GS 3 – Internal Security

NSCN (IM) slams ‘divisive’ Nagaland Governor

Why in News?

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (IM), has said its status as a State of the Indian Union was because of a few “treacherous Nagas”.

Context

  • The group also slammed Nagaland Governor for reflecting a ‘divisive’ agenda while commemorating the 58th Nagaland Statehood Day to “protect the 16-Point Agreement at all costs”.
  • Nagaland, once part of Assam, attained statehood on December 1, 1963.
  • This followed the 16-Point Agreement signed in July 1960 between the Naga People’s Convention (NPC) and the Centre. A majority of extremists did not recognise it.
  • The group also condemned stand on the peace process. In his pre-Statehood Day speech, the Governor made it clear that there would be no separate flag and constitution.

 

GS 2- Polity & Governance

Kerala scribes seek probe into Kappan’s detention

Why in News?

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) asked the Supreme Court to order an “independent enquiry” by a retired Supreme Court judge into the alleged illegal arrest and detention of its secretary.

Context

  • The Journalists had been in detention in Uttar Pradesh for 56 days.
  • He has been “implicated” in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other serious offences.
  • It was shocked to hear that Journalists was beaten with lathi and slapped. It said he had to suffer mental torture and sleep deprivation.
  • The Union has specifically requested the lawyer to make a request to this court to permit him to undergo narco-analysis or brain mapping or lie detector or any other scientific test to show that the accused is innocent.
  • The counter-affidavit was filed days after Uttar Pradesh filed an affidavit in the top court claiming that Journalists was going to Hathras under the garb of journalism with a very determined design to create caste divide and disturb the law and order situation.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was passed in 1967.
  • The law aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.
  • It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
  • Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged. It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.

 

GS 3 – Economy

GST inflows top ₹1 lakh cr. for second month in a row

Why in News?

Gross revenues from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) crossed ₹1 lakh crore for the second month in a row, with ₹1,04,963 crore collected in November 2020. This was 1.4% higher than a year ago but a tad lower than October’s collections.

Context

  • The pick-up in GST revenues over the last two months could reduce the shortfall in GST compensation dues to the States, but economists urged caution till December to assess if the economy is truly out of the woods after the festive demand factor has played out.
  • Cumulatively, the GST revenues from the first eight months of 2020-21 add up to ₹6,64,709 crore, reflecting a 17.4% dip from the ₹8,05,164 crore collected in the same period of 2019-20.
  • In line with the recent trend of recovery, the revenues for November 2020 are 1.4% higher than the GST revenues in the same month last year.
  • During the month, revenues from imports was 4.9% higher and revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) are 0.5% higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
  • November’s GST collections, boosted by festive spending, were just ₹192 crore lower than October, which had recorded the highest revenue from indirect taxes since February 2020.
  • GST revenues had collapsed to just ₹32,172 crore in April this year as economic activity was crippled following the lockdown.
  • The average pace of growth in GST collections in October-November 2020 stood at a moderately healthy 6%.
  • The trends regarding the sustainability of demand will be clearer in the data on the GST collections for December 2020, which will be for the transactions that took place in the month of November 2020.
  • Among the major States, Andhra Pradesh (12%), Gujarat and Jharkhand (11%), followed by Tamil Nadu (10%), were the only ones to record double-digit growth in November’s GST revenues compared to a year ago.
  • The second straight month of ₹1 lakh crore-plus GST collections encouraging and said this should help in containing the shortfall of GST collections due to the pandemic.
  • In November, ₹8,242 crore was collected as cess, which is used to compensate States for implementing the GST.
  • This was higher than the ₹8,011 crore collected as cess in October.

Goods and Services Tax

It is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based indirect tax that is levied on every value addition. The Goods and Service Tax Act is came into effect on 1st July 2017.

As per 101st Constitutional Amendment 2017 and the GST Council, the tax is levied at every point of sale.

GST is categorised into Central GST (CGST), State GST (SGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) depending on whether the transaction is intra-State or inter State.

  • Central GST: CGST is a tax levied on intra-State supplies of both goods and services by the Central Government and is governed by the CGST Act
  • State GST: SGST is also levied on the same intra-State supply but will be governed by the State Governments.
  • Integrated GST: IGST is a tax levied on all inter-State supplies of goods and/or services and is governed by the IGST Act.

It is applicable to any supply of goods and/or services in both cases of import into and export from India.

 

GS 3 – Economy

PMI shows manufacturing losing steam

Why in News?

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for India’s manufacturing touched 56.3 in November, signalling that even as an improvement in wider industrial activity continued, the sector’s expansion as well as the pace of new orders slowed down while employment declined further as business optimism faded during the month.

Context

  • After hitting 58.9 in October, the highest in over a decade, November’s manufacturing PMI marked a three-month low, IHS Markit, which compiles the index.
  • Growth in the Indian manufacturing sector lost momentum in November, but the latest PMI reading was still consistent with a sharp rate of expansion.
  • There were slower increases in factory orders, exports, buying levels and output. Meanwhile, COVID-19 restrictions caused a further drop in payroll numbers.
  • Though aggregate new orders rose at the slowest pace in three months, their growth was “stronger than any seen for eight years prior to September”.
  • Employment decreased again as companies observed social distancing guidelines. The rate of job shedding was solid and little-changed from October.

Safety stocks

  • For now, firms are projecting sustained demand growth in the near-term and responded to this by lifting input buying to increase their safety stocks.
  • Interestingly, firms increased their purchases of inputs even as inventories of finished goods dwindled.
  • The input costs saw a sharp increase “with the overall rate of inflation the joint-strongest in two years”, with firms reporting higher prices for raw materials such as chemicals, metals, plastics and textiles.
  • While India’s manufacturing sector remained on the recovery track, stressed that a spike in COVID-19 cases and the possibility of associated restrictions could undermine the recovery and constituted a key uncertainty that was weighing down business confidence.
  • Business optimism faded slightly in November. Output growth is still predicted for the year ahead, but concerns about public policies, rupee depreciation and the COVID-19 pandemic dampened overall confidence.

Purchasing Managers Index(PMI)

  • It is an indicator in the manufacturing and services sectors of business activity.
  • It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception. This usually released at the start of every month.