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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-2nd June 2023

GST Revenue Collection for May Up 12% YoY at Rs 1.57 Lakh Crore

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue collection for May has witnessed a significant increase, marking the 15th consecutive month that the monthly collection has exceeded the Rs 1.4-lakh-crore milestone. Despite a slight dip from April’s record-breaking collection of Rs 1.87 lakh crore, the Ministry of Finance announced that the GST revenue for May stood at Rs 1.57 lakh crore. This article delves into the details of the latest GST collection figures, compares them with the previous year, and provides insights into the economic performance across states.

May GST Collection and Breakdown

The Ministry of Finance reported that the gross GST revenue collected in May 2023 amounted to Rs 1,57,090 crore.

GST Revenue Collection for May Up 12% YoY at Rs 1.57 Lakh Crore

The breakdown of the collection is as follows:

  • CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax): Rs 28,411 crore

  • SGST (State Goods and Services Tax): Rs 35,828 crore

  • IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax): Rs 81,363 crore (including Rs 41,772 crore from import of goods)

  • Cess: Rs 11,489 crore (including Rs 1,057 crore from import of goods)

Comparison with Previous Year:

The latest GST collection figure for May 2023 represents a growth of 12 percent compared to May 2022. This positive trend highlights the consistent growth and resilience of the GST system.

Revenue Settlement

In May, the government settled Rs 35,369 crore to the Central GST and Rs 29,769 crore to the State GST from the Integrated GST. Consequently, the total revenue post-settlement was Rs 63,780 crore for the Central government and Rs 65,597 crore for the State GST.

Economic Performance and State Variations

While the absolute collections for May were lower than the previous month, which can be attributed to year-end factors, the overall economic performance across states remains strong. Several states witnessed robust growth in their GST collections.

However, 22 states and Union Territories recorded growth rates of less than 14 percent. Notable states with lower growth rates include Himachal Pradesh (12 percent), Punjab (-5 percent), Uttarakhand (9 percent), Haryana (9 percent), Rajasthan (4 percent), Uttar Pradesh (12 percent), Nagaland (6 percent), Manipur (-17 percent), West Bengal (5 percent), Jharkhand (5 percent), and Chhattisgarh (-4 percent).

Outlook for the Current Financial Year

According to the 2023-24 Budget, the Centre expects a 12 percent increase in GST collections during the current financial year. This projection aligns with the consistent growth observed in GST revenue over the past months.

PM SVANidhi Scheme Celebrates Successful Completion of 3 Years

The Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, recently praised the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme on its momentous completion of three years. The scheme, launched in June 2020, aimed to empower street vendors by restoring self-employment, self-sustenance, and self-confidence. Over the years, PM SVANidhi has emerged as one of the most beneficial and rapidly growing micro-credit schemes in India, fostering financial inclusion, digital literacy, and offering dignity and stability to street vendors.

PM SVANidhi Scheme: Empowering Street Vendors with Affordable Micro-Credit

The Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme is a special micro-credit facility aimed at providing affordable loans to street vendors in India. Launched with the objective of empowering street vendors and promoting their self-sufficiency, the scheme offers loans of up to ₹10,000 to over 50 lakh street vendors who had operational businesses on or before March 24th. Implemented in partnership with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the scheme aims to provide financial support to street vendors and facilitate their growth and development.

PM SVANidhi Scheme Celebrates Successful Completion of 3 Years

Loans Under the Scheme

Under the PM SVANidhi Scheme, street vendors can avail working capital loans of up to ₹10,000. These loans are repayable in monthly installments over a period of one year. The scheme provides street vendors with access to much-needed credit to expand their businesses, purchase inventory, and meet other operational requirements.

PM SVANidhi offers working capital loans in three installments to street vendors, providing them with easy access to credit and linkages to social security schemes. In just three years, the scheme has successfully provided microcredit to over 3.6 million street vendors across the country. As of June 30, 2023, more than 4.64 million loans have been disbursed, amounting to a cumulative sum of Rs. 5,795 crore. This remarkable achievement showcases the significant impact of the scheme in supporting the livelihoods of street vendors.

