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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 25 August 2020

 

Back and forth | TH

  • Pakistan show off to tackle terrorism
  • It is often described as one step forward and one step back.
  • Recently, the country has launched Statutory Regulatory Order listing
    • This list has names of terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim, Zaki Ur Rahman Lakhvi & 85 others
    • SRO is also directing officials to implement the UNSC committee resolutions against them
  • The listing had UNSC and Interpol information on at least five Pakistani passports and three Karachi addresses that belonged to Dawood.
  • However, the MFA says that the SRO did not imply an admission that he lives there.
  • Pakistan is required to align its domestic terror listings with those issued by the UNSC’s ISIL and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee (under UNSC Resolutions 1267/1989/2253).
  • Thus far, the domestic listing, maintained under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Act by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), had not included either Dawood or Lakhvi, who was tried briefly for the 26/11 attacks but was granted bail in 2014.
  • In contrast, LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and JeM chief Masood Azhar, who was designated by the UNSC in May 2019, have been added to the domestic NACTA list.
  • If, in fact, the SRO had named these terrorists in past orders, then why has it failed to add them to its domestic listing?
  • Regardless of which list Pakistan places any of the terrorists named, and when it did so, the question is what has Pakistan done to investigate, prosecute and apprehend them?
  • In October, Pakistan is expected to face some of these questions at the FATF plenary session, which will decide if its actions merit a reprieve from the grey or “increased monitoring” list, or be downgraded to the black or “high-risk jurisdiction” list and face sanctions.
  • Pakistan needs to show proof of its actions on the ground, rather than going back and forth on the paperwork.

The challenge of catching elusive taxpayers | TH

  • 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.
  • Simultaneously, expenditures related to the pandemic are ballooning.
  • Thus, the fiscal deficit in the budget is set to rise unless other expenditures are cut.
  • However, there are committed expenditures which cannot be curtailed and the deficit in the budget is set to climb to a new high for 2020-21.
  • So, there is no option but to try and collect more taxes.
  • The Prime Minister unveiled income tax reforms to make the system faceless, painless and seamless.
    • 15 million people pay income tax out of a population of more than 1.35 billion.
  • The number of tax filers has increased but the number of taxpayers has dropped.
  • In spite of an increase in population and the laws introduced in the last six years to bring the rich into the tax net, there has been little change in the number of taxpayers.
  • There are two categories of the well-off in the country: those who file a tax return and those who completely escape the tax net.
  • If the former had declared more of their incomes, the tax to GDP ratio would have risen.
  • If those who were outside the tax net had come into the tax net and started filing their returns, there would have been a rise both in the tax to GDP ratio and the number of taxpayers.
  • A 2016 report says the top 10% of Indians earned 55% of the nation’s incomes.
  • If these people could be brought under the income tax net and they paid their taxes honestly, at current tax rates, income tax to GDP ratio alone would have been about 18%.
  • Add to that the collection from other direct taxes, like corporate tax, and the figure would be more than 20%.
  • This figure of 55% does not take into account the black income generation in the country.
  • Clearly a lot of taxes are not paid out of white incomes and none from the black incomes.
  • Demonetisation was supposed to bring out the black incomes and turn them white so that the tax to GDP ratio could sharply rise.
  • The government made repeated announcements about how many more people had come into the tax net after demonetisation and about how more tax would be collected.
  • No such thing has happened as the Prime Minister’s statement implies.
  • As soon as it started its innings in 2014, the NDA set up a special investigation team under court orders.
  • But nothing seems to budge the rich (say, the top 1% in the income ladder) to pay more tax.
  • More than 23,000 high net worth individuals left the country in five years up to 2019.
  • Embarrassingly, when the Defence Minister was in France last year to receive the first Rafale fighter jet, the CEO of Dassault Aviation said in a speech that India should not terrorise them with its tax and custom rules.
  • The government is able to trust neither the tax department officials nor the rich. So, it has decided to hand over the process of taxation to computers.
  • The department is being reorganised into assessment units, verification units, review units and technical units.
  • However, there is worry that the software can be manipulated by those who know the system.
  • The department is grossly understaffed and officers have inadequate time to scrutinise cases.
  • A few thousand officers have to deal with lakhs of cases.
  • What takes a clever Chartered Accountant a few months to prepare cannot be deciphered by an officer in a few hours.
  • Incomes of salaried employees are simple to estimate but the problem lies with estimating business incomes.
  • To estimate them one needs to know the revenue and costs. Both are fudged through under-invoicing and over-invoicing.
  • The well-off who have gained the most complain of it and the poor live with injustice. There is massive alienation in society.
  • The pandemic also points to this – the way vast numbers have suffered and why they do not heed the authorities.

