you think these changes can bring in parliamentary functioning and financial accountability in India?

 

 

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