Implementation Agency

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has been responsible for the implementation and management of the PM SVANidhi Scheme. Through its dedicated efforts, the ministry has ensured the efficient rollout of the scheme and facilitated the seamless distribution of loans to street vendors nationwide.

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) serves as the technical partner for the implementation of the scheme.

Interest Subsidy and Timely Repayment

One of the key features of the PM SVANidhi Scheme is the provision of an interest subsidy to beneficiaries who make timely or early repayments. An interest subsidy of 7% per annum is credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) on a six-month basis.

Eligibility and Target Beneficiaries

The scheme is designed to benefit street vendors who have been operating as on or before March 24, 2020. The eligibility criteria include age between 18 and 60 years, possession of a vending certificate, and a specified vending zone. By targeting this vulnerable section of society, the scheme aims to uplift their economic condition and provide them with opportunities for growth and self-reliance.

Scheme Benefits

PM SVANidhi has brought about a wave of positive change by offering several benefits to street vendors. The scheme has not only provided them with working capital loans but has also focused on digital literacy and financial inclusion. The training provided under the scheme has empowered street vendors to engage in digital transactions, enabling them to gain social acceptance and dignity. Furthermore, the scheme has played a crucial role in helping COVID-19-affected street vendors resume their livelihoods, thereby providing them with stability during challenging times.

Celebrating Achievements and Initiatives

To mark the successful completion of three years, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs organized an event at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. During the event, a booklet highlighting the prime achievements and initiatives implemented under the PM SVANidhi scheme was released. This comprehensive document showcases the transformative impact of the scheme on the lives of street vendors and their families across the country.

Additionally, a mobile app called PM SVANidhi was introduced, aiming to simplify the loan application process and provide comprehensive information about the scheme. Furthermore, a special feature was launched on the PM SVANidhi portal, in collaboration with the Ministry of MSME, enabling street vendors to register under the ‘Udyam’ scheme and obtain an ‘Udyam Assist’ certificate, promoting their businesses.

Recognizing Excellence

The event also acknowledged the outstanding performance of states and lending institutions that have made significant contributions to the success of the PM SVANidhi Scheme. These awards recognize the efforts made by various stakeholders, including Central Ministries, State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, Lending Institutions, and partners, in ensuring the scheme’s effectiveness and impact.

Meghalaya Forms Expert Panel to Review Reservation Formula; Opposition Leader Ends Hunger Strike

The Meghalaya government has responded to the demands of the Voice of the People’s Party (VPP) and announced the formation of an expert committee to review the state’s reservation policy. This move comes in the wake of an indefinite hunger strike led by VPP MLA Ardent Basaiawmoit, who has now called off his protest following the government’s decision. The expert committee will comprise individuals well-versed in constitutional law, economics, sociology, demographic studies, and related fields. Let’s delve deeper into the details of this significant development.

Background:

The 1972 reservation policy in Meghalaya allocated 40 percent of reserved jobs to the Garo tribe, 40 percent to the Khasi-Jaintia tribes, 5 percent to other tribes, and 15 percent to candidates from the general category. However, opposition parties, including the VPP, have been urging the government to review and revise this policy, claiming that it needs to reflect the current population structure more accurately.

Expert Committee Formation

To address the demands made by the VPP and other opposition parties, the Meghalaya government has constituted an expert committee. Chief Secretary D P Wahlang announced the committee’s formation, stating that it will be responsible for reviewing the state reservation policy. The committee will seek input from all relevant stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of the existing policy.

All-Party Committee Support

The decision to form the expert committee was backed by an all-party committee on reservation roster and reservation policy. This committee, chaired by state Law Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, endorsed the idea of appointing an expert committee to review the 51-year-old reservation policy. Additionally, it proposed that all political parties submit written suggestions within a 15-day timeframe.

