current-affairs-based-mains-drill-25-august-2020

 

Q.1) Whenever a new law is brought or changes are made in the existing law, privacy and human rights should be a top priority. Analyse the above statement in the context of the DNA Technology (Use And Application) Regulation Bill, 2019. (15 marks - 250 words)

Why this question? - According to a draft report of the parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, the Bill that proposes DNA sampling and profiling of citizens has some alarming provisions that could be misused.

Intro - A brief about the DNA Bill.

Body - 

  • Salient features of the bill.
  • Concerns - especially with respect to the threat of privacy and human rights.

Way ahead - How to overcome the above concerns.

Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.

 

Q.2)  While inflation in India has been subdued with the new monetary policy framework, this has come at the cost of growth. Comment (15 marks - 250 words)

Why this question? - Though, inflation targeting has been viewed by many as successful, problems associated with the decisions made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) can not be neglected. 

Intro - A brief about the new monetary policy framework.

Body

  • Need for a new framework
  • Flaws in the new framework

Way ahead - How to overcome the challenges.

Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.

 

Q.3) Creation of a fiscal council would be a solution to fiscal imbalances. Critically comment (15 marks- 250 words)

Why this question?

The government can signal its virtue by establishing some new institutional mechanism for enforcing fiscal discipline, for example, a fiscal council.

Intro:

Mention threat of COVID-19

Body:

  • About Fiscal Council and its mandate
  • Background of Non Efficient working of current system of fiscal responsibility
    • FRBM act,2003
    • Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement’ (FPSS) etc
  • Background of Finance Commission related to Fiscal council
  • Arguments against creating a fiscal council
    • Diluting credibility of the Finance Ministry and other institutions
    • Duplication of auditing work etc
  • Suggestions
    • Starting in a small scale on experimental basis
    • Before the scheduled budget presentation the CAG could also appoint a three ­member committee for a five week duration etc

Conclusion:

Bureaucratic expansion is a one-way street. It is wise to cross the river by feeling the stones.  

 

Q.4) India, despite the various direct tax reforms, has struggled to widen the tax base. Comment. (10M, 150 Words)

Why this question?

India’s tax collection is set to decline sharply this year because of the decline in national income and fall in employment due to COVID-19. Thus the question.

Introduction

  • Mention the drop in number of taxpayers and India’s stagnant direct tax to GDP ratio.

Body:

Govt. initiatives 

  • The highest tax rate has been brought down from 97.5% in 1971 to 30% (plus surcharge) now. 
  • Demonetisation failed to bring out the black incomes and turn them white so that the tax to GDP ratio could sharply rise. 
  • The government set up a special investigation team to trace black money under court orders. 
  • It renegotiated the tax treaty with Mauritius to get back to India the money held abroad. 
  • e-filing and PAN were introduced to cajole people into filing honest returns. 
  • The Vivad se Vishwas scheme was introduced to settle tax disputes. 
  • 'Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest' scheme

Assessment of the schemes: A lot of taxes are not paid out of white incomes and none from the black incomes.

  • Tax terrorism: More than 23,000 high net worth individuals left the country in five years up to 2019.
  • Social injustice: The well-off complain about the tax system and the poor live with injustice causing massive alienation in society. 
  • Trust deficit: The government is able to trust neither the tax department officials nor the rich.

Conclusion: The most important measure for improving tax to GDP ratio is ensuring the citizens pay their taxes. The introduction of Direct Tax Code can help in greater compliance in this regard.