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9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief – 30 April 2016

Brief of newspaper articles for the day bearing
relevance to Civil Services preparation

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GS PAPER 2


[1] Liberate the legislator

The Hindu

Context

Anti Defection law has weakened the internal party democracy and have restricted the  legislators in terms of their functioning, so they need to be liberated so that they can perform their valuable function of legislation.

What is Anti-Defection law?

Anti-Defection Law is contained in the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution, which was introduced by the 52nd Amendment in 1985.

Defection is defined as “to abandon a position or association, often to join an opposing group” which essentially describes a situation when a member of a particular party abandons his loyalty towards that party and provide his support (in the form of his vote or otherwise) to another party.

Conditions of Disqualification If a member of a house belonging to a political party:

  • Voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party, or Votes, or does not vote in the legislature, contrary to the directions of his political party.
  • However, if the member has taken prior permission, or is condoned by the party within 15 days from such voting or abstention, the member shall not be disqualified.
  • If an independent candidate joins a political party after the election.
  • If a nominated member joins a party six months after he becomes a member of the legislature.

91st Amendment Act

  • It omitted paragraph three from the Tenth Schedule that allowed one-third of the parliamentarians/legislators to split from their parent party.
  • However, it left paragraph four in place, which allows two-thirds of the members of a parliamentary/legislative party to merge with an existing political party or form a new political party.
  • Essentially what this constitutional amendment did was raise the wholesale defection bar from one-third to two-thirds.

Problems with the 10th Schedule

  • It has  altered the fundamental character of the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy whereby legislators, rather than articulating the predilections and priorities of the territorial constituency that they represent, have become but virtual hostages of a whip-driven tyranny.
  • In the current  system voters have a  choice  with an individual elector but legislative power resides in a political party.
  • Viewed from this perspective,  the Tenth Schedule has  violated  the fundamental tenets of the Constitution if not the basic structure doctrine.

Party whip or Party Tyranny

  • Party whip enforces adherence to the party line, which  means that a member invariably ends up voting for a bill if he/she is on the Treasury benches and against a bill if he/she is in the Opposition.
  • We have seen odd spectacle of parliamentarians sometimes voting against a legislative instrument which they had supported previously, depending on whether their party occupies the Opposition or Treasury benches.
  • This has the effect of disincentivising lawmakers from seriously thinking, researching or even rifling for best practices to incorporate into legislation that is before the House for consideration and focus their energies on procedural matters.

Bill was Proposed by the writer to plug the loopholes in the 10th Schedule

The core provisions of the Bill envisaged that whips be issued only for those legislative items that threaten the stability of government.  Key Provisions in the Bill:-

The disqualification of a member of a House should be only on the grounds that if he votes or abstains from voting in the House with regard to a Confidence Motion, No-confidence Motion, Adjournment Motion, Money Bill or financial matters contrary to the direction issued in this behalf by the party to which he belongs to and in no other case.

Empowering the legislator

This bill restricting the rigours of the whip would free up the legislative space and ensure that every government strives not only for cross-party consensus on legislation but reaches out to individual lawmakers rather than just their leaderships, deepening participatory lawmaking in the process.

[2] India, PNG signs MoUs on IT, health

The Hindu 

News

    • President Pranab Mukherjee visited Papua New Guinea.
    • MOU on energy was signed between the two countries.

 

India is going to explore and develop Papua New Guinea’s vast oil and gas resources

  • Through joint ventures and investments from both the Indian private and public sectors.
  • It could be a new avenue of cooperation between the two countries, Papua New Guinea

Natural gas discovery

  • Natural gas was discovered in Southern Highland Province of the country.
  • Papua New Guinea is estimated to have 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as recoverable reserves.

Other initiatives between the two countries:

  • India agreed to provide a line of credit of $100 million to Papua New Guinea for infrastructure projects
  • Signed a pact to set up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in information technology.
  • Papa new guinea announced visa-on-arrival facility for Indian tourists.
  • Other agreements related to cooperation on agricultural research and health.
  • India would provide anti-retroviral drugs and equipment to benefit 20,000 HIV positive patients

GS PAPER 3


[1]  Govt. throws open I-T data; tax base stays narrow

+ Publishing tax data resumes after 15 years

The Hindu                                                  The Hindu

What happened?

India has resumed publishing its income tax data, which was suspended in 2000 owing to staffing and technical issues.

Additional points

  • India had first started publishing its income tax statistics in 1961.
  • In the absence of data, it was not possible to show the evolution of wealth in India as a result of which we could be vastly underestimating inequality.
  • Publishing this data is a big step towards transparency and informed policy-making is expected to assist researchers and analysts.

Crux of the data released

  • Just four per cent of India’s voters are taxpayers, though it should be closer to 23 per cent, and 85 per cent of the net national income falling outside the tax net.
  • Just one per cent of individuals, who declared their income in assessment year 2012-13, accounted for almost 20 per cent of the taxable income.
  • Among corporates, however, this imbalance is starker, with a little more than 5 per cent of the companies accounting for a whopping 94 per cent of the taxable income.
  • The data shows that direct tax collections have fallen drastically in the last five years, growing at an average annual rate of 8.5 per cent between assessment years 2011-12 and 2015-16, compared to the 14.1 per cent over the previous five years.
  • Gujarat saw the fastest growth in its direct tax collections, growing 185 per cent in FY2014-15 to Rs 12,577 crore compared to its level in FY2008-09.
  • Tamil Nadu saw the next-fastest growth in the period, with its direct tax collections growing 116 per cent to Rs 20,651 crore in FY2014-15.
  • Maharashtra (112 per cent) and West Bengal (105 per cent) were the other states seeing rapid growth in their direct tax collections.


1. The lead article of the day is covered under Editorial Today. Click here to read.

2. Science and Technology and Environment articles has been left out, they will be covered in weekly compilation for next week.

BY: ForumIAS Editorial Team 

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