16.World Bank Report on Ending Extreme Poverty and Shared Prosperity
- A new World Bank report says that extreme poverty worldwide continues to fall despite the slowing down of global economy.
- But it warns that reducing high inequality may be a necessary component to reaching the world’s goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030.
- As per the report of 2016, nearly 800 million people lived on less than US $ 1.90 (Rs 130) a day in 2013. That is around 100 million fewer extremely poor people than in 2012. It means, poverty has reduced, though not considerably.
- Progress was driven mainly by China, Indonesia, and India. Half of the world’s extreme poor now live in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in South Asia.
- In an another report from the World Bank Group and UNICEF ‘Ending Extreme Poverty: A Focus on Children’, it is found that Children are more than twice as likely as adults to live in extreme poverty.
- It is found that in 2013 19.5 per cent of children in developing countries were living in households that survived on an average of US $1.90 a day or less per person, compared to just 9.2 per cent of adults.
- Globally, almost 385 million children were living in extreme poverty and children are disproportionately affected, as they make up around a third of the population studied, but half of the extreme poor and the youngest children are the most at risk.
17.Budgetary reforms in India
- Three major reforms are done in the Budgetary process. In Railway budget, in the Union Budget and merger of plan and non plan classification.
- Railways Budget has been merged with the Union Budget. This move would check the populism in Railways Budget as a separate budget attracted unnecessary attention to a Government unit and an entity which is largely commercial has been made political.
- Next is the preponement of Union Budget by a month which would pave the way for completion of budget cycle by a month.
- This would enable the ministries to ensure better planning and execution of schemes and check the further delay in the execution of infrastructure projects further by Monsoon as the present budget cycle now gets streched to June and then monsoon delays further.
- The undue classification of expenditure in plan and non plan expenditure lead to neglect of expenditure to be incurred on the maintenance of assets. This also checked the flexibility of allocation of resources.
18.Goods and Services Tax
- GST is an reform in indirect taxation in India merging most of the existing taxes into single system of taxation.
- To be levied on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India and would replace taxes levied by the central and state governments.
- Amalgamating several Central and State taxes into a single tax would mitigate cascading or double taxation, facilitating a common national market.
- From the government point of view, the simplicity of the tax would lead to easier administration and enforcement. From the consumer point of view, there would be a reduction in the overall tax burden on goods, which is currently estimated at 25%-30%, and also lead to free movement of goods from one state to another without stopping at state borders for hours for payment of state tax or entry tax and lead to reduction in paperwork to a large extent.
- The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be levied at multiple rates ranging from 0 per cent to 28 per cent.
- A 4-tier GST tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent has been proposed, with lower rates for essential items and the highest for luxury and de-merits goods with an additional cess would be imposed.
- On nearly half of the consumer inflation basket, including food grains, the GST will be at 0 per cent.
- The lowest slab of 5 per cent will be for items of common consumption. Then there would be two standard rates of 12 per cent and 18 per cent, which would fall on the bulk of the goods and services. This includes fast-moving consumer goods.
- Ultra luxuries such as Luxury cars, demerit and sin goods such as tobacco and aerated drinks would be levied at 28% with an additional cess on top of the highest tax rate for a period of 5 years.
19.Urja Ganga Project
- Urja Ganga, the highly ambitious gas pipeline project aims to provide piped cooking (PNG) gas to residents of the eastern region of the country and CNG gas for the vehicles.
- The project is being implemented by state-run gas utility GAIL and envisages laying a 2,050-km pipeline connecting Jagdishpur (UP) to Haldia (West Bengal) by 2018.
- Seven East India cities Varanasi, Jamshedpur, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack will be the major beneficiary of this network development.
- The project will also provide clean fuel to the Industrial Development of the Eastern states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha.
- 25 industrial clusters in these 5 states will be developed using gas from this pipeline. Besides, 40 districts and 2600 villages will benefit from this project.
- It will also help in revival of defunct fertilizer plants in Barauni in Bihar, Gorakhpur in UP, Sindri in Jharkhand and Durgapur in West Bengal by supplying gas.