08 November 2018: UPSC Exam PIB Summary & Analysis

Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam

Multi Modal Terminal on River Ganga at Varanasi

Context:

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the newly constructed Multi Modal Terminal on River Ganga at Varanasi on the 12th of November, 2018.

This is the first of the three Multi Modal Terminals and two Inter Modal Terminals being constructed on the river.

Aim:

To develop the stretch of River Ganga between Varanasi to Haldi for navigation of large vessels upto 1500-2000 tonnes weight, by maintaining a drought of 2-3 metres in this stretch of the river and setting up other systems required for safe navigation.  

Objective:

To promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more environment friendly means of transport, especially for cargo movement. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project Implementing Agency.

Salient features of Varanasi Mutli-Modal Terminal (MMT) are as follows:

  • First Multi-Modal Terminal on National Waterway -1.
  • Land: 33.34 hectares.
  • Cost of Phase-I of MMT: Rs. 206.84 cr.
  • Terminal capacity: 1.26 MPTA
  • Start date of the project: June, 2016
  • Completion date of the project: November 2018

The following are the main ingredients of the project, which are ready for operations:

  • Jetty: Length 200 m x Width 42 m with berthing and mooring facility.
  • 02 Mobile Harbour Cranes
  • Approach Road
  • Internal Road
  • Stone Pitching Works and bank protection
  • Shell structure of ancillary buildings, worker amenity building ready

Benefits: 

  • The project of multi-modal terminal and proposed Freight Village at Varanasi are expected to generate 500 direct employment and more than 2000 indirect employment opportunities.

Impact of Demonitisation

Context:

Following is the highlight of the Text of the Article written by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley on completion of two years of Demonetisation.

Highlights:

  • Demonitisation is a key step in a chain of important decisions taken by the Government to formalise the economy.
  • Technology has been used for both Direct and indirect taxes to facilitate filing of returns and expanding the tax base.

THE ROLE OF CASH

  • India was a cash dominated economy.  Cash involves anonymity in transactions.  It bypasses the banking system and enables its possessors to evade tax. 
  • Demonitisation compelled holders of cash to deposit the same in the banks. 
  • The enormity of cash deposited and identified with the owner resulted in suspected 17.42 lakh account holders from whom the response has been received online through non-invasive method.
  • Larger deposits in banks improved lending capacity for the banks.             

THE MISCONCEIVED ARGUMENT

  • Confiscation of currency was not an objective of demonitisation. Getting it into the formal economy and making the holders pay tax was the broader objective. 

EFFECT ON DIGITISATION

  • The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) was launched in 2016 involving real time payments between two sets of mobile holders. 
  • The Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an App developed by NPCI for quick payment transactions using UPI. 
  • The RUPAY Card is used both at the Point of Sale (PoS) and for e-commerce. 

IMPACT ON DIRECT TAXES  

  • The impact of demonitisation has been felt on collection of personal income tax. 
  • Its collections were higher in Financial Year 2018-19 (till 31-10-2018) compared to the previous year by 20.2%. 
  • In the first four years of this Government, returns have increased to 6.86 crore.  By the time the first five years of this Government are over, we will be close to doubling the assesse base.

IMPACT ON INDIRECT TAX

  • Demonitisation and implementation of the GST curbed cash transactions in a big way. 
  • This formalisation of the economy has led to the tax payer base increase from 6.4 million in the pre-GST regime to 12 million tax payers in the post-GST regime. 
  • The fact that assesses have to now declare their business turnover not only impacts the indirect tax calculations, but also ensures that income tax arising out of them is disclosed in the tax assessments. 
  • In 2014-15, the indirect tax to GDP ratio was 4.4%.  Post-GST it has climbed up by at least 1 percentage point to 5.4%.
  • Villages being connected by Road, electricity in every home, 92% coverage for rural sanitation, a successful Awas Yojana, a cooking gas connection in  8 crore poor homes. 
  • Ten crore families are covered under Ayushman Bharat, Rs. 1,62,000 Crore is being spent on subsidised food, 50% increase in MSP for farmers and a successful Crop Insurance Scheme.
  • It is the formalisation of the  economy which has led to 13 crore entrepreneurs getting Mudra Loans. 
  • More formalisation, more revenue, more resources for the poor, better Infrastructure, and a better quality of life for our citizens.

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