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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 21, 2017

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Women Empowerment: Read Here

  • With just weeks to go for the Union Budget to be presented, the maternity benefit scheme is far from being operationalised. Petitions regarding the matter have been signed by prominent economists to the Union Finance Minister.The letter mentions about the promise given by Centre by which they will comply with the National Food Security Act, 2013, and provide universal maternity benefits. But the Women and Child Development Ministry has still not made Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojna operational.
  • Under NFSA, legal entitlement of every pregnant and lactating mother is Rs 6,000 per child. In last Budget, the government allocated Rs 2,700 crore — a third of what is required. The rule, issued later, by the Women and Child Development Ministry restricted the benefits to Rs 5,000 for just one child per woman.
  • The letter also urges the Finance Minister to increase entitlement of social security pensions for senior citizens under the National Old Age Pension Scheme from the existing Rs 200 per month per person to at least Rs 500.

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India-Pakistan: Read Here

  • Pakistan has once again raked up the Kashmir issue at the Security Council by trying to link it to the Palestinian crisis. It said that internationally recognized disputes of Palestine and J&K continue without being resolved. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative was speaking in the Council ahead of the upcoming General Assembly emergency session on Jerusalem.
  • In a reference to a 1948 resolution of the Council on Kashmir, Pakistan argued that, the Palestinian and Kashmiri people continue to suffer horrific human rights violations at the hands of occupying forces, while the world continues to watch without addressing these egregious situations. All resolutions of the Security Council must be implemented uniformly and non-selectively.
  • India maintains that the resolution has been made redundant by the march of history. The plebiscite proposed in the resolution could not be held because Pakistan would not withdraw its troops from areas it occupied, and since then Kashmiris have elected their legislators and leaders. Moreover, the 1972 Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan stipulates that all disputes should be settled bilaterally, precluding third party intervention.

Motor Vehicles Bill: Read Here

  • Opposition parties have given dissent notes in a report of the RajyaSabha Select Committee on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill. The bill seeks to completely recast traffic regulations and the road safety ecosystem through stricter penalties.
  • Opposition parties are protesting against the possible infringement  upon the rights of states which are not in consonance with the country’s federal structure. Opposition parties have said that proposed new provision of getting vehicles registered by dealers instead of the present practice of dealers going to the local Regional Transport Office for this was an interference in a state’s domain of powers.
  • The LokSabha had unanimously passed the Bill earlier this year. The government has been trying to get the Opposition in the RajyaSabha on board since the last session, especially because the government does not have the required numbers in the House to get the Bill passed on its own.

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Income Tax: Read Here

  • The number of income tax returns filed by persons declaring a gross taxable income above Rs. 5 crore rose to 4,499 in financial year 2014-15 which is nearly 63% higher than the number seen three years previously.
  • The faster pace of growth in the number of returns filed for the higher income bracket has meant that the proportion of filers declaring an income of less than Rs. 5 lakh has fallen over the years.
  • 1,648 returns were filed in 2014-15 for a salary income of more than Rs. 5 crore a year, a 109% increase over the number seen in 2011-12. Contrastingly, the number of people reporting a salary income of less than Rs. 5 lakh grew only 30.5%.

NPA: Read Here

  • Reserve Bank of India has imposed certain restrictions under its prompt corrective action framework  on state-run lender Bank of India as it reported negative return on asset for two consecutive years and insufficient common equity tier-I capital after non-performing assets zoomed in the last three years.  The action will contribute to the overall improvement in risk management, asset quality, profitability, efficiency, etc of the Bank.
  • Already more than half a dozen public sector banks face similar sanctions due to their poor health.In an exchange notification, the lender said the additional restrictions were imposed due to high net NPA, low leverage ratio and requirement to raise capital.
  • The actions focused on profit retention, capital augmentation, provision coverage, diversification of credit portfolio, rationalization of expansion and cost control.