Daily Current Affairs : 03-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. WOMEN AND CHILD BUDGET

  2. GST (BUDGET)

  3. CUSTOM & EXCISE DUTY

  4. EDUCATION BUDGET 2020

  5. DEFENCE BUDGET 2020-21

  6. ARCHIMEDES PRINCIPLE

  7. TOURISM BUDGET

  8. BUDGET AND FINANCIAL SECTOR

  9. BUDGET 2020: PROPOSALS FOR SOCIAL WELFARE

  10. BUDGET 2020: HEALTHCARE SECTOR



WOMEN AND CHILD BUDGET

Part of GS- 1 Socail Issue


Why in news?

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February, 2020, proposed allocating Rs 35,600 crore for nutrition-related programmes. The minister, while presenting the Budget for FY21, announced an additional Rs 28,600 crore outlay for women-linked programmes.

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KEY HIGHLIGHTS :

  • A sum of Rs 30,000 crore has been set aside for the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry for the next fiscal in the Budget announced on 1st February, 2020, a 14 per cent increase over the 2019-2020 financial year.

  • The total amount allocated for the social services sector, which includes nutrition and social security and welfare, has been increased from Rs 3,891.71 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 4,036.49 crore in 2020-21.

  • The Budget for the National Nutrition Mission or Poshan Abhiyan has been increased from Rs 3,400 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 3,700 in 2020-21.

  • The Poshan Abhiyan, which aims to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0-6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022, has been a key focus area of the Women and Child Development Ministry.

  • The allocation for ‘One Stop Centre’ scheme saw a major boost from Rs 204 crore in last fiscal to Rs 385 crore this fiscal. The scheme aims to facilitate access to an integrated range of services, including medical aid, police assistance, legal aid and psycho-social counselling to women affected by violence, including sexual assault.

  • The Centre’s programmes of maternity benefit and child protection services also got a boost in the Budget. The allocation for Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), a maternity benefit programme, has been increased from Rs 2,300 crore to Rs 2,500 crore. Under the programme, Rs 6,000 is given to pregnant women and lactating mothers for the birth of the first living child.

  • The allocation for the Child Protection Services programme under the Integrated Child Development Services has been increased to Rs 1,500 crore from Rs 1,350 crore.

  • A sum of Rs 30,007.10 crore has been earmarked for the WCD Ministry for the next financial year, a 14 per cent increase over Rs 26,184.50 crore allocated to it last year. A major chunk of the sum, Rs 20,532.38 crore, is for ‘anganwadi’ services.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ has been allocated Rs 220 crore in the current financial year.

  • The allocation for the Mahila Shakti Kendras has been doubled from Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore.

  • The total allocation for the centrally sponsored schemes was Rs 29,720.38 crore, a boost of Rs 3,804 crore from the last fiscal.

  • The allocation for the National Creche Scheme has also been increased from Rs 50 crore to Rs 75 crore. The scheme aims to enable working women to safely leave their children in crèches while they are away at work.

  • Similarly, the allocation for Working Women’s Hostel scheme has been tripled from Rs 45 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 150 crore in 2020-21.

  • On the issue of providing safety for all women, the budget for Ujjawala, a scheme for prevention of trafficking, rescue and rehabilitation of the victims, has been increased from Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore.


Source: PIB



GST (BUDGET)

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • Major Reforms are Proposed in Administration of GST Regime under the Union Budget 2020-21. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget 2020 in Parliament on Saturday. She announced the launch of a new personal income tax regime which can help the middle-class save taxes and also scrapped dividend distribution tax (DDT).


Highlights:

  • True to this vision for the historic structural reform, the Goods and Services Tax has been gradually maturing into a tax that has integrated the country economically. It has consolidated numerous taxes and cesses to one tax and facilitated formalization of economy. It has resulted in the efficiency gains in logistic and transport sectors. The turnaround time for trucks has witnessed a substantial reduction to the tune of 20% due to abolition of check posts in GST. The dreaded Inspector-Raj has also vanished.

  • A simplified new return system is being introduced from April 1, 2020.

  • Aadhaar based verification of taxpayers is being introduced which will help in weeding out dummy or non-existent units.

