TUESDAY CENTRE PLANS PERSONAL INCOME TAX REFORMS 09 MARCH, 2021 The ﬁnance ministry wants to reduce the confusion among taxpayers due to the dual tax system introduced in the Budget epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard EXPERTS: NEW REGIME TAX-INEFFICIENT twitter.com/TheMornStandard POLL SOP LOAN WAIVER FOR PUNJAB FARMERS The legal issues framed by the court for consideration Constitution bench seeks views of all states on reservation and their position on Article 342A Whether Indira Sawhney case verdict needs to be referred to larger bench for relook? E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Whether the Maharashtra reservation law is covered by exceptional circumstances as was contemplated in Indra Sawhney case? Whether the 102nd Amendment deprives state legislatures the power to enact a legislation determining the socially and economically backward classes? Whether states’ power to legislate in relation to any backward class under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) is abridged by Article 342(A) read with Article 366(26c)? Whether Article 342A abrogates states power to legislate in respect of “any backward class of citizens” and affects the federal policy structure? ALMOST 30 years after it applied a 50% cap on reservation, the Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from all states on whether the ruling needs to be revisited. The ceiling was imposed by a nine-judge Constitution Bench in the Indira Sahwney case in 1992, also called the Mandal verdict. States were also asked to respond to a 2018 Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, which gave constitutional recognition to National Commission for Backward Classes. Article 342A was introduced via the amendment, through which the competence of states to make laws on reservation for backward classes was taken away . “In view of the question of seminal importance on Article 342A, states have to be given opportunity to make their submissions,” a fivejudge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said. States have been asked to make submissions on whether they considered Article 342A ag ainst the federal structure of the Constitution. Hearing a petition challenging a 2018 Maharashtra law to provide reservation to Marathas, the bench said it will now consider the law in light of larger questions of law. It has scheduled the hearing for March 15. The Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, provided for a 16% reservation to Maratha community In 2019, the Bombay High . Court upheld the law, but reduced the reservation to 12% for admission to educational institutions and 13% for employment. The order was challenged in the Supreme Court, saying it violated the 50% reservation cap. EXODUS DEFECTIONS FROM TMC CONTINUED, WITH FIVE MORE MLAs JOINING BJP While some switched sides after being denied poll tickets, even a lawmaker who was fielded from Habibpur joined BJP. TMC said it was ‘good riddance’ as the defectors had no values and were just after posts | P7 VIRUS TAKES A TOLL ON ECONOMY J8.00 DELHI 5.68% 8% 3.92% 45% expected fall in Gross State Domestic Product in real terms expected contraction in GDP at national level expected contraction as per advance estimate of GSDP rise in GSDP in last six years (2015-16 to 2020-21) `7,98,310 Cr advance estimate of GSDP at current prices Delhi’s estimated per capita income at `3.54 lakh is about three times of `1.27 lakh at national level. Delhi has the second highest per capita income (in real terms) in India. At current prices -5.91% EX P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ New Delhi THE Delhi government’s economic survey on Monday stated that the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of the national capital contracted by around 5.68% during 2020-21 as a fallout of Covid-induced curbs. However, vaccination has rekindled hope for future growth, it said. The global pandemic brought an “economic shock”, it said, adding the AAP government continued with its flagship and popular social welfare schemes throughout the financial year. Shedding light on the finan- cial health of the national capital, the survey said the pandemic had wide-ranging effects on every section of the economy and created disruptions to the demand-and-supply chain. However, the education sector remained a priority for the government with the maximum share allocation of 23.83% of the total budget, followed by transport and health. The GSDP of Delhi at constant prices increased to `6,13,843 crore during 2019-20, In real terms -7.53% Change indicating a growth of 7.10%. The advance estimate of GSDP of Delhi at constant prices during 2020-21 was recorded at Rs 5,78,971 crore and showed a contraction of 5.68% over 201920, said the survey . It explained how during the pandemic, “curtailment of spending options due to closure of all contact-sensitive activities, the triggering of precautionary savings, risk aversion among businesses and resultant fall in consump- All economies have been dented by Covid-19 and so has the economy of Delhi. The GSDP of Delhi in real terms of constant prices is estimated to have contracted by 5.68% in 2020-21 — Anil Baijal, L-G tion and investment” led