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Monday, 7 May 2018

The Hindu Editorial: GST’s complicated

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The Hindu Editorial: GST’s complicated

Title: GST’s complicated 

(The new compliance system and a proposal for cess on sugar send the wrong signals) 

Context:- With collections from the goods and services tax peaking at over ₹1 lakh crore in April, industry hoped the GST Council would make life simpler for an increasingly compliant tax-payer base. 

Indeed, at its meeting last week the Council decided to introduce a new compliance system under which a single monthly GST return will have to be submitted by firms, barring a few exceptions. However, this will only be done in a phased manner — with the first of three transition stages to begin six months from now. 

Issues: In the second stage of the transition to simpler returns, buyers will get provisional input credit even if the seller doesn’t upload the invoices. While this could lead to disputes, in the third stage input credits will only be granted after sellers upload invoices. 

If a seller defaults on depositing GST dues collected from a buyer and remains evasive, the authorities can reverse the credit availed by the buyer for such outstanding taxes.(*) 
In any case, the timelines for the transition are long and bring fresh uncertainty for businesses still recovering from the initial jitters and confusion around the tax regime. Firms will again have to cope with significant changes in accounting software in the middle of the financial year. 

The most troubling is the Centre’s push for the imposition of a cess on sugar over and above the 5% GST levied on it. A cess at the rate of ₹3 a kg is proposed to alleviate ‘deep distress’ among sugarcane farmers. 

Not surprisingly, this faces opposition from several States. It has been rightly argued that this will burden consumers while favouring larger sugarcane-growing States like U.P. and Maharashtra. 

Final Words 
Lastly, the decision to make the GSTN a 100% government-owned firm, instead of the present structure with 51% private ownership, explains neither how this will address data security concerns nor the impact on the Network’s functional efficiency, which was the original stated intent for giving private players an upper hand in operations. 

Idioms & Phrases 
1) Rank and File = Ordinary people 
2) Out of the wood = Free from difficulties and dangers 

One word Substitution 
1) An object or portion serving as a sample = Specimen 
2) To renounce a high position of authority or control = Abdicate 

Title: Military history on the campaign trail 
(The political class must keep the armed forces out of electoral rhetoric) 

Context:- Indian military history came into focus in a rather embarrassing manner recently. Last week, while on the campaign trail in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised the Congress party for insulting two illustrious generals of the Indian Army. 

Both these military icons, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and General K.S. Thimayya, are from the local Coorgi (now Kodava) community. And this case of “disrespect” goes back many decades, to the 1947-48 war (Pakistan) and the 1962 war (China). 

Import and subtext 

A translation of what the Prime Minister, who spoke in Hindi, is: “In 1948 we won the war against Pakistan under General Thimayya’s leadership. But after such gallantry, the saviour of Kashmir, General Thimayya, was repeatedly insulted by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon. And for this reason, General Thimayya, to retain the sanctity of his position, had to resign from his post.” 

The electoral subtext was clear — to show the Congress in a bad light in relation to national security and exploit the widely held perception that Nehru and Krishna Menon, were disdainful of the two generals. 

The factual errors in the Prime Minister’s statements were glaring. The Indian Army had a British chief during the 1947-48 war for Kashmir; Thimmaya was a two-star general in the Kashmir operations under the command of Lt. General Cariappa, who was the Army Commander. 

Sardar Baldev Singh was the Defence Minister in 1948 and Thimmaya did not resign at that time. Similarly, the reference to Cariappa was way off the mark, for he had retired in 1953 and was in no way involved with the 1962 war. 

The Congress did not cover itself with glory either in its bid to counterattack the Prime Minister for his factual errors, It is true that Krishna Menon sought to politicise the top brass of the Army and that Nehru chided Thimmaya in Parliament, but the relevance of Army history to a State election is tenuous(तुच्छ). 

A polarization 

Should all this be allowed to be extended to the Indian military? Those in the political establishment (in this case the elders in the national political parties) and those who advise the people who matter on issues of campaign strategy for 2019 would be well advised to consider the long-term consequences of denigrating and demonising the political ‘other’ on matters of national security through their imagined and burnished history. 

It is a fact that there have been many national security omissions and policy blunders by successive Indian governments since 1948, but these are better deliberated in Parliament for redress and consensual correction. 

Final Words 
Yes, the national discourse about the military ought to be critical in a constructive manner. 

But the form and content of this discourse must be in keeping with a constitutional, democratic ethos and acknowledge that the abiding national security interest transcends the electoral fortunes of political parties. 

Phrasal Verb 

1) Call Forth = Make something happen 

2) Call off = Cancel 

3) Question of the day 

Vocabulary words: 

Compliance (noun) = The fact of complying with a wish or command (अनुपालन) 

Cess (noun) = A tax or levy (उपकर) 

Evasive (adj) = Tending to avoid commitment (कपटपूर्ण) 

Jitters (noun) = Feeling of extreme nervousness 

Alleviate (verb) = Make a problem less severe (कम करना) 

Loom (verb) = Appear as a vague (धुंधला दिखाई देना) 

Abolition (noun) = The ending of a system or practice (समाप्ति) 

Rhetoric (noun) = The art of effective speaking or writing (भाषण कला) 

Gallantry (noun) = Courageous behaviour (शौर्य, वीरता) 

Sweeping (adj) = Extensive (व्यापक) 

Insinuate (verb) = Suggest or hint in an indirect way (संकेत करना) 

Distinguished (adj) = Very successful, authoritative (विशिष्ट) 

Disdainful (adj) = Showing contempt or lack of respect (घृणात्मक) 

Glaring (adj) = Clear, apparent (स्पष्ट) 

Gaffe (noun) = An unintentional act, blunder (ग़लती) 

Tenuous (adj) = Very weak and slight (तुच्छ) 

Pertinent (adj) = Relevant to a particular matter (उचित) 

Contour (noun) = An outline representing the shape of something 

Aspersion (noun) = An attack on the reputation of someone 

Denigrate (verb) = Criticize unfairly (बदनाम करना) 

Burnish (verb) = Enhance, improve 

Fidelity (noun) = Faithfulness to a person, loyalty (निष्ठा) 

Unsavoury (adj) = Disagreeable to taste (बेस्वाद) 

Dispensation (noun) = Exemption from a rule, a political or religious system

    

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