  • The Union Budget has proposed Dynamic QR-code for consumer invoices. The GST parameters will be captured when payment for purchases is made through the QR-code. A system of cash reward is envisaged to incentivise customers to seek invoice.

  • Electronic invoice is another innovation wherein critical information shall be captured electronically in a centralized system. It will facilitate compliance and return filing.

  • It has also led to significant benefits to MSME by way of enhanced threshold and composition limits. The effective tax incidence on almost every commodity came down substantially. Through several rate reductions, an annual benefit of `one lakh crore has been extended to consumers. It amounts to 10% reduction in overall tax incidence. An average household now saves about 4% on its monthly spends on account of reduced GST rates.

  • During this phase of maturing, GST did face certain challenges. This was natural as transition was daunting. GST Council has been proactive in resolving issues during transition. In the last two years we have added more than 60 lakh new taxpayers, a total of about 40 crore returns were filed, 800 crore invoices were uploaded, and 105 crore e-way bills were generated. There has been extensive engagement with stakeholders.


Source : LiveMint



CUSTOM & EXCISE DUTY

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • Customs duty is being raised on items like footwear (from 25% to 35% on footwear and from 15% to 20% on parts of footwear) and furniture (from 20% to 25%).


Highlights:

  • The Union Budget proposed to abolish anti-dumping duty on PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid).

  • To give impetus to the domestic medical equipment industry, the Finance Minister proposed to impose a nominal health cess (at the rate of 5%), by way of a duty of customs, on the imports of medical equipment keeping.

  • The PTA is critical input for textile fibres and yarns.

  • The Union Budget also proposed to reduce basic customs duty on imports of news print and light-weight coated paper from 10% to 5%.

  • This levy on these items have put additional burden on print media at a time when it is going through a difficult phase.

  • The Budget also proposed to raise excise duty, by way of National Calamity Contingent Duty on Cigarettes and other tobacco products.

  • No change is being made in the duty rates of bidis.


Source : The Hindu



EDUCATION BUDGET 2020

Part of GS- Education


Why in news?

  • The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated Rs. 99,300 crore to the education sector including Rs. 3,000 crore for the skill development initiatives as she announced the Union Budget on February 1, 2020.


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • This is a Rs. 4,500 crore rise from last year where the government allocated Rs. 94,800 crore towards the education fund — focusing on improving schools and higher education programmes.

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New reforms introduced

  • There have been over 200,000 new additions in the New Education Policy, which will be announced soon.

  • Come 2030, India will have the largest working age population in the world. Under the 'Study in India' programme, the government will introduce INSAT exam to enrol Asian and African students in Indian universities.

  • In order to provide quality education to the under privileged, full-fledged online courses will be launched in India -- by the institutions featuring in the top 100 national rankings.

  • Given the increasing global demand, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will also kick-start a 'bridge course' to riskily its teachers and nurses.

  • Almost 260 million people in India enrol into different courses each year, while another 60 million are deprived of access to education, according to the Right to Education Forum. This shows that the Indian education system needs a revamp. According to the government think tank NITI Aayog, India should increase the education expenditure to nearly 6% of the GDP over the next two years.

Shortage of teachers

  • India is short of teachers and skilled teachers are rarer to come by. As of now, the country has roughly 8.5 million teachers and only 19,000 teacher training institutes.

  • “If we are focussed on the right to education, the quality of education is equally important and the Govt may look to allocate budget to improve education facilities,” said Nivedita Das Gupta, India Country Head, and Miracle Foundation India.

  • As of 2018, the country’s national capital Delhi government schools were recorded with 35,034 regular teachers. While the sanctioned strength was 64,096 — which is a shortage of nearly 45% of teachers.

  • In August 2019, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) announced an initiative ‘NISHTHA’ National Initiative on School Teachers Head Holistic Advancement to train over 4.2 million teachers across the country.


Source: PIB



DEFENCE BUDGET 2020-21

Part of GS- 3 Defence & Security


Why in news?

  • The Union Budget for the financial year 2020-21, presented by Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on February 01, 2020, envisaged a total outlay of Rs 30,42,230 crore.


