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BUDGET 2017: Your Friend Or Enemy?



Budget 2017 for India

Budget, which carries the charm of ‘most awaited’ announcements of the year, was finally unveiled and make public on an auspicious day of Vasant Panchami at 11 am of February 1. However, the Union Budget presentation overcame the shadow of a doubt, aroused due to unfortunate passing away of a sitting Senior Kerala MP, E. Ahamed, was ultimately facilitated with due respect.

The Union Budget 2017-2018 was ‘momentous’ in many ways. As for the first time, since the inception, Railway Budget was amalgamated with General Union Budget.

It was the first budget execution after striking demonetization step, breached the long-standing British-era legacy of presenting the Union Budget on the last working day of February.This was the first time that the finance ministry has gone paperless for the Budget, and there will be no plan and non-plan distinction in the financial bill (because of an abolition of the Planning Commission).

The broad agendas of Budget 2017 were proposed under ten distinct themes-

The farming sector, The rural population, The youth, The poor and underprivileged health care, Infrastructure, The financial sector for stronger institutions, Speedy accountability, Public services, Prudent fiscal management and Tax administration for the honest.

The ‘momentous’ 2017-18 budget was readily exposed to abundant expectations, in view to spotlight panning from agriculturalist to industrialists. So what is your relationship status with proposed Budget – amity or enmity, let’s find out here.

Farmer Budget

Source: Google Images

Poor and Agriculturalists

“Farmers are the only indispensable people on the face of Earth”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi coined the term ‘uttam’ (perfect) for Budget in view of benefits proposed for strengthening the hands of farmers and poor. Crop Insurance, irrigation and marketing of agriculture products are three sectors that received maximum focus in the budget. With that view, some of the tremendous measures were raised in favour of our ‘Annadatas’ (अन्नदाता, food providers) and village inhabitants.

What budget has brought for you? 

The government has enlightened this sector by sufficed allocation of funds, favourable channelization towards NABARD, irrigation facility, insurance of soil and credit generation.

Poor were loaded with overwhelming promises and hopes of bringing them out of poverty, providing highest allocation for MGNREGA since its inception, a decade ago, increasing women participation, increasing bond between villages, poor and technology, hope of providing home for homeless, assigning more funds for improvement of roadways and enhancing sanitation in villages as a part of Swachh Bharat mission.

Budget’s Inside (The Flip-Side)

In spite of the announcement of highest ever allocation for MGNREGA, at Rs. 48,000 crore, the important caveat here is that a substantial amount may end up in clearing pending liabilities to the tune of Rs.14,000 crore.

Budgets say that the rabi sowing acreage numbers have increased, while clearly ignoring the low-base affecting arising due to a normal monsoon, following two successive drought years.

No much-hoped debt waiver for farmers

No clear roadmap on how farmer’s income will be doubled in five years.

Fashion in India

Source: Google Images


“The youth is the hope of our future”

When youth holds a countries’ future, how the budget has covered them, becomes an important aspect of coverage.

What budget has brought for you:-

The government’s effort to provide a platform for 350 online courses through Swayam platform can be visualised as the sole welfare initiative in the education sector. Other than it, linking institutional autonomy to ranking, steps planned to create 5000 PG seats per annum, 100 India International centres across the country, Courses on foreign languages etc. also earned youth’s praise for the budget.

Budget’s inside (The Flip-Side)

The budget has promised to introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes; this will foster local innovation in backwards clocks of the country. Experts, however, have taken the proposals with a pinch of salt. As measuring learning outcomes will focus on the ends, not the means.

The allocation for education did not show any significant expansion, remaining stagnant as a percentage of the GDP.

Allocations in the Union Budget for education, disability and child development are not enough. All those working in these sectors weren’t satisfied much.

The budget has barely focused on elementary education.


Source: Google Images

Tax Administration For The Honest

“Don’t tax my income, tax my consumption”

The most anticipated and count on the announcement, for which India was holding its breath high, came in the final quarter of Arun Jaitley’s Budget Speech.

What budget has brought for you:-

If you earn between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh annually- you will have to pay 5 percent tax on your earnings, as compared to 10 percent earlier, from next year, you will have to fill a simple one-page Income Tax Return form If you are filing income tax returns for the first time, you will not be subjected to any scrutiny for the first year.

  • If you earn between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh annually-
    No change in tax slab, so you will continue paying 20 percent tax on your earnings
  • If you earn more than Rs 10 lakh annually
    No change in tax slab, so you will keep paying 30 percent tax on what you earn
  • If you earn between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore annually
    From now on, you will have to pay a surcharge of 10 percent over and above the 30 percent tax rate on your earnings.
  • If you earn more than Rs 1 crore a year
    You will continue paying a surcharge of 15 percent.

Budget’s inside (The Flip-Side)

In nutshell, there was only a minor relief for the salaried class, while there was some bad news for the super-rich.

Health And Care

Source: Google Images

Under Privilege Health Care

“Access to good health care shouldn’t depend on where you live”

In India, still, there are many people who can’t get basic health facilities, under such circumstances it would be interesting to know, the government’s take on the same.

What budget has brought for you:-

“Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas begins with the girl child and women”.
With this notion in mind, the government has justifiably taken care of many schemes, framed to serve them. Whether it is about fund allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras or scheme for pregnant women, the government proved that according to promise, expected results in health were amply delivered. Other major proposals include:-

  • Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 targeted.
  • Health sub-centres, numbering 1.5 lakh, will be transformed into health wellness centres.
  • Two AIIMS will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.
  • Will undertake structural transformation of the regulatory framework for medical education.
  • Allocation for Scheduled Castes is Rs. 52,393 crore
  • Aadhaar-based smart cards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health

Budget’s inside (The Flip-Side)

With a marginal increase in health allocation made in the budget, the target of eliminating lala-azar, filariasis and measles is more of an ambitious project.

The Health Ministry has set itself the target of eliminating tuberculosis when the latest World health organisation (WHO) assessment revealed that India will not be able to tackle TB even by 2050.

Health experts say that the increase of 23% in the budget, most of which is towards the front runner program, National health Mission, makes these targets unrealistic.

There is no announcement regarding granting healthcare industry the status of infrastructure industry, a long-standing demand of the sector.

Indian Railway

Source: Google Images

Infrastructure And Railways

“The Indian Railways Will become the growth engine of the nation’s ‘Vikas yatra’”

The budget was termed “historic” due to the fact that after 92 long years, it was for the first time that the railway budget was presented with general one. However, Union Minister Arun Jaitley took just three minutes to deliver bulletin on the health of this unique institution.

What budget has brought for you:-

Infrastructure in total received Rs. 39,61,354 crore and Railway in specific was admitted with Rs. 1,31,000 crore. Due to the fact that many fatal railway accidents occurred during recent days, Raksha coach was accentuated. More targets include- Unmanned level crossings, elimination of service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC, SMS-based ”clean my coach service, New Metro rail policy etc.

Infrastructural lucrative include- Rs. 64,000 crore allocation for highways, High-speed Internet to be allocated to 1,50,000 gram panchayats etc.

Budget’s inside (The Flip-Side)

Infra spending is one of the key elements of India’s investment story and Budget 17–18 did well to retain the focus on the sector with a host of positive announcements.

The real estate sector, which has seen a sluggish environment in the wake of demonetization, has received much-needed relief. Conferring “infrastructure status” on affordable housing will give the sector access to flexible and low-cost funding options apart from profit-linked tax incentives.

The Budget, however, has not emphasised on the requirements for promoting competitive manufacturing. Perhaps, it is an opportunity lost for Make in India programmes, especially in areas like defence manufacturing with static CapEx outlay.

“The fact is that for the first time since 1951, when the Railways were last reorganised, the passenger earnings this year are lagging behind the previous year’s performance. Even the freight earnings are lower than last year’s, a situation which roiled the Railways last in 1978-79. It was expected that the Finance Minister would write a harsh prescription to exercise the ghosts bedevilling the Railways’ performance. Alas, our fondest hopes were belied”- Former Chairman of Railway Board, Vivek Sahai shared his disappointment with The Hindu

The deaths on the tracks of the Mumbai Suburban network are another area crying for attention.


Source: Google Images


“The stock market is the device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient”

The budget has sent positive signals to investors and it has been evaluated as the best budget since 2005 (for Sensex).

What budget has brought for you:-

  • FDI policy reforms – more than 90% of FDI inflows are now automated.
  • Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished.
  • Negotiable Instruments Act might be amended.
  • Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed.
  • Revised mechanism to ensure time-bound listing of CPSEs. Etc.

Budget’s inside (The Flip-Side)

The government has chosen to allocate a modest Rs.100 billion for recapitalizing public sector banks, which may prove inadequate.

Abolition of FIPB and retaining the tax structure with respect to capital gains extending the tax provisions relating to INR denominated bonds till 2020 etc. are important for development programmes outlined by the budget.

Arun Jaitley Budget 2017

Source: Google Images


In spite of a major question left unanswered in the budget, which asks that- How in the wake of “Demonisation ki Leher” government will guarantee Cyber security? Then also a pleasant and well-balanced financial bill was presented in Lok Sabha.

It has been observed that the Finance Minister has laid out a very safe Budget this year. It’s a budget which brought little of something for everybody and leaves no one in utter disappointment.

Journalist । Gallivanter । Experimenter of norms । Curious Bug and an admirer of Spiritual learning.


Ram Mandir Opening For “Darshan” In 2023



Ram Mandir Opening 2023 | News Aur Chai

The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is expected to allow visitors by December 2023, with the completion of construction only in 2025.

Sources in the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra have revealed that the colossal project of building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, will be opening for devotees towards the end of 2023. In contrast, the project’s entire construction completion is expected towards the end of 2025. The sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), along with the mandir’s first floor, will be ready by December 2023. Devotees will be allowed to visit the long-awaited mandir soon after the construction is completed.

An ANI report said, “The grand Ram Mandir being constructed in Ayodhya will be opened for devotees from December 2023. Sources told ANI that Garbhagriha, all five mandaps and the first floor will be ready by December 2023 and the mandir will be opened for devotees”.

The sanctum sanctorum will be as high as 161 feet and built using Rajasthani marble and stones. Engineers and architects are taking all measures to ensure the longevity of this enormous project. The second stage of construction is expected to begin in December this year. Currently, the structure is at a standstill as a result of monsoons. Another reason for the delay is the coronavirus pandemic that depleted the force with which the mandir’s construction was expected to go on.

The announcement of the mandir being opened to visitors in 2023 has brought up questions about the political agenda. It is believed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to use the mandir to catapult themselves into a position of advantage during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Opening the mandir to devotees in December 2023 will give the BJP an easy 6-month gap to the general elections in 2024.

The opening of the long-awaited Ram Mandir in Ayodhya could be the factor that diverts the public, at least the Hindu’s in favour of BJP. Thus, securing them a vote bank based on religious sentiments upheld by the party in their previous tenure as the ruling party.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir will be 360 feet long, 235 feet wide, and 20 feet high mandir will be completely ready by the end of 2025. The project will include amenities and structures like museums, archives, research centre, Sant Niwas, gau and Yagya shala, Etc. The main attraction is the Ram Mandir.

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Centre to SC: Shreya Singhal Judgement- States Also Have Liability To Guarantee Individuals Not Troubled Utilizing Scrapped Section 66A



Shreya Singh Judgement_66A II News Aur Chai

The Center has submitted to the Supreme Court that police and police requests being state subjects, the obligation to ensure the execution of the pronouncement that annuls Section 66A of the Information Technology Act belongs to the states. Further, the law requires organizations to share equivalent obligations to hold out the judgment.

On July 5, 2021, a Bench drove by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman said it was “upsetting,” “shocking” and “terrible” that individuals are as yet reserved and tried under Section 66A even six years after the apex court struck down the arrangement as unlawful and an infringement of free speech. The NGO People’s Union of Civil Liberties, represented by senior lawyer Sanjay Parikh and advocate Aparna Bhat, had made the court take notice of the contempt.

Undead segment: About Section 66A of the IT Act 

In its reaction, the Centre said the police and public request were “State subjects” under the Constitution. “Counteraction, location, examination and arraignment of wrongdoings and limit the working of the police are essentially the obligation of the States,” the Centre submitted in the affidavit. It said law requirement organizations share equivalent obligation to agree with the apex court judgment. They make a move against cybercrime offenders according to the law.

Spreading information 

The Centre said the Ministries of Information and Technology and Home Affairs gave a valiant effort to disperse information about the Supreme Court judgment in the Shreya Singhal case. Section 66A had suggested three years of imprisonment if an online media message caused “disturbance” or was found “terribly antagonistic”. Mr Parikh had welcomed the court intervention to work out a system to disperse the Shreya Singhal judgment to each police headquarters and preliminary court in the country.

“Section 66A of the IT Act has continued being utilized inside police base camp just as in cases under the attentive gaze of primer courts across India. This data was accessible on the Zombie Tracker site, created by a group of independent researchers. The discoveries of the site uncover that as of March 10, 2021, upwards of 745 cases are as yet forthcoming and dynamic under the steady gaze of region courts in 11 States, wherein the denounced are being indicted for offences of the IT Act under Section 66A.” the PUCL has acquiesced.

The accommodation has been in the rejoinder affidavit filed by PUCL in the apex court. This response was because of the Centre’s counter-affidavit in a petition filed by PUCL looking for different bearings and rules against the FIRs scraped under the struck-down Section 66A.

PUCL in, its rejoinder affidavit through Advocate Aparna Bhat, has contended that the Union of India should not have avoided its commitment by arguing that the obligation of execution lies with the States just as with the law enforcement agencies. It mentioned alluding to Union’s accommodation in its affirmation that ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are state subjects. Accordingly, the obligation rests with the State.

Alluding to the Centre’s accommodation that they had mentioned Chief Secretaries, all things considered, and Administers of Union Territories to outfit information for arraignments summoning Section 66A get-togethