Comprehensive insights into current affairs. Useful for self-development, and all competitive exams.
GST collections continue to dip through
- Decision: In an important announcement, the GoI has said it will borrow Rs.50,000 crore more in FY 2017-’18 from the market
- Why? This is because the Revenue collections have fallen short of the targets, and the GoI does not want to slow down its expenditure engine (otherwise economy may falter badly)
- Over the estimate: The borrowing is over the budget est. of Rs.5.80 lac crores for 2017-’18
- Impact? The GoI will miss the 3.2% fiscal deficit target (first miss in 4 years) – can be 3.54%
- Both gross and net (total borrowings) will rise by Rs.50,000 cr
- Technical: Govt is reducing borrowing through short term T bills by Rs.61,203 crores, and it claims that net borrowings will not go up (as this is going down)
- Treasury Bills? T-bills offer short-term investment, up to one year. Useful in managing short-term liquidity. GoI issues 3 types through auctions : 91-day, 182-day and 364-day T bills. State governments don’t issue any. Can be in multiples of Rs.25,000. Issued at discount.
- India’s fiscal roadmap: says 2018-19 F/D must be only 3%. Most likely will be breached now.
- Bond markets : The markets are not too turbulent, as it was expected due to GST problem
- Latest update: The Fin Min issued number indicate a steady dip in GST collections through November 2017 also, with a total of Rs.80808 cr reported.
- Numbers: July – Rs.92283 cr, August – Rs.90669 cr, Sept – Rs.92150 cr, Oct – Rs.83346
- Why? Many reasons for this. (a) Reduced tax rates : Based on feedback, the GST Council drastically removed rates on 210 items (of which 180 were in highest slab), going beyond the Fitment Comm.’s reco. (b) Taxpayers with revenues upto Rs.1.5 cr were allowed in Oct to go for Quarterly filings, hence from December we can see an uptick (c) More than 16.5 composition dealers have to also file in December – may be positive (d) Due to some structural issues not implemented – eWay bills, invoice matching, reverse charge mechanism – tax compliance is adversely affected (e) Only 53 lac of the 99 lac registered taxpayers have filed for November 2017
- Impact on Government: This slippage has directly led to higher borrowing targets now
Gems and jewellery exports
shoot up by 50%
- Latest update: Despite a steady drop in exports through the FY so far, the November figures for exports suddenly shot up, indicating better global consumer sentiment
- GJEPC numbers: Apex body is Gems and Jewellery Exports Promotion Council. Its numbers are Rs.18,000 cr in November 2017 (Rs.12,000 cr in Nov. 2016)
- 2017 overall to be better: This sudden and unexpected pickup will improve the full year’s numbers also. The peak 5 week demand from US is from Thanksgiving to New Year.
- US demand: US accounts for 40% of global jewellery demand
- Tough in middle east: Due to levy of VAT by the GCC, the huge import markets of Gulf will become too competitive for Indian exporters
- India’s top exports: Our top export categories are shown in the image.
Treat Ganga Sagar mela
at par with Kumbh
- What is the festival? The Ganga Sagar festival is celebrated annually on Gangasagar or Sagardwip, a place of Hindu pilgrimage, on Makar Sankranti day (14 January)
- Religious fervour: For Hindus, taking a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganges and Bay of Bengal and offer prayers (puja) in the Kapil Muni Temple is considered auspicious.
- Make it at par with Kumbh Mela: The West Bengal CM considers the annual Ganga Sagar Mela at par with the Kumbh Mela, and a source of solidarity (Sanghati Tirtha).
- Tourism on the Sagar island: The Mela spot can be turned into a great tourist attraction
- Kumbh Mela: It is on the UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. Four fairs recognized: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha. Fairs held periodically by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayaga), Nashik district (Nashik and Trimbak), and Ujjain.
Indian use Golden Visa in US
before immigration curbs tighten
- What is the EB5 visa? The EB-5 immigrant investor programme gives opportunity to foreign nationals to get permanent residency in US by investing USD 500,000 in projects that will generate at least 10 full time jobs in US itself. An entry route for wealthy individuals.
- Investment limits to go up: The present limit of USD 50k will go up to USD 92k soon. This route – commonly known as the GOLDEN VISA route – is seeing a big rush. Trump is anyway tightening all immigrant visa norms across the board. (‘Make in America’)
- India at third position: China and Vietnam are the top EB-5 applicant nations, with 10948 and 404 applications, and India is at number 3. Key categories are entrepreneurs and parents of students studying in the US.
- Other tightening: The proposal to disallow the spouses of H1B visa holders to work in the US has increased the rush for EB-5.
China ‘reminds’ India CPEC extension
is not against it
- CPEC extending into Afghanistan: The CPEC’s Extension to Afghanistan will not be designed to work against Indian interests. This USD 50 billion project is now being taken ahead.
- China, Pak, Afghanistan trilateral: The Foreign Ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan met recently, and China offered to extend CPEC to Afghanistan as the three sides pledged to stepup counter terrorism cooperation.
- Three foreign ministers: Wang Yi (China), Khawaja Asif (Pak) and Salahuddin Rabbani (Afg.) attended the meeting. On Indian concerns, China has consistently maintained that it is not designed to harm India at all.
- India rejected the OBOR / BRI in totality: All attempts by the Chinese to co-opt India into BRI, including a nudge from Russia in the RIC trilateral, have failed to fructify.
Static Facts to remember
Top economies of the World
Important Charts to study
State of healthcare in India
These people were in the news
Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China, for CPEC extension into Afghanistan
Mamata Banerjee, for seeking Kumbh-like status for Ganga Sagar Mela in W. Bengal
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Colonel Purohit, to be tried in the NIA court on terror
charges but being relieved of the MCOCA charges (org. crime) [Malegaon blasts]
P. Chidambaram, for being asked by BJP MPs in Lok Sabha to recuse himself from the
“Aadhar as Money Bill” discussions as he is a lawyer in a case in S.C.
The National Population Register (NPR), for refusing to heed to State governments’
requests for sharing NPR data citing privacy concerns
Jay Y Lee, heir of Samsung empire, as prosecutors asked court for a 12 yr sentence
Facebook, for beginning trial runs on linking Aadhar with FB accounts L
Vijay Rupani, for being re-elected for the post of CM, Gujarat, the PM’s home state