Highlights:

  • Out of this, Rs 3,37,553 crore has been allocated for Defence (excluding Defence Pension). For Defence Pension, an amount of Rs 1,33,825 crore has been provided in Budget Estimates 2020-21.

  • Without the pension, the defence budget is only 1.5 percent of the GDP.

  • The disappointing part is that there has been a very marginal increase in the capital outlay for defence for 2020-21 as compared to the budget estimates and revised estimates for 2019-20.

  • The bare minimum increase in capital outlay will drastically affect several major acquisitions of the army, navy and air force.

  • There is an increase of Rs 40,367.21 crore in the total Defence allocations (Rs 4,71,378 crore) including Defence Pension over the financial year 2019-20. Total defence budget accounts for 15.49 per cent of the total central government expenditure for the year 2020-21.

  • The allocation of Rs 4,71,378 crore represents a growth of 9.37 per cent over Budget Estimates (Rs 4,31,010.79 crore) for the financial year 2019-20.

  • Out of Rs 3,37,553 crore allocated for the financial year 2020-21, Rs 2,18,998 crore is for the Revenue (Net) expenditure and Rs 1,18,555 crore is for capital expenditure for the Defence Services and the Organisations/Departments under Ministry of Defence. The amount of Rs 1,18,555 crore allocated for capital expenditure includes modernisation related expenditure.


Source: PIB



ARCHIMEDES PRINCIPLE

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news?

  • A video of an elephant being rescued in Jharkhand went viral recently, winning forest officials praise online. The baby elephant was stuck in a well in Gumla district. After locals alerted the state forest department, officials used a principle from physics to help the animal.


Highlights:

  • For three hours, the authorities applied the Archimedes Principle, or the ‘upward buoyant force theory’, to bring the elephant out of the well.

  • The rescue team filled the well with water using motorised pipes, after which the struggling elephant floated to the top and was able to climb out through a ramp placed for it.

What is the ‘Archimedes Principle’ that the Jharkhand officials used?

  • In physics, the Archimedes Principle refers to the law of buoyancy (the ability or tendency of something to float in water or other fluids).

  • According to the principle, when an object is completely or partially submerged in a fluid, whether gas or liquid, it is acted upon by an upward force (buoyancy) equal to the weight of the fluid it has displaced.

  • The force acting downward on the object is the weight of the object. The upward force is the one given by the Archimedes Principle. The difference between the two forces is the net force acting on the object.

  • If the buoyant force is more than the weight, the object rises; if it is less, the object sinks. If the net force is zero, the object remains in place, and neither rises nor sinks.

  • In the case of the elephant rescued in Jharkhand, the forest officials pumped water into the well so that the elephant could float to the surface.


Source: Indian Express



TOURISM BUDGET

Part of GS- 1 A&C


Why in news?

  • India's tourism industry has lauded the proposed Budget allocation of Rs. 2,500 crore for the financial year 2020-21. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February, 2020, said improvement of the tourism industry is directly related to growth and job creation.


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The minister, while presenting the Budget for FY21, highlighted that India has moved up from rank 65 in 2014 to 34 in 2019 on Travel & Tourism Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum.

  • She said foreign exchange earnings grew 7.4% to Rs. 1.88 lakh crore for January-November 2019 from Rs. 1.75 lakh crores a year ago.

  • Industry experts however said the proposed establishment of the Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation coupled with a greater emphasis on the UDAAN scheme and more Tejas trains for iconic destinations.

  • The new proposal to develop five archaeological sites as iconic destinations along with museums on site should provide a boost to the tourism sector. Besides tourism, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also proposed to allocate Rs 3150 crore for the Ministry of Culture. The first Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation will be set up with the status of a deemed university to be operated under the Ministry of Culture.

  • In order to have well-trained resources in the disciplines of museology and archaeology, the Finance Minister proposed to establish first Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation with the status of a deemed university to operate under the Ministry of Culture.

  • In a major bid to revitalise tourism, finance minister proposed 8 new museums, which includes building infrastructure around 5 Iconic Sites, besides proposing renovation of 5 major museums across the length and breadth of India.

  • Five Archeological sites to be set-up/developed as Iconic Sites with on-site Museums at the following locations: Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu).

