Q.1) National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) will revolutionise the efforts of the government in providing health services to every citizen and enhancing effective health service delivery. Discuss (15 marks - 250 words)
Why this question? - Recently the government of India launched the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) at a time when the country is reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Intro - A brief about NDHM.
- Salient features of the mission.
- Significance of the mission.
Way ahead - How to overcome the challenges.
Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.
Q.2) Given the fact that that States are likely to face a huge GST revenue shortfall as the economy may contract due to COVID-19, deliberate upon the associated concerns and suggest measures to help mitigate the crisis. (15 M, 250 words)
Why this question?
- As per the Centre’s estimates, the States’ GST revenue gap in 2020-21 will amount to about ₹3 lakh crore, while cess collections are only projected to reach ₹65,000 crore, leaving a shortfall of ₹2.35 lakh crore. Thus the questions.
Introduction: Mention in brief about the GST compensation shortfall issue and relevant constitutional provisions.
Body: Discuss the following associated concerns
- Falling states’ economy
- Fiscal federalism:
- Lesser tax sharing
- Cess funds not shared
- Implementation of GST: States don’t have any autonomy on GST rates and, therefore, their taxation authority has squeezed further.
- Excess compensation fund absorbed by the center: When the GST compensation cess exceeded the amount that had to be paid to States, the Central government absorbed the surplus.
- The high rate of 14%, which has compounded since 2015-16, has been seen as delinked from economic realities.
Suggest a way forward- Borrowing by center and states.
Conclusion: Monetary measures are the monopoly of the central government. Even borrowing is more efficient and less expensive if it is undertaken by the Central government. As equal representatives of the citizens of the federal republic of India, State governments deserve relief through the Consolidated Fund of India.