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Mains Marathon

Answered: Mains Marathon – UPSC Mains Current Affairs Questions – April 28



  1. How can Aadhaar-PAN linkage stop tax leakage? Do you think that the linkage can restrict evasion of tax?(GS 2)

The Hindu

Introduction:-

  • Recently the Supreme Court referred to the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to the Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Income Tax returns as an instance of the government’s efforts to bring new and new laws to stop leakages.

How can Aadhar pan linkage stop tax leakage and tax evasion:-

  • Biometric system was the only way to prevent duplication as there was no way in which people could get a duplicate or fake Aadhaar number and linking of PAN with Aadhaar would be very effective in monitoring cases of tax evasion.
  • people are procuring multiple PAN cards which were being used for illegal transactions and to “divert funds” to shell firms.

How it cannot curb tax evasion:-

  • Aadhaar was not foolproof, experts responded that 132% of the population of Delhi is shown to have taken Aadhaar cards and 104% all over the country.
  • How will it help their avowed objective to stop black money and make cash transactions transparent, if Section 139AA is limited to just individuals. Aadhaar is only meant for individuals and not companies.
  • Making Aadhaar mandatory would push the country towards a totalitarian state where citizens’ rights would be made subservient and the government would keep an eye on each of their activities.

  1. “IMF will have to change its asymmetric power structure and outdated quota system to become relevant.” Critically discuss.(GS 2)

The Hindu

Criticisms:-

  • The IMF’s and World Bank’s structural adjustment policies (SAPs) ensure debt repayment by requiring countries to cut spending on education and health; eliminate basic food and transportation subsidies; devalue national currencies to make exports cheaper; privatize national assets; and freeze wages. Such belt-tightening measures increase poverty, reduce countries’ ability to develop strong domestic economies and allow multinational corporations to exploit workers and the environment.
  • The IMF has made elites from the Global South more accountable to First World elites than their own people, thus undermining the democratic process..
  • Unlike a democratic system in which each member country would have an equal vote, rich countries dominate decision-making in the IMF because voting power is determined by the amount of money that each country pays into the IMF’s quota system.
  • Unlike the path historically followed by the industrialized countries, the IMF forces countries from the Global South to prioritize export production over the development of diversified domestic economies.
  • Members of affected communities do not participate in designing loan packages. The IMF works with a select group of central bankers and finance ministers to make polices without input from other government agencies such as health, education and environment departments.
  • By far the most prominent criticism of the IMF has been directed at the conditionality attached to the loans that it provides.
  • One factor weakening the legitimacy of the IMF has been that members’ quota and voting shares, which underpin IMF decisions, have become unbalanced over time, less adequately representing the current distribution of economic and financial power and needs in today’s world.
  • Proposed package of reforms falls far short of the goals of the exercise.
    • A major weakness is the proposed revised formula for calculating the presumptive quota and voting shares of members.
    • Taken on its own, the formula generates changes in shares that move away from rather than toward a closer alignment of voting power with economic realities.
    • By way of example, the combined voting share of China, India, Korea, Brazil, and Mexico will increase from 8.2 percent to only 10.7 percent of total votes.
    • The combined share of the five European countries Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland will decline only modestly, from 10.4 percent to 9.5 percent.
  • Some IMF policies may be anti-developmental; the report said thatdeflationary effects of IMF programmes quickly led to losses of output and employment in economies where incomes were low and unemployment was high.
  • Another criticism is that IMF programs are only designed to address poor governance, excessive government spending, excessive government intervention in markets, and too much state ownership.This assumes that this narrow range of issues represents the only possible problems; everything is standardised and differing contexts are ignored.
  • WithGini coefficient, it became clear that countries with IMF programs face increased income inequality
  • its core areas of concern indeveloping countries are very narrow.
  • Three years ago, the IMF had loaned more than 100 billion US dollars to various countries to help them tide over problems including management of external balance of payments. This amount has now shrunk to less than 20 billion dollars a year.
  • Disturbing picture that emerges is that some developing countries will be given increases by reducing the shares of some other equally deserving countries.
  • The irrelevance of the Fund was evident from the fact that current fund inflows through bond markets were far higher than funds disbursed by the IMF. Besides, a one-time lender of funds had become a net recipient of money.

Positives:

  • IMF policies promote corporate welfare
  • The IMF routinely pushes countries to deregulate financial systems. The removal of regulations that might limit speculation has greatly increased capital investment in developing country financial markets.
  • Some see it as being driven by a neo-liberal economic agenda.
  • The organisation only enters a country and gives its assistance when requested by a host country.

  1. Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. Comment.(GS 4)

Yes,it is the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do:-

  • Ethics goes beyond doing what is legally right and addresses proper behavior and expectations for those tasked with the responsibility of planning communities in their roles as public officials representing the public good.
  • While the law provides clear responsibilities and limits to officials and other individuals responsible for the planning of communities, there is a great deal of flexibility where individuals or groups must make judgment decisions in the best interests of their community, and being guided by strong ethical principles ensures that the best decisions are being made.
  • A law may tell part-III of constitution is your rights. But there can some rights which are not covered in this part. In such case, ethics tells us what is right to do. This part may not talk specifically on manual scavenging but one should know that it is not right to force someone to do such act.
  • Religion:
    • It may give all guidelines for what is right to do. Some of them may not be compatible to present day. But ethics tells us that such acts are not right. For example polygamy, triple talaq are against women’s rights.
    • Child marriage and sati were once ethical in indian society but illegal
    • Animal sacrifice is considered accepted in tribal and rural society but illegal.
  • Marital rape is allowed in the law but is unethical in itself. Ethics guide the husband in not committing such acts.

Ethics in general helps in letting people aware of the difference between what rights they have and what is right to do..


 

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