End of Hunger Strike

Following the government’s announcement, VPP MLA Ardent Basaiawmoit concluded his hunger strike, which lasted for over 200 hours. Expressing his satisfaction with the government’s willingness to review the policy, Basaiawmoit announced the end of his protest. His wife fed him two tablespoons of rice, symbolizing the breaking of his fast.

Demand for Apolitical Committee Members

The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), which supported Basaiawmoit during his hunger strike, emphasized the need for the expert committee members to be apolitical. HYC president Robert Kharjahrin stressed that political affiliations should be avoided in order to ensure an unbiased review of the reservation policy.

Proportional Representation

The VPP has been advocating for a reservation policy that aligns with the state’s population structure. Citing the 2011 census, which reported a Khasi population of over 14.1 lakhs and a Garo population of slightly over 8.21 lakhs, Basaiawmoit stated that the job reservation ratio should be proportionate to these figures.

UPI Transactions Reach Record High of Rs 14.3 Trillion in May 2023

Unified Payment Interface (UPI) transactions in India soared to unprecedented levels in May 2023, with a total transaction value of Rs 14.3 trillion and a volume of 9.41 billion. This represents a 2% increase in value and a 6% increase in volume compared to the previous month of April. The surge in UPI transactions comes at a time when the Indian government is actively promoting digital payments and aims to bring various tax collections under the digital payment ecosystem.

Record-Breaking UPI Transactions

In May, UPI transactions experienced remarkable growth, with a value of Rs 14.3 trillion and a volume of 9.41 billion. The transaction volume witnessed a staggering 58% increase compared to the same period in the previous financial year, while the transaction value rose by an impressive 37%. These numbers highlight the growing acceptance and adoption of UPI as a preferred mode of payment in India.

UPI Transactions Reach Record High of Rs 14.3 Trillion in May 2023

Government’s Digital Payment Drive

The surge in UPI transactions aligns with the government’s ongoing efforts to promote digital payments across different sectors, including tax collection. By encouraging businesses and individuals to shift towards digital payment platforms, the government aims to enhance transparency, improve efficiency, and reduce the dependence on cash transactions.

IMPS Transactions Show Marginal Growth

Alongside UPI, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions also experienced a slight increase. IMPS transactions reached Rs 5.26 trillion in value, marking a 1% rise compared to April. In terms of volume, IMPS transactions saw a marginal increase to 500 million in May, up from 496 million in April. This represents a 3% growth in volume and a 16% growth in value compared to May 2022.

FASTag Transactions Witness Steady Growth

FASTag transactions, which facilitate cashless toll payments on Indian highways, exhibited steady growth as well. In May, the volume of FASTag transactions increased by 10%, reaching 335 million transactions, compared to 305 million in April. The value of FASTag transactions also rose by 6% to Rs 5,437 crore in May, compared to Rs 5,149 crore in April. These figures indicate a 17% growth in volume and a 24% growth in value compared to April 2022.

AePS Transactions Experience Decline

Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) transactions faced a slight decline in May. The volume of AePS transactions decreased by 2.35%, settling at 99.6 million, compared to 102 million in April. In terms of value, AePS transactions amounted to Rs 28,037 crore in May 2023, indicating a 5.4% decline from Rs 29,649 crore in April. These figures show a 9% decline in volume and an 8% decline in value compared to the previous year.

Defence exports of India up by 23 times since 2014

India’s defense exports have achieved a record-breaking milestone, skyrocketing from 686 crore rupees in 2013-14 to nearly 16 thousand crore rupees in 2022-23. This impressive growth of 23 times demonstrates India’s advancement in the global defense manufacturing industry.

Defence exports of India up by 23 times since 2014: Key Points

  • With exports reaching more than 85 countries, India’s defense sector has demonstrated its ability to design and develop high-quality products to the international community.

  • Currently, 100 companies are engaged in exporting defense goods.

