One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme
The review of One Rank One Pension (OROP) has been pending since June 2020. The issue was discussed during the recent parliamentary panel meet.
There are certain ‘loopholes’ which need to be fixed in the scheme. A committee has been constituted to look into the issue by the Defence Ministry to work out the modalities of the revision but no announcement has been made on when the revision would be undertaken.
What is OROP?
SC refuses petition against M.P. ordinance
The Supreme Court has declined to entertain a petition challenging the validity of the controversial Madhya Pradesh ordinance regulating religious conversions through inter-faith marriages. Instead, it asked the petitioner to approach the High Court.
What did the petitioner say?
The plea said the law, which followed a similar ordinance made by Uttar Pradesh, infringed a person’s right to privacy and freedom of choice, leading to violations of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution. Similar law is in force in Uttarakhand.
Key Provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Dharmik Swatantrata (Freedom of Religion) Bill 2020:
Supreme Court on Marriage and Conversion:
The Apex Court of India in its several judgements has held that the state and the courts have no jurisdiction over an adult’s absolute right to choose a life partner.
The Supreme Court of India, in both the Lily Thomas and Sarla Mudgal cases, has confirmed that religious conversions carried out without a bona fide belief and for the sole purpose of deriving some legal benefit do not hold water.
Sri Lankan Tamils issue
Though Sri Lanka’s armed conflict ended in 2009, the entrenched impunity for the deaths of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in what the United Nations called a “bloodbath” has kept the conflict on the Human Rights Council’s agenda ever since.
What happened then?
The Tamil minority in Sri Lanka was facing persecution under the rule of the nationalist Sinhalese government. The rift also fuelled Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam-led extremism in the nation which engulfed the nation into years of civil war.
The previous Sri Lankan government, headed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, had co-sponsored the resolution in 2013, calling for accountability in alleged war crimes committed by the government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the final phase of the near-three-decade-long civil war in May 2009.
The current government, led by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, has officially withdrawn from the resolution.
Participatory notes of Overseas Derivative Instruments have a tendency to raise the hackles of the regulators.
Outstanding P-notes hitting a 31-month high in November is likely to have caused considerable consternation.
What’s the Concern?
These instruments have gained notoriety on account of their rampant misuse prior to 2008.
The anonymity provided by P-notes, where the final owner can be concealed from regulators, had led to entities using this route to round-trip funds.
What has the SEBI said?
There is no real cause for alarm; these instruments account for only 2 per cent of FPI assets currently.
But, why there is an increase in value of outstanding P-notes?
The rally in stock prices has resulted in inflating the value of existing P-note holdings.
There has been a great surge in FPI inflows this fiscal, with investments so far exceeding ₹2,42,000 crore.
What are Participatory Notes?
Participatory Notes or P-Notes (PNs) are financial instruments issued by a registered foreign institutional investor (FII) to an overseas investor who wishes to invest in Indian stock markets without registering themselves with the market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Govt. likely file appeal against Cairn arbitration award
The Centre is likely to file an appeal against the $1.4 billion international arbitration award won by Cairn Energy in a tax dispute.
The government intends to defend its sovereign right in taxation and will file an appeal against the tribunal ordering India to return $1.4 billion to the British firm.
What’s the Concern now?
Cairn has indicated it could seize overseas assets such as aircraft and ships if New Delhi fails to comply with the arbitration award and return the value of the shares sold, dividend seized and tax refund withheld by the income tax department to recover part of the tax demand it had raised using retrospective legislation.
What’s the case?
Cairn had challenged the Indian government seeking taxes over an internal business reorganisation using the 2012 retrospective tax law, under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty.
What had the tribunal ruled?
India’s claim of Rs 10,247 crore in past taxes over a 2006-07 internal reorganisation of Cairn’s India business was not a valid demand.
India should pay the funds withheld along with the interest to the Scottish oil explorer for seizing dividend, tax refund, and sale of shares to partly recover the dues.
India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty.
How the issue reached arbitration tribunal?
Cairn’s claim was brought under the terms of the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty, the legal seat of the tribunal was the Netherlands, and the proceedings were under the registry of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.