Crop Insurance Week
Government has launched the Crop Insurance Awareness Campaign for Fasal Bima Yojana during the Crop Insurance Week (being observed from July 1 to 7).
Performance of PMFBY:
Till date, the scheme has insured over 29.16 crore farmer applications (5.5 crore farmer applications on year-on-year basis).
Over the period of 5 years, more than 8.3 crore farmer applications have benefited from the scheme.
Moreover, Rs.95,000 crores claims have been paid as against Rs. 20,000 crore farmers share.
About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:
It is in line with the One Nation – One Scheme theme- It replaced National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).
Launched in 2016.
Coverage: All food & oilseed crops and annual commercial/horticultural crops for which past yield data is available.
Premium: The prescribed premium is 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all rabi crops. In the case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium is 5%.
The Scheme covers all Food & Oilseeds crops and Annual Commercial/Horticultural Crops for which past yield data is available and for which requisite number of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) are being conducted under General Crop Estimation Survey (GCES).
PMFBY to PMFBY 2.0 (overhauled PMFBY):
Completely Voluntary: It has been decided to make enrolment 100% voluntary for all farmers from 2020 Kharif.
Limit to Central Subsidy: The Cabinet has decided to cap the Centre’s premium subsidy under these schemes for premium rates up to 30% for unirrigated areas/crops and 25% for irrigated areas/crops.
More Flexibility to States: The government has given the flexibility to states/UTs to implement PMFBY and given them the option to select any number of additional risk covers/features like prevented sowing, localised calamity, mid-season adversity, and post-harvest losses.
Penalising the Pendency: In the revamped PMFBY, a provision has been incorporated wherein if states don’t release their share before March 31 for the Kharif season and September 30 for rabi, they would not be allowed to participate in the scheme in subsequent seasons.
Investing in ICE Activities: Insurance companies have to now spend 0.5% of the total premium collected on information, education and communication (IEC) activities.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea seeking directions to the Centre to impose President’s Rule in West Bengal over alleged incidents of post-poll violence in the state.
During the violence, the government and administration remained silent spectators and no protection was provided to the victims by them.
No appropriate action was taken against the culprits, due to which the life, liberty, dignity of the women and children are in peril and the future of Hindu residents is in jeopardy.
The National Human Rights Commission on June 21 has already set up an eight-member committee headed by NHRC member Rajiv Jain in compliance with a Calcutta High Court direction to investigate incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal.
What is President’s Rule in the Indian context?
Article 356 of the Constitution of India gives the President of India power to suspend state government and impose President’s rule of any state in the country “if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.
It is also known as ‘State Emergency’ or ‘Constitutional Emergency’.
Upon the imposition of this rule, there would be no Council of Ministers.
The state will fall under the direct control of the Union government, and the Governor will continue to head the proceedings, representing the President of India.
Parliamentary Approval and Duration:
A proclamation imposing President’s Rule must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament within two months from the date of its issue.
The approval takes place through simple majority in either House, that is, a majority of the members of the House present and voting.
Initially valid for six months, the President’s Rule can be extended for a maximum period of three years with the approval of the Parliament, every six months.
Report of the Governor:
Under Article 356, President’s Rule is imposed if the President, upon receipt of the report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
A proclamation of President’s Rule may be revoked by the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation. Such a proclamation does not require parliamentary approval.
Freight Smart Cities
Commerce Ministry’s Logistics Division unveils plans for ‘Freight Smart Cities’.
The objective is to improve the efficiency of urban freight and create an opportunity for reduction in the logistics costs.
Under the initiative, city-level logistics committees would be formed.
These committees would have related government departments and agencies at the local level, state and from the reacted central ministries and agencies.
These would also include private sector from the logistics services and also users of logistics services.
These committees would co-create City Logistics Plans to implement performance improvement measures locally.
Final-mile freight movement in Indian cities is currently responsible for 50 per cent of total logistics costs in India’s growing e-commerce supply chains.
Improving city logistics would also enable efficient freight movement and bring down the logistics costs boosting all sectors of the economy.
Besides, Demand for urban freight is expected to grow by 140 per cent over the next 10 years.
Cities being covered:
Ten cities will be identified on immediate basis. It is planned to expand the list to 75 cities in the next phase before scaling up throughout the country including all state capitals and cities that have more than one million population.
OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework tax deal
India has joined the G20–OECD inclusive framework deal that seeks to reform international tax rules and ensure that multinational enterprises pay their fair share wherever they operate.
130 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 90% of global GDP, have signed the deal.
Two pillars of framework:
Dealing with transnational and digital companies. This pillar ensures that large multinational enterprises, including digital companies, pay tax where they operate and earn profits.
Dealing with low-tax jurisdictions to address cross-border profit shifting and treaty shopping. This pillar seeks to put a floor under competition among countries through a global minimum corporate tax rate, currently proposed at 15%.
If implemented, countries such as the Netherlands and Luxembourg that offer lower tax rates, and so-called tax havens such as Bahamas or British Virgin Islands, could lose their sheen.
Impact/implications on India:
India will have to roll back the equalisation levy that it imposes on companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook when the global tax regime is implemented.
What is Equalisation levy?
In 2016, India imposed an equalisation levy of 6% on online advertisement services provided by non-residents. This was applicable to Google and other foreign online advertising service providers.
The government expanded its scope from April 1, 2020, by imposing a 2% equalisation levy on digital transactions by foreign entities operating in India or having access to the local market.
What is BEPS?
Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) refers to tax planning strategies used by multinational enterprises that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to avoid paying tax.
Developing countries’ higher reliance on corporate income tax means they suffer from BEPS disproportionately.
BEPS practices cost countries USD 100-240 billion in lost revenue annually.