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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 13, 2017

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Criminalisation of Politics: Read Here

  • The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that it will set up at least 12 special courts to try exclusively criminal cases involving MPs and MLAs. It had framed a scheme to set up the special courts.
  • The scheme had even been given in-principle approval by the Finance Ministry. Supreme Court had earlier directed scheme for early trail of MP and MLA facing criminal charges.Cleaning politics of criminality and corruption remains a priority step to achieve transparency in the political level.
  • Supreme Court said it would directly interact with the State governments on issues like the appointment of judicial officers, public prosecutors, court staff and other requirements of manpower and infrastructure for these special courts to make it non partisan in nature.

Asia-Pacific Region: Read Here

  • Australia and India reiterated the need to maintain the Asia-Pacific region as a free and open zone under the 2+2 dialogue model which includes the foreign and defence secretaries of both sides. The decision comes in the wake of growing convergence of strategic perspectives between the two countries.
  • The dialogue indicated that the focus remains on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where China has been reclaiming land for infrastructure, boosting its maritime influence.
  • Both India and Australia are members of informal dialogue group called  Quadrilateral Security Dialogue which is a response to increased Chinese economic and military power.

Jallikattu Issue: Read Here

  • Jallikattu issue will go to Constitution Bench. The Constitution Bench will mainly decide on whether a State can claim constitutional protection under Article 29 (1) for what it thinks is a cultural right. Eventhough it is mainly used to protect interests of minorities, it gives right for any section of citizens to protect their language,script or culture.
  • The new State law on jallikattu has so far been refused to stay by Supreme Court. Supreme Court pointed out that the declared object of the new legislation is the preservation of a particular breed of bulls. Also, Supreme Court will decide whether jallikattu comes within the ambit of culture under Article 29(1).
  • However, PETA contends that the new law violates the five internationally recognised animal freedoms – freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst, from fear and distress, from physical and thermal discomfort, from pain, injury and disease and the freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.

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Agriculture: Read Here

  • Indian agriculture production, especially with respect to pulses was very high last year. Automatically, it should have reduced the total imports of pulses. But it was not the case, it was at an all-time high of 6.6 MT.
  • It caused prices to crash and in some places went to even half of the MSP. Farmers faced ruin of the inefficient planning and policy. The government was running out of storage and fiscal space and it caused below-par procurement of the pulses produced by the farmers.
  • The main problems are there is no instrument for using future price information, all exports of pulses have been banned which hurt farmers as the y could not get higher prices.Also, when prices go down there is not enough actions done to stabilise the prices. Pulses continue to be in the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act. Thus farmers are not free to sell to any buyer they wish but must go through the APMC.

GST: Read Here

  • Centre urged taxpayers to correct their TRAN-1 forms to avail transitional credit under GST. Otherwise,  the government would be forced to initiate audit proceedings in cases of high credit claims.
  • Some taxpayers have availed extraordinarily high transitional credit of CGST which is neither commensurate with the trend of input tax credit of the industry nor as maintained by the taxpayer himself in the past.
  • It leads to breach of trust between the taxpayer and the tax-administration, which is the bedrock of self-assessment regime in GST. This could lead to further scrutiny of the firms reporting high transitional credit.