  • Maritime Museum to highlight Harappan Age at Lothal, Ahmedabad, will be renovated by Ministry of ShippingSupport and will be provided for setting up Tribal Museum in Ranchi (Jharkhand).


Source: PIB



BUDGET AND FINANCIAL SECTOR

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced the limit for FPIs in corporate bonds is to be raised from 9 per cent to 15 per cent and select government securities are to be fully opened for NRIs.


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Select govt securities to be fully opened for NRIs

  • Limit for FPIs in corp bonds raised from 9% to 15%

  • To float new debt ETF for govt bonds

  • Gifty City to set up international bullion exchange

  • Credit guarantee scheme for NBFCs extended

  • Rs 3,50,000 crore infused in PSU banks in past few years

  • Governance reforms in PSU banks to make them more efficient

  • PSU banks to be encouraged to raise capital from markets

  • Bank deposit insurance cover increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh

  • To take measure to professionalise PSU banks

  • To amend bank regulation to strengthen co-op banks

  • Proposes to sell govt’s balance holding in IDBI Bank

Source: PIB



BUDGET 2020: PROPOSALS FOR SOCIAL WELFARE

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget 2020 speech, presented several proposals under three themes: aspirational society, economic development and caring society.


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The FM split the ‘Caring for Society’ theme into three sections namely women, child and social welfare, culture and tourism, and environment and climate change.

  • Allocating Rs. 35,600 crore for nutritional related programmes, the FM said that under Poshan Abhiyaan, launched in 2019, 6 lakh anganwadi workers have been equipped with smartphones to provide nutritional updates for 10 crore households.

  • She added that a task force will be appointed to look into the issue of young girls entering motherhood.

  • Touching upon the need to fight manual scavenging, she said that the govt was working on technological alternatives for this.

  • She also proposed a budget provision of Rs. 85,000 crore for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes and Rs 53,700 crore for Scheduled Tribes.

  • Also allocated Rs 9,500 crore for Divyaang programme for the benefit of senior citizens.


Source: PIB



BUDGET 2020: HEALTHCARE SECTOR

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

  • Hospital and healthcare sector stocks were in focus after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Centre's plans to expand the government's flagship health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY).


Highlights:

  • The FM announced an allocation of Rs 69,000 crore for the healthcare sector in the 2020-21 Union Budget, slightly up from last year.

  • The allocating Rs 6,400 crore for the scheme, the FM also said that the AB-PMJAY scheme would be expanded by setting up more hospitals in the tier-II and III cities under the public-private-partnership (PPP) route. Proceeds from taxes on medical devices would be used for development of hospitals.

  • The government will provide viability gap funding for the process. Shares of Apollo Hospital Enterprises, Aster DM Healthcare were marginally down around afternoon after gaining initially in the morning.

  • "Viability gap funding window to be set up to cover hospitals, with priority given to aspirational districts that don't have hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat.

  • The government will open hospitals in tier II and tier III cities covered under aspirational districts scheme, which still do not have Ayushman-empanelled hospital.

  • Under Ayushman Bharat, the government had also initiated a programme to set up 1,50,000 health and wellness centres (HWCs) by 2022.

  • Stocks of diagnostic companies like Dr. Lal Pathlabs and Metropolis Healthcare were up in the range of 1.5-3.5 per cent in early trade.

  • The generic medicine retail outlets Jan Aushadhi stores would be expanded to every district. Apart from medicines, these stores would now also stock more surgicals.

  • Currently the Jan Aushadhi stores sell 154 surgicals, which will now be expanded to about 300 surgicals. This would be a positive for both SME pharma manufacturing units as well as small domestic medical devices makers who supply to the scheme.

  • The expansion of the Jan Aushadhi scheme may further dent the branded generic medicines market in India as these medicines are cheaper than branded ones by at least 50 per cent.

  • The FM also re-iterated the government's commitment to eliminating tuberculosis from India. Setting a target of 2025, Sitharaman said 'TB Harega- Desh Bachega'. This is five years ahead of the Global Sustainable Development targets. TB kills an estimated 480,000 Indians every year and more than 1,400 every day. India also has more than a million ‘missing’ cases every year that are not notified and most remain either undiagnosed or unaccountably and inadequately diagnosed and treated in the private sector.


Source: PIB

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