Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 29 May 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. GST Compensation to states.
  2. 43rd GST Council meeting held.
  3. Mid-day Meal scheme.

1. GST Compensation to states

News Summary

A special session of the GST Council is expected to be held to discuss with states and decide on the extension of the Compensation cess beyond the original sunset date of July 2022 which is levied under the GST regime.

Prelims GS – Polity/Economic Development

  • GST was introduced by the 101st Amendment act 2016
  • Goods and Service Tax is a One Nation One Tax concept.
  • Removal of all indirect taxes took place and a single indirect tax GST was introduced.
  • It has removed the cascading effect of taxes.
  • GST is not applicable on Petrol, liquor, etc.
  • GST is based on the principle of destination-based consumption taxation as against the present principle of origin-based taxation.

Click here to know more about GST on the official website.

GST Compensation to states:
  • As per the 101st Amendment Act 2016, “Parliament shall, by law, on the recommendation of the Goods and Services Tax Council, provide for compensation to the States for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the goods and services tax for a period of five years.” Here five years refer from 2017-2022.
  • Based on this, the Parliament has enacted a law called “The GOODS AND SERVICES TAX (COMPENSATION TO STATES) ACT, 2017”.
  • A cess would be imposed on “demerit” goods to raise resources for providing compensation to States as States may lose revenue owing to the implementation of GST.

For more detailed information on Compensation Act, 2017, click here to view the official pdf.

2. 43rd GST Council meeting held

News Summary

The 43rd GST Council met under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman through video conferencing was held on 28th May 2021.

Click here to view the PIB release of the 43rd GST Council meeting.

Prelims GS -Governance

GST Council:
  • Goods & Services Tax Council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax.
  • The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and other members are the Union State Minister of Revenue or Finance and Ministers in charge of Finance or Taxation of all the States.
  • As per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, the GST Council which will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States shall consist of the following members: –
    • the Union Finance Minister – Chairperson;
    • the Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue or Finance – Member;
    • the Minister in charge of Finance or Taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government – Members.
  • 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

Role of GST council:

The Goods and Services Tax Council shall make recommendations to the Union and the States on—

    1. the taxes, cesses and surcharges levied by the Union, the States and the local bodies which may be subsumed in the goods and services tax;
    2. the goods and services that may be subjected to, or exempted from the goods and services tax;
    3. model Goods and Services Tax Laws, principles of levy, apportionment of Goods and Services Tax levied on supplies in the course of inter-State trade or commerce under article 269A and the principles that govern the place of supply;
    4. the threshold limit of turnover below which goods and services may be exempted from goods and services tax;
    5. the rates including floor rates with bands of goods and services tax;
    6. any special rate or rates for a specified period, to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster;
    7. special provision with respect to the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand; and
    8. any other matter relating to the goods and services tax, as the Council may decide.

Click here to view the courtesy: Official website of GST Council

3. Mid-day Meal scheme

News Summary

The Union Minister for Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has approved the proposal to provide monetary assistance to 11.8 Crore students (118 Million Students) through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the cooking cost component of the Mid-Day-Meal Scheme, to all eligible children, as a special welfare measure.

Mini Insights

Mains GS2 – Governance

MDM and History of MDM:
  • Mid-day Meal Scheme is administered by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.
  • In 1925, a Mid Day Meal Programme was introduced for disadvantaged children in Madras Municipal Corporation.
  • By the mid-1980s three States viz. Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and the UT of Pondicherry had universalized a cooked Mid Day Meal Programme with their own resources for children studying at the primary stage by 1990-91 the number of States implementing the mid-day meal program with their own resources on a universal or a large scale had increased to twelve states.
  • With a view to enhancing enrollment, retention, and attendance and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among children, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 15th August 1995, initially in 2408 blocks in the country.
  • From the year 2009 onwards the following changes have been made to improve the implementation of the scheme:-
    • Food norms have been revised to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet for children of the upper primary group by increasing the number of pulses from 25 to 30 grams, vegetables from 65 to 75 grams, and by decreasing the quantity of oil and fat from 10 grams to 7.5 grams.
    • The cooking cost (excluding the labor and administrative charges) has been revised from Rs.1.68 to Rs. 2.50 for primary and from Rs. 2.20 to Rs. 3.75 for upper primary children from 1.12.2009 to facilitate serving meals to eligible children in prescribed quantity and of good quality. The cooking cost for the primary is Rs. 2.69 per child per day and Rs. 4.03 for upper primary children from 1.4.2010.
    • The cooking cost will be revised prior to the approval of the competent authority by 7.5% every financial year from 1.4.2011.
  • More than 25.25 lakhs cook-cum-helper are engaged by the State/UTs during 2016-17  for preparation and serving of Mid Day Meal to Children in Elementary Classes.
  • The program aims at enhancing enrolment, retention, and attendance and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among children studying in Government, Local Body, and Government-aided primary and upper primary schools and the Centres run under Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) / Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE) and National Children Labour Project (NCLP) schools of all areas across the country.
  • MDM is also served in drought-affected areas during summer vacation also.

Click here to view the Courtesy: official website of MDM.




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