Today’s News Updates -8.February 2018

Mahamastakabhisheka

88th Mahamastakabhisheka (head anointing ceremony) of the monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali has begun at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka.

About Mahamastakabhisheka:

The mastakabhisheka is held once in 12 years. One of the biggest festivals for the Jain community, it honors Lord Bahubali, a revered Jain icon. According to Jain texts, Bahubali attained liberation from the cycle of births and deaths (moksha) at Mount Kailash and is revered as a liberated soul (Siddha) by the Jains.

Bahubali is also called Gommateshwara because of the Gommateshwara statue dedicated to him and as lord “Kammateswara” from an inscription. The Gommateshwara statue was built by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya; it is a 57-foot monolith situated above a hill in Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district, Karnataka state, India. It was built in around 981 A.D. and is one of the largest free-standing statues in the world.


Parliament adopts motion of thanks to President’s Address

The Parliament has adopted the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.

What is “Motion of Thanks” and what it contains?

The President makes an address to a joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, which is prepared by the government and lists its achievements. The President’s speech is a statement of the legislative and policy achievements of the government during the preceding year and gives a broad indication of the agenda for the year ahead. The address is followed by a motion of thanks moved in each House by ruling party MPs. During the session, political parties discuss the motion of thanks also suggesting amendments.

Amendments to the “Motion of Thanks”:

Notices of amendments to Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address can be tabled after the President has delivered his Address. Amendments may refer to matters contained in the Address as well as to matters, in the opinion of the member, the Address has failed to mention. Amendments can be moved to the Motion of Thanks in such form as may be considered appropriate by the Speaker.

Limitation:

The only limitations are that members cannot refer to matters which are not the direct responsibility of the Central Government and that the name of the President cannot be brought in during the debate since the Government and not the President is responsible for the contents of the Address.

Provisions governing them:

President’s Address and Motion of Thanks are governed by Articles 86 (1) and 87 (1) of the Constitution and Rules 16 to 24 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.


Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)

Based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of “Milling Copra” to Rs.7500 per quintal for 2018 season from Rs. 6500 per quintal in 2017.

The MSP of copra is expected to ensure appropriate minimum prices to the farmers and step up investment in coconut cultivation and thereby production and productivity in the country.

About CACP:

The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. It came into existence in January 1965. Currently, the Commission comprises a Chairman, Member Secretary, one Member (Official) and two Members (Non-Official). The non-official members are representatives of the farming community and usually have an active association with the farming community.

It is mandated to recommend minimum support prices (MSPs) to incentivize the cultivators to adopt modern technology, and raise productivity and overall grain production in line with the emerging demand patterns in the country. However, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Union government takes a final decision on the level of MSPs and other recommendations made by CACP.


Change in the basis of classifying Micro, Small and Medium enterprises

The Union Cabinet has approved change in the basis of classifying Micro, Small and Medium enterprises from ‘investment in plant & machinery/equipment’ to ‘annual turnover’.

Section 7 of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 will accordingly be amended to define units producing goods and rendering services in terms of annual turnover as follows:

A micro enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover does not exceed five crore rupees;
A small enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than five crore rupees but does not exceed Rs 75 crore;
A medium enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than seventy five crore rupees but does not exceed Rs 250 crore.
Additionally, the Central Government may, by notification, vary turnover limits, which shall not exceed thrice the limits specified in Section 7 of the MSMED Act.

Background:

At present the MSMED Act (Section 7) classifies the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on the basis of investment in plant and machinery for manufacturing units, and investment in equipment for service enterprises. The criterion of investment in plant and machinery stipulates self declaration which in turn entails verification if deemed necessary and leads to transaction costs.

Significance of this move:

The change in the norms of classification will enhance the ease of doing business. The consequent growth and will pave the way for increased direct and indirect employment in the MSME sector of the country. This will also encourage ease of doing business, make the norms of classification growth oriented and align them to the new tax regime revolving around GST (Goods & Services Tax).


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