  • The government has implemented several policy initiatives and reforms in the past nine years to bolster defense exports.

  • The Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives have greatly benefitted India by promoting indigenous design, development, and manufacturing of defense equipment within the country.

  • This strategy aims to reduce dependence on imports in the long run.

  • As a result, the expenditure on defense procurement from foreign sources has decreased from 46 percent of the overall expenditure in 2018-19 to over 36 percent as of December last year.

  • In the past, India was mainly recognized for importing defense equipment.

  • However, the situation has changed, and now India exports various significant military assets such as the Dornier-228 aircraft, artillery guns, Brahmos Missiles, PINAKA rockets and launchers, radars, simulators, and armored vehicles.

Additionally, there is an increasing global demand for India’s own products, including the LCA-Tejas, Light Combat Helicopters, Aircraft Carriers, and MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) activities.

Shashi Tharoor released a book titled “Ringside” written by Dr. Vijay Darda

Renowned author and Congress MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor released the book “Ringside” written by Lokmat Media Group Editorial Board Chairman and former MP Dr. Vijay Darda. “Ringside” is a compilation of Dr Darda’s weekly articles published between 2011 and 2016 in Lokmat Media Group newspapers and other leading national and regional dailies.

The essence of the book:

The book serves as a follow-up to Dr. Darda’s previous work, “Straight Thoughts” and provides readers with a wide range of topics covering a variety of topics such as science, environment, economy, security, social development, sports, arts, culture, foreign policy Provides an intellectual journey. , and national and international affairs. “Ringside” provides readers with insight into contemporary political, social, cultural and important events and developments. With a comprehensive exploration of important topics, the book aims to engage readers and provide a deeper understanding of the current political and social landscape.

J.P. Morgan Raises India’s FY24 GDP Forecast to 5.5% Amidst Global Economic Concerns

J.P. Morgan, a leading global financial institution, has revised its projection for India’s annual growth rate, raising it to 5.5% for fiscal year 2024. The upward adjustment comes in the wake of India’s stronger-than-expected economic performance, with a growth rate of 6.1% recorded in the March quarter. However, J.P. Morgan also cautions that the Indian economy is not immune to the challenges posed by a potential global economic slowdown and tighter financial conditions.

Steady Growth Despite Challenges

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) witnessed a notable acceleration, reaching 6.1% in the March quarter, as indicated by government data. This growth was primarily driven by increased government and private capital spending, although private consumption remained sluggish. Despite this disparity, the overall growth rate surpassed expectations, providing a positive outlook for the Indian economy.

J.P. Morgan Raises India’s FY24 GDP Forecast to 5.5% Amidst Global Economic Concerns

J.P. Morgan’s Revised Projection

Taking into account India’s robust performance in the March quarter, J.P. Morgan has raised its forecast for India’s annual growth rate by 50 basis points to 5.5% for fiscal year 2024. This upward revision reflects the institution’s confidence in India’s ability to sustain its growth momentum. However, J.P. Morgan remains mindful of the potential impact of two significant factors: a global economic slowdown and tighter financial conditions.

Global Economic Slowdown Concerns

While India has demonstrated resilience in the face of challenging global economic conditions, J.P. Morgan warns that the nation cannot completely avoid the repercussions of a potential global economic slowdown. As countries around the world grapple with uncertain economic circumstances, India’s growth trajectory could be affected. It is essential for policymakers to monitor and respond proactively to any potential adverse developments in the global economic landscape.

Tighter Financial Conditions

J.P. Morgan also highlights the potential impact of tighter financial conditions on India’s economy. With increasing concerns about inflation and rising interest rates, financial conditions may become more restrictive, posing challenges to various sectors in India. These tighter conditions could affect investment decisions, consumer spending, and overall economic growth. To mitigate these risks, it becomes imperative for policymakers to adopt measures that maintain a delicate balance between controlling inflation and stimulating economic activity.


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