Reinventing India’s strategic autonomy | IndExp

  • Addressing a Southeast Asian forum last week, external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar outlined India’s new quest for “strategic autonomy” in its global economic engagement.
  • In his remarks at the ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks, Jaishankar pointed to the very different context that informs India’s strategic autonomy.
  • Jaishankar referred to the risks in the global economy that have come into sharp view since the corona crisis enveloped the world earlier this year.
  • He also pointed to the growing consensus among the major economic actors for shorter and more reliable global supply chains.
  • De-risking supply chains has now become an explicit policy of many countries, including India.
  • Is India turning its back on economic globalisation of the last few decades? Is Delhi harking back to the much-vaunted idea of economic autarky that peaked during the years of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi?
  • Modi underlined India’s determination to seek deeper global economic engagement, if only on different terms.
  • Modi’s self-reliance today is not about retreating from the world, but of enhancing India’s economic contribution to the global economy.
  • Above all, it is about empowering India and the speedy realisation of its full national economic potential.
  • When applied to the foreign policy framework, “self-reliance” becomes “strategic autonomy”.
  • MEA talked about post Soviet Union era, in which, USA was the only power in the world.
  • India was in catch 22 situation.
  • In the early 1990s, the Clinton Administration had the irresistible itch to resolve the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
  • Washington concluded that “Kashmir is the world’s most dangerous nuclear flashpoint”.
  • Thanks to the fresh thinking on India under President George W Bush, the US discarded the long-standing temptation to insert itself in the Kashmir dispute.
  • In its single-minded focus on resolving the American problem, Delhi paid little attention to the gathering challenges from China.
  • If India’s nightmare in the 1990s was about America “internationalising” the Kashmir dispute, it is China that now takes up the issue regularly in the United Nations Security Council.
  • Delhi’s prolonged refusal to see the China challenge on was finally overcome with the PLA aggression in eastern Ladakh this summer.
  • In the 1990s, the US was seen as a valued economic partner for India. China today is viewed in Delhi as a major threat to India’s economic development.
  • The problems in India’s rapidly expanding economic relationship with China came into view in the 2010s as the bilateral trade deficit steadily rose reaching nearly $55billion in 2019.
  • This is one of the main reason why India pulled out of RCEP.
  • Beijing’s Ladakh aggression forced India to go from a passive commercial withdrawal to an active economic decoupling from China.
  • The logic of strategic autonomy from China nudges India to look for strong security partnerships with the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.
  • On the economic front, India is exploring various forms of collaboration with a broad group of nations that have a shared interest in developing trustworthy global supply chains that are not totally tied with China.
  • Threats to either territorial integrity or economic prosperity are powerful enough on their own to compel drastic changes in any nation’s policies.

New Age Of Reason | ToI

  • As harrowing as the current pandemic is, humankind has to consider that more and worse of these may lie ahead.
  • The global disruption caused by Covid has only served a small sample of what climate change will do to us all unless we do something to restrain it.
  • A new age of enlightenment is what we need.
  • Technocracies took the driving seat in many societies.
  • Science needs a renewal of vows with values and a higher purpose.
  • Whether it is broader climate change or its immediate manifestations like the pandemic or the California wildfires or the Amphan super cyclonic storm which caused extensive damage in Bengal in May, several roots of the environmental crisis lie in a technocratic attitude towards nature, science and progress.
  • Our humanist self needs to take back control instead.
  • It is clear that without ethical guidance science can stumble badly.
  • Today such big picture guidance needs to unite rationality with a collective humanity and even spirituality.

Politics over vaccine race | Asian Age

  • This race reminds us of space race of 1960s
  • The first nation to produce an effective vaccine can protect its people and get back to normalcy.
  • Most governments of the world has failed to tame the virus.
  • Their only hope it to get their hands on “the holy grail
  • But the hunt for vaccine is driven more by politics than science.
  • Vladimir Putin of Russia jumped the gun in claiming success.
  • Donald Trump wants a working vaccine before election.
  • China is already vaccinating thousands of health care and other workers on an urgent basis through a mass programme run by the military.
  • The free world must let science take the lead in passing careful judgement on the 78 vaccines that are confirmed as active now.
  • USA’s Moderna with its mRNA-based vaccine and UK’s Oxford University-Jenner Institute with their adenovirus variety are the scientific leaders in devloping a caccine that can be franchised to production line in record time once third phase clinical trials have evaluated their safety.
  • Realistically, a vaccine is months away.
  • This is the time all countries should utilise to plan on how to achieve an equitalbe distribution.
  • India is lucky to have the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
  • The big task is how we will ioculate 100 crore plus people?

NEWS

  • Assam Higher Secondary Education Council to reduce 30 pct syllabus for current academic year due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Govt announces Tax exemptions for businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh
  • Massive relief & rescue operations underway after Raigad building collapse mishap; 22 people rescued so far
  • Govt extends validity of Motor Vehicle documents till Dec 31
  • DRDO apprises Defence Minister Rajnath Singh about systems to be developed by Indian Industry
  • Defence cooperation to be key area of India-Russia collaboration: Indian Ambassador to Russia
  • Top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway resigns; to leave White House by month end
  • RTI disposal rate has remained unaffected by pandemic: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh
  • Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank reviews various activities of NIOS
  • Coronavirus plasma treatment still experimental, cautions WHO
  • US Elections: RNC re-nominates Trump as party’s Presidential candidate
  • Bangladesh: No Tajia procession on Muharram; schools not likely to open in September
  • 10 killed in multiple bomb attacks in Philippines
  • First female golfer from Germany Sophia Popov wins Women’s British Open
  • Rohan Bopanna, Denis Shapovalov lose opening round of Western and Southern Open men's doubles event
  • PM Modi pays tributes to Narmadashankar Dave 'Narmad' on his 187th birth anniversary
    • Mr Modi said, he was a visionary creator, philosopher, pioneer of social justice and a proud poet.
    • He said, the poet who is considered to be the founder of modern Gujarati literature, introduced his fearlessness and creativity through a magazine called 'Dandio'.
    • Mr Modi also greeted people on World Gujarati Language Day.
    • In a tweet, Mr Modi called upon Gujaratis to make Gujaratiness meaningful with its values, identity and sensitivity.