Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 02 November 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. GST collection at an 8 month high.
  2. Cabinet approves mechanism for procurement of ethanol by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies

1. GST collection at an 8 month high

News Summary

The Ministry of Finance has said that the GST collection in October has crossed Rs. 1.05 lakh crore in October and has been recorded the highest collection since February 2020. Finance Secretary has said that the interventions of the government have led to a positive growth trajectory.

Prelims GS – Economic Development

  • GST was introduced by the 101st Amendment act 2016
  • Goods and Service Tax is a One Nation One Tax
  • Removal of all indirect taxes took place and a single indirect tax GST was introduced
  • Constitutional Body
  • Art 279A deals with GST Council
  • It is a joint Forum of the Centre and the States
  • Every decision of the Goods and Services Tax Council shall be taken at a meeting, by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the weighted votes of the members present and voting, in accordance with the following principles, namely: —
    • the vote of the Central Government shall have a weightage of one-third of the total votes cast, and
    • The votes of all the State Governments taken together shall have a weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast, in that meeting.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development

Key Features of GST:
  • GST would apply to all goods and services except Alcohol for human consumption.
  • GST on five specified petroleum products (Crude, Petrol, Diesel, ATF & Natural Gas) would be applicable from a date to be recommended by the GSTC.
  • Tobacco and tobacco products would be subject to GST. In addition, the Centre would have the power to levy Central Excise duty on these products.
GST Councils role in this GST regime:
  • GST Council will discuss how GST rates can be fixed.
  • Different Slabs like 0%,12%,18%,28% will be fixed in the GST council.
  • Help in the State Finance Ministers to have a healthy discussion on the GST as they also form a part of the GST Council.
  • GST Council ensures a consultative process between the States and the Centre.
  • A mechanism for adjudication is also available for solving disputes between Centre and States or between States


For more information on GST Council, visit the official website

2. Cabinet approves Mechanism for procurement of Ethanol by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies

News Summary

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA today approved the Mechanism for procurement of ethanol by Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies under Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme.

Prelims GS – Economic Development/Governance

Newly approved mechanism highlights:
  • Earlier, there used to be one rate for ethanol but now there will be different prices.
  • Now, the new Price fixed for Ethanol produced from sugar will be Rs. 62.65 per litre, ethanol manufactured from B heavy molasses will be Rs. 57.61 per litre and ethanol manufactured from C heavy molasses will be Rs. 45.69 per litre.
  • Oil Marketing Companies have been advised to fix realistic transportation charges so that long-distance transportation of ethanol is not disincentivized.
  • In order to offer a fair opportunity to the localized industry within the State and reduce crisscross movement of ethanol, Oil Marketing Companies shall decide the criteria for the priority of ethanol from various sources taking into account various factors like the cost of transportation, availability, etc.
Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme:
  • The government has been implementing Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme wherein OMCs sell petrol blended with ethanol up to 10 percent.
  • This program has been extended to the whole of India except the Union Territories of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands with effect from 1st April 2019 to promote the use of alternative and environment-friendly fuels.
  • The Government has a 10% blending target for mixing ethanol with petrol by 2022 & 20% blending target by 2030.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development

Measures taken by the government to encourage the production of ethanol for blending:

The important measures are taken to increase the production of ethanol for blending include:

  1. Encouraging the production of ethanol from sugarcane juice and sugar/sugar syrup.
  2. Fixing the remunerative ex-mill price of ethanol from various feedstocks.
    1. Extending interest subvention to distilleries.
    2. Amendment to Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951, for free movement of denatured ethanol for Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.
    3. Reduction in Goods & Service Tax on ethanol meant for EBP Programme from 18% to 5%.
    4. Extension of EBP Programme to the whole of India except island UTs of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep with effect from 01.04.2019.
    5. Enhancing ethanol storage at Oil Marketing Companies locations,
    6. Formulating an “Ethanol Procurement Policy on a long-term basis under Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme”.



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