- Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest
- India ranks first in number of organic farmers
- Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO)
- Sarthak, Defence PSUs and OFB products launched
TRANSPARENT TAXATION – HONOURING THE HONEST
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
- Prime Minister launched a platform for “Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest” to meet the requirements of the 21st century taxation system.
- The prime minister said that every rule, law and policy is being taken out of power centric approach and is now being turned into people-centric and public friendly.
- According to the PM the four factors responsible for changes in the taxation system were policy-driven governance, belief in people’s honesty, the use of advanced technology and efficiency in bureaucracy.
Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest (T2-H2)
- The Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest [T2-H2] is an extension of E-assessment scheme 2019 launched by Government of India.
- The new platform will be having Faceless Assessments, Faceless Appeal and Taxpayer Charter.
- Government has acknowledged that the country can move forward and can develop when the life of honest taxpayer is made easy and the launch of Taxpayer’s Charter is to ensure fair, courteous, and rational behaviour to the honest taxpayers.
- The issue of tax harassment by officers has gained a lot of attention in India and the government introduced faceless income tax assessment to reduce the scope for corruption and overreach by officials.
- The CBDT has given a framework and put in place a system in the form of this platform using technology such as data analytics and AI, a transparent efficient and accountable tax system.
The Faceless Assessment aims to eliminate human interface between the taxpayer and the income tax department and the selection of a taxpayer is possible through systems using analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
Faceless Appeal System
Under the Faceless Appeal system, appeals will be randomly allotted to any officer in the country. The identity of the officer deciding the appeal will remain unknown.
The Taxpayer Charter
The Taxpayer Charter outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tax officers and taxpayers.
- In a joint letter sent to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) this month, representatives of the Income Tax Employees Federation and the Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association voiced their displeasure.
- Concerns were raised but tax officials that faceless tax assessment may reduce tax collection and raise pressure on officers that are under stress to meet lofty tax targets for the current fiscal year.
E-Assessment v/s Faceless Assessment
- In E-assessment the assessee will be aware of the assessing officer who will be carrying out the assessment proceedings.
- In Faceless Assessment, the assessee will not be aware of assessing officer who will be doing his tax assessment.
- The e-assessment was more of one assessing officer carrying out the assessment whereas in faceless assessment there will be a team of assessing officers who will be carrying out the assessment.
INDIA RANKS FIRST IN NUMBER OF ORGANIC FARMERS
Focus: GS-III Agriculture
- In a world battered by the COVID pandemic, the demand for healthy and safe food is already showing an upward trend and hence this is an opportune moment to be captured for a win-win situation for our farmers, consumers and the environment.
- The growth story of organic farming is unfolding with increasing demand not only in India but also globally.
Introduction to Organic Farming
- Natural farming is not a new concept in India, with farmers having tilled their land without the use of chemicals – largely relying on organic residues, cow dung, composts, etc since time immemorial.
- The philosophy underlying organic farming of integration of the elements – soil, water, microbes and ‘waste’ products, forestry and agriculture is the correct recipe for sustainable use of natural resources, which are coming under severe stress due to ever increasing requirement of food and feedstock for agri based industry.
- This is also in sync with the Sustainable Development Goal 2 targeting ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’.
India’s Position on Organic Farming
- First in number of organic farmers and
- Ninth in terms of area under organic farming.
Sikkim became the first State in the world to become fully organic.
North East India has traditionally been organic and the consumption of chemicals is far less than rest of the country.
With the aim of assisting farmers to adopt organic farming and improve remunerations due to premium prices, two dedicated programs were launched to encourage chemical free farming:
- Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD)
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
With the simultaneous thrust given by the Agri-export Policy 2018, India can emerge as a major player in global organic markets.
- The major organic exports from India have been flax seeds, sesame, soybean, tea, medicinal plants, rice and pulses, which were instrumental in driving an increase of nearly 50% in organic exports in 2018-19.
- Certification is an important element of organic produce to instill customer confidence, hence, both PKVY and MOVCD are promoting certification under Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) and National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) respectively targeting domestic and exports markets.
- Clusters are being assisted under PKVY and for these clusters to become sustainable, it is important that henceforth market led production starts in a contract farming mode, so that there is a ready market for the produce and industry also gets the desired quality and quantity when required. This is being pursued in right earnest with bulk buyers including the phtyo extracts industries.
