Shore up the lifeline: On rural jobs scheme

After reports clearly indicated that the States had run out of funds for expenditure on wages and materials for the MGNREGS, the Government announced ₹10,000 crore in additional funds as an interim measure. Though allocated on November 5, the scheme’s financial statement as on November 25 still showed a negative net balance of ₹9,888 crore indicating that the balance sheets were in the red in 24 States and Union Territories. This means that the fund crunch suffered by the scheme due to high demand and a low budgeted outlay in the Union Budget for this financial year, continues. The high demand is an indication of the extended effects of the pandemic in rural areas, and a continuing lack of funds will hurt any further demand for work in such areas besides of course delaying payments for those who have already completed work. The impact of the lockdowns during the pandemic has continued to depress employment levels and rural wage incomes, which is why the MGNREGS has proven to be a

The rate reset: On slashing GST slabs

Since its onset in 2017, the GST regime to subsume multiple State and Central levies was criticised for far too many tax rates that were amenable to creating complications instead of simplifying taxation. The Government had hinted that rates could be reviewed once the system stabilised. Now, with GST in its fifth year, the Government has assessed it is about time to consider a reboot, partly because revenues are falling short of expectations, despite healthy monthly collections. Next month, a Group of Ministers set up by the GST Council is expected to propose changes, including merging slabs, with a road map for immediate, short- and medium-term changes. This mandate marked an expansion of its initially stated task of rationalising tax rates to bolster revenues. To recap, there are eight effective GST rates, including zero on essential goods, standard rates of 5%, 12% and 18% for most goods and services, and a 28% tax plus GST Compensation Cess on sin or demerit goods. Special low

Raiding party: On Mamata’s national ambitions

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s national ambitions are intriguing and daring. Soon after she led the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to a stellar victory in the Assembly election earlier this year — third time in a row — she set out on an extension scheme, though no coherent strategy is apparent. There is indeed a personal factor — she was savagely targeted by the BJP during the election. She triumphed over the BJP, still struggling to evolve a suitable politics for its Bengal foray, but it appears that the score was not settled. Ms. Banerjee had sensed the emerging confrontation between her politics and the BJP’s early on. In January 2019, she assembled leaders of 23 Opposition parties at a public meeting at Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata, where they pledged to defeat the BJP. Her victory over the BJP was conclusive, but the BJP is waiting in the wings to unseat her, having grown to about 70 seats in the Assembly from three in 2016. The Trinamool leader claims she is trying ,soccer summer camp utah


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A periodic assessment of health and social development indicators is crucial for any country that is still clawing its way towards achieving ideal standards in the Human Development Index. While the results of the NFHS are usually mixed, and improvements in certain sectors ride along with stagnation and deterioration in other sectors, this year, there have been radical improvements in maternal and child health, sex ratio and population control. A greater proportion of births than ever before is now happening in institutions, more children in the 12-23 months age group have received their vaccinations, and, most interestingly, livescore french open tennis has achieved a total fertility rate of 2.0, dropping further from the figure of 2.2 during NFHS-4, indicating that livescore french open tennis has contained the population explosion. Policies, some even coercive, as in the case of the family planning sector, seem to have borne fruit, years after they were implemented. While gender ratio has, for the first time, recorded more ,play blackjack games online


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test match online game, The recent Allahabad High Court verdict that a penetrative sexual assault on a 10-year-old boy by an offender did not amount to an aggravated form of the crime appears to be per incuriam, that is, a ruling handed down without due regard to the law and facts. The offence that was proven in the trial, and endorsed without demur by the High Court, involved the child being made to perform an oral sexual act. The Court agrees that it was a “penetrative sexual assault” as defined by the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, as the accused had put his member into the victim’s mouth. However, it did not amount to “aggravated penetrative sexual assault”, a crime punishable with a minimum prison term of 10 years that can go up to life, Justice Anil Kumar Ojha has said. Instead, it was punishable under Section 4 of POCSO, which prescribes a minimum seven years. Accordingly, he reduced the trial court sentence of 10 years in jail to seven years. The High Court is palpably in

Virus rages in Europe: On COVID-19 rebound

Breaking the ice: On livescore french open tennis-U.S. trade ties

Transition troubles: On Sudan coup leader’s climbdown

Sifting the pile: On inequity and Swachh cities

On the brink: On Russia-Ukraine border conflict

Seeds of hope: On farm laws repeal