Monday, February 16, 2015

Crony Capitalism,Consumer Protection Act 1986,IRDA Report on Health Insurance,NSSO Agricultural Household Report,Minimum Alternate Tax,Coral Bleaching,Wildlife and Human Encounter

1. What is Crony Capitalism?

Ans. It is defined as a nexus between the Government in power and big business and corporate houses in the country. In it, it is believed by the support of both sides the power can be manipulated even for their illicit gains. This term Crony Capitalism is specially important in the context of political parties being funded by big corporate houses for poll expenses and if the supported party comes in power, it will help those business houses with favourable policy actions, contracts, tenders, tax deductions etc.

2. As the Govt. is said to amend the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, which is expected to bring in around 20 major amendments in the Act. It is said that the consumer awareness campaign “Jago Grahak Jago” which was started in 2005 will be modified to make it more dynamic and appealing.

3. A recent report published by (IRDA) Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority shows that only 21.62 crore people which are around 17% of the total population of the country at the end of March 2014 are covered by health insurance. The report goes against the previous estimate of October 2012, which said that 30 crore or 25% of people have access to some kind of health insurance.

The above statistics becomes very important in view of the fact that health spending is one of the biggest reasons of poverty in India.

4. Outline of report on agricultural households by National Sample Survey Organizations –

(a) 51.9% of total agricultural households are in debt.

(b) Average of unpaid debt amount per household stands at Rs. 47,000.

(c) Around 40% of the total debt have been sourced from non institutional lenders like Mahajans whereas 60% of the total debt has been taken from institutional sources like banks, cooperative societies and Government.

(d) Loans from institutional sources have been taken at interest rates ranging from 6% to 15% where loans sourced from non institutional sources have been taken at interest rates above 20 percent.

5. MAT(Minimum Alternate Tax) to be reduced by next year’s budget – 

In order to give boost to export from (SEZ) Special Economic Zones the Govt. has said that Minimum Alternate Tax will be reduced from the present level of 18.5% to 7.5% in order to give boost to slowed growth of SEZ. Previously MAT was 18.5% and with cess included it cumulatively become 20%. Reducing of MAT will give boost to exports from SEZ to $82.35 billion in 2013-14 from $82.18 billion in 2012-13. Also, few day back 67 SEZ which were previously formally approved have been disapproved. So now the number of formally approved SEZ has come to 352 from 491. 196 SEZ are currently working.

6. Reason for increase in the instance of wildlife and human encounter – 

Recent incidents of many human beings killed by tigers and other predators can be attributed to one phenomenon cattle grazing. Cattle grazing at the outskirts of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries and some times even inside them leads to their being hunted down by predators. If a predators comes in a habit of eating cattle it can have wide repercussions like he will habitually come out of the park boundary to search for cattle as it is easy to kill them and they are soft meat for predators. This increases the chances of wildlife human encounter.

7.  Reasons of Coral Bleaching all over the World can be attributed to rising sea temperatures and the onset of El Nino. It is being said that if coral reefs will go on bleaching at present rate they will finish in next 50 years.

8. World Bank and International Monetary Fund have recognized that complete state control under socialism has failed. Similarly complete market oriented approach is also going to fail and may lead to gross inequalities in income and opportunities especially in developing countries of Asia and Africa. 

Note: According to Dr. Basu, World Bank is planning to create an “Ease of Living Life” index ratings which will be compiled by considering the factor that how much people need to spend for dealing with bureaucracy in their country.

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