- The concept of market led One district – One product is being encouraged as presence of aggregators is imperative to bring about economies of scale for the small and marginal farmers and development of more clusters in the vicinity of bigger towns where the appetite for organics will be much more.
- The organic e-commerce platform www.jaivikkheti.in is being strengthened for directly linking farmers with retail as well as bulk buyers.
- Infusion of digital technology in a much bigger way has been a major takeaway during the pandemic period and is a welcome norm here to stay, saving in expenses on travel, logistics, etc while not compromising in any way on the quality of information sharing.
Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
- “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
- Under PKVY (Not to be confused with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana PMKVY) Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic village by cluster approach and PGS certification.
The Scheme envisages:
- Promotion of commercial organic production through certified organic farming.
- Produce will be pesticide residue free and will contribute to improve the health of consumer.
- It will raise farmer’s income and create potential market for traders.
- It will motivate the farmers for natural resource mobilization for input production.
Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER)
- MOVCD-NER is a Central Sector Scheme, a sub-mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare for implementation in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
- The scheme aims to develop certified organic production in a value chain mode to link growers with consumers and to support the development of entire value chain starting from inputs, seeds, certification, to the creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing and brand building initiative.
- It also aims to empower producers with program ownership by organizing them into farmer producer organizations/ companies, and to replace conventional farming/subsistence farming system into local resource based, self-sustainable, high value commercial organic enterprise.
- Development of organic parks/zones with facilities for collection, aggregation, value addition, processing, storage and market-linkages for specific commodities requiring capital intensive technology is also on the agenda.
- The Scheme also aims to develop NER products as brands/labels through brand building and facilitating stronger marketing access under the ownership of growers organizations/ companies.
NAVAL INNOVATION AND INDIGENISATION ORGANISATION (NIIO)
Focus: GS-III Indian Economy, Industry and Infrastructure
Why in news?
Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) of India launched the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO).
Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO)
NIIO is a three-tiered organisation –
- Naval Technology Acceleration Council (N-TAC) will be bringing together the twin aspects of innovation and indigenisation and will provide apex level directives.
- A working group under N-TAC will be implementing the projects.
- A Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC) has also been developed for the induction of emerging disruptive technology in an accelerated time frame.
NIIO puts in place the dedicated structures for the end-users to interact with the industry and academia towards fostering the innovation and indigenisation for self -reliance in Defence with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
- The Draft Defence Acquisition Policy 2020 (DAP 20) has envisaged service headquarters establishing an Innovation & Indigenisation Organisation within the existing resources.
- Indian Navy already has a functional Directorate of Indigenisation (DOI) and the new structures that have been created will build upon the ongoing indigenisation initiatives, as well as will focus on innovation.
SARTHAK, DEFENCE PSUS AND OFB PRODUCTS LAUNCHED
Focus: GS-III Internal Security challenges, Industry and Infrastructure
Why in news?
- An Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Indian Coast Guard was launched and re-christened as Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarthak’.
- Raksha Mantri launched four products each by OFB and BEML, two by BEL and one each by HAL, BDL, MDL, GRSE and GSL, (15 products in total) developed by respective DPSUs/ OFB as part of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ week celebrations.
- With the impressive number of Products launched by DPSUs and Ordnance Factories, they are on track to be the prime drivers of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and contribute immeasurably to the cause of national security and self-reliance.
- OPV Sarthak is the 4th in the series of five OPVs, designed & built indigenously by M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in line with the Make in India vision.
- The Ship is fitted with state-of-the-art Navigation and Communication equipment, sensor and machinery.
- The ship launched today, has about 70% indigenous content, thus providing the necessary fillip to the Indian shipbuilding industry and a giant leap towards achieving ‘Atmanirbar Bharat’.
Products of Defence PSUs
- Prototype of Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) which has the potential for import substitution to the tune of Rs. 260 Cr in the first phase.
- Fully indigenous 14.5 mm Anti Material Rifle being manufactured with the existing facilities at Ordnance Factory
- The upgraded Commander’s Thermal Imager Cum Day Sight for T90 Main Battle Tank
- The prototype of 8.6×70 mm Sniper developed by Rifle Factory Ishapore
- GAUR- a Medium Bullet Proof Vehicle built on a high mobility chassis
- Roll out of 150th Do-228 aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, HAL, is a milestone in the indigenous manufacture of the proven platform.
- Portable Pedestrian (Assault) Bridge, first of its kind made of Carbon Fibre Polymer Composite Material, to meet the requirements of the Indian Army
- Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle has completed laboratory trials