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My notes - 09 April 2016 09-04-2016

My Notes – 09 April 2016

Editorials

National court of Appeal – P8q8

  • Supreme Court acts as the final court of appeal and it performs multifarious functions.
  • Supreme Court over period of time got engulfed wit routine cases and got deviated from the core task the constitutional framers gave it – that is interpretation of the constitution and protector of the constitution.
  • It is clearly visible in the following. The number of cases decided by the 5 judges’ constitutional bench are less than .12% of the cases now. More and more the constitutional cases are now decided by the two judge benches. The famous Shreya singhal vs union of India case, Suresh Kumar Kaushal vs Naz foundation case are also decided by the two judges on the bench.
  • In this context, to make Supreme Court to focus more on the core functions, National court of appeal is recommended. It serves an intermediate court between Supreme Court and various High courts in India. It will also have the regional benches and so regional access to appeals can be improved.
  • The national judicial data grid shows that there is only one judge for 73000 people in India. So, strengthening lower judiciary capabilities is the need of the hour.

Waste as wealth – N1q6

  • In India, Urban solid waste management is a major challenge and more than 2/3rd of urban solid waste is untreated in India and kept in the landfills and is responsible for water and air pollution.
  • So, effective solid waste management involves – segregation at the source, logistical chain to evacuate the waste, treatment of solid waste at the end.
  • No segregation of waste happens at the source in India. Citizens need to be educated and Bulk producers of solid waste need to have their solid treatment processes like composting, bio methanation etc.
  • Technology appropriate for treatment of waste is not clearly developed. Since bulk of the waste is organic it is of low calorific value and it makes waste to heat technologies uneconomical. So, alternative technologies need to be developed.
  • In India, less than one third of waste is treated and the rest piles up. If it is not addressed soon, it may worsen he civic life in urban areas.

News

Temple entry for women – N1q3

  • A question in equality vs religious rights in India
  • Need a balance between the right to equality and the right to religious practice. 
  • Finally in support of gender equality, the shani shingnapur temple in MH lifted the 400 year ban on the entry of women in to the sanctum sanctorum.

 

Indian Express

Sort out the tax maze – E12q7

Tax evasion and tax avoidance are two different things. Tax evasion is not paying the taxes on income and it is illegal. On the other hand, tax avoidance is using the legal loop holes, managing the taxes across different jurisdictions and taking advantage out of them to avoid the payment of taxes legally.

Tax heavens provide for complete confidentiality to their transactions and information.

Many of the hedge funds also resort to the route of offshore companies to avoid complex tax structures across the different countries.

 

India - challenges

  1. Complex tax structure and higher tax rates
  2. Too many capital controls

 

A number of OECD initiatives are taken to reduce tax avoidance

  1. An agreement on base erosion and profit sharing – it aims to prevent companies from choosing low tax jurisdictions to book profits in.  
  2. Automatic exchange of information framework
  3. Foreign account tax compliance act – It targets the noncompliance by the US tax payers and compliant countries have to provide the customer information to the USA.

Other mechanisms available are

  1. Any underlying activity is criminal, offshore financial activities comes under the prevention of money Laundering act. As a member of financial action task force, it can be easily fought with support from other countries.

What India shall do?

  1. Rationalization of capital controls
  2. Introduction of GAAR and direct tax code.
  3. Simplification of tax structure.

Trail of India – Pakistan relations – d1q1

  • Invitation to Prime minister Sharif by Pm Modi for swearing in ceremony
  • Suspension of foreign secy level talks by India – As Pakistan high commisison insisted on their secy meeting the Hurriyat.
  • Ufa summit
  • Cancellation of National security advisor level talks
  • Re approachment with Modis Lahore visit
  • Pathankot terror attack
  • Kalbushan Yadav issue

Question of the day

Solid waste management is the most mismanaged aspect of the urban governance in India. Discuss the challenges and analyze the recently announced rules by the environment ministry on the issue.

 

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