to a demand shock for the economy . The Delhi government was among the first states in the country that started its path to recovery last year, it said, adding the vaccination drive has rekindled hopes for a sharp recovery of the real GSDP in the next financial year. “With the economy’s return to normalcy brought closer by , initiation of a mega vaccination drive, hopes of a robust recovery in services sector, consumption, and investment have been rekindled,” said Deputy CM Manish Sisodia BJP axe likely to fall on Uttarakhand CM Rawat MANISH ANAND AND VINIT U PA D H YAY @ New Delhi/Dehradun TAKING a grim view of the poll prospects in Uttarakhand next year, the BJP is exploring leadership change in the hill state, while incumbent Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is camped in Delhi trying to somehow avert his ouster. The BJP is likely to name Rawat’s successor after calling a meeting of all legislators in Dehradun. Union home minister Amit Shah is learnt to be acting on a report given by party vice president Raman Singh who was sent to Dehradun on Saturday as a Central observer along with party leader Dushyant Kumar Gautam. BJP chief J P Nadda has also reportedly briefed Shah about the Uttarakhand situation. Later, Rawat met Nadda. The embattled CM also called on the BJP media head and the Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni at his residence on Monday evening. Baluni, who is known to enjoy the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, is also reckoned as a contender for the chief minister’s position. “Leadership change appears imminent, for the BJP doesn’t want to repeat the Jharkhand experience when it persisted with the chief minister despite adverse reports against Raghu- WHY HE’S A LIABILITY While the trend is to vote out the incumbent govt, the BJP is keen to reverse it. The CM’s over -centralisation and lack of access to MLAs may play the spoiler, party leaders feel. Rawat is also accused of not addressing the concerns of people hit by infra projects, including roads and highways bar Das. A section of the BJP MLAs in Uttarakhand has been up in arms against Rawat due to his working style,” said a senior BJP functionary . Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ is seen as a frontrunner to replace Rawat. Nishank, who has occupied the CM’s chair earlier too, counts on the support of RSS and top BJP leadership. State BJP chief Ajay Bhatt and Uttarakhand minister Satpal Maharaj are also nursing CM ambitions, sources said. “The immediate trigger was the police caning in Gairsain against people who were protesting against the widening of a road,” a source said. UK House assails rights violations in farm protest Kolkata: Nine people were killed in a fire that broke out in an office building in Kolkata’s Strand Road on Monday evening. Those dead included four firemen, an RPF constable and an assistant sub-inspector. Two persons are missing. The fire broke out on the 13th floor of the building. Five of the seven bodies were found in an elevator. CM Mamata Banerjee announced `10 lakh compensation for each of the victims’ families. P U S H K A R BA N A K A R @ New Delhi MP Assembly passes Bill against conversion Rome: Wrestler Bajrang Punia pulled off a two-pointer in the last 30 seconds of the gold medal bout to defend his title at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event, a result that propelled him back to world number one rank. Up against Mongolia’s Tulga Tumur Ochir, Bajrang was trailing 0-2 till the final moments of the 65 kg final. Punia said he has to work more on defence ahead of Olympic| P11 2020-21 2019-20 5.68% dip in Delhi’s GDP; Survey bets big on vax Nine killed in blaze at Kolkata office building Bajrang takes gold and number one rank 70 PAGES 12 PER CAPITA INCOME SHRINKS EXPRESS READ Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday passed a Bill that penalises religious conversion through marriage or any other fraudulent means and provides for a prison sentence of upto 10 years. Home Minister Narottam Mishra said the Act provides for annulment of marriage, a harsher sentence and also fine of up to `1 lakh. It replaced an ordinance promulgated by the BJP government on January 9. `2,74,671 NEW DELHI `2,54,001 50% quota cap could be up for review `3,76,221 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 `3,54,004 Amarinder govt announces crop loan waiver of `1,700 cr even as debt mounts In the Budget for 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed a new tax regime with lower rates for those willing to forego all exemptions. Taxpayers who wanted to NO. OF DEDUCTIONS AND enjoy exemptions were given the option to continue with the old EXEMPTIONS structure. However, according to tax NOT ALLOWED IN THE NEW TAX experts, taxpayers would end up REGIME paying more tax under the new system POWER RIDE Women officers of Himachal Pradesh Police perform stunts on the occasion of International Women’s Day in Shimla | PTI THE Indian government’s handling of the ongoing farmers protests, including the arrest of student-activist Disha Ravi and the temporary internet clampdown, was sharply attacked in the British Parliament on Monday, as it took up an e-petition on freedom of the press and safety of the agitators for debate. The petition was introduced by Scottish National Par ty MP Martyn Day, who in his opening remarks, said that the merits of the three new farm laws were not up for debate as India as a sovereign state had the right to enforce legislations. “However, reports of usage of tear gas on the protesters and suspension of internet has been seen and this is against international human rights,” Day said. The e-petition, which was launched by Liberal Democratic Councillor Gurcharan Singh, saw over 1.15 lakh signatures. UK law mandates that petitions that draw over 1 lakh signatures must be debated in Parliament. The lone MP who spoke in support of the Indian government was Teresa Villiers from the Conservative Party She . hailed the Indian government’s decision to enforce the farm laws as a democratic success story . Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the actions of Indian government were giving the impression that globalisation was being forced upon on them. “The nature in which the protesters have been attacked has been unprecedented. Internet has been suspended and journalists have been prevented from reporting,” he said. CONTINUED ON P7 while presenting the economic survey . In various key departments like water, the government has stated that it has ensured a free lifeline of up to 20 km to every house having a metered connection. Water has been one of the main poll planks of the Kejriwal government that returned to power for the third consecutive term. On public transport, the scheme for free bus trips for women brought a huge relief. In the 2019-20, around 19 crore free tips were made under the scheme that included both DTC and cluster SEE ALSO: P4 & 5 busses. HOOLIGANS Youths fire in air at Singhu protest site H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh FOUR unidentified persons came in a luxury car and allegedly fired in the air on Sunday night at Singhu border, the farmer protest site, sources said, adding there were no injuries or death. The incident took place hours before women farmers gathered at various Delhi border points to mark the International Women’s Day . The Audi car in which the accused came had a registration number of Chandigarh or Punjab, sources said, adding they fired three rounds in the air and fled. The incident took place near TDI Mall where a ‘langar’ was being served. Police personnel from Kundli in Haryana rushed to the spot and inquired about the alleged incident, sources said. The farmers, in their complaint to the Haryana Police, said the youths who came in the Audi car demanded cold water at the ‘langar’. They were served normal water, which led to argument following which the youths allegedly fired in the air and fled. Sonepat Superintendent of Police Jashandeep Singh Randhawa said a case was registered against unidentified men and a probe was on. “We are checking CCTV cameras to identify the car and the youths,” he said. Sources said the police have identified the vehicle and a search is on to nab those involved in the incident. On Monday, hundreds of women farmers took part in protests and held tractor march to mark the International Women’s Day . Poser to rape accused on marrying victim misreported, says CJI Bobde E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi EXPRESSING concern over misreporting of his remarks during a recent hearing in a rape case in which he had asked the accused if he would marry the victim, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said the court has always had the highest respect for womanhood. The comments came in the wake of criticism against the Supreme Court that it had purportedly asked a rape accused whether he would marry the victim, who was a minor when the crime was committed. “As an institution and as a bench in this court, we have always had the highest respect for the womanhood. We never asked the accused to marry the girl. We asked him ‘ re you goA ing to marry her?’. There was complete misreporting,” the CJI said while pointing out that his questions to the lawyer for the accused were on the facts of that particular case alone. CJI Bobde’s remark came during the hearing of a different case filed by a 14-year-old who had sought permission to abort her 26-week-old foetus. She had allegedly been raped by her cousin. The case was adjourned to Friday . Solicitor General Tushar Me- hta concurred with the CJI. According to Section 165 of the Evidence Act, “The judge may , in order to discover or to obtain proper proof of relevant facts, ask any question he pleases, in any form, at any time, of any witness, or of the parties, about any fact relevant or irrelevant... and neither the parties nor their agents shall be entitled to make any objection to any such question or order...” ‘Up to the Bar to protect institution’s reputation’ When the petitioner’s advocate said a section of people were ‘tarnishing the institution’ and there should be some kind of mechanism to deal with such situations, CJI Bobde said, “Our reputation is always at the hands of the Bar.” Several activists and eminent citizens had slammed the CJI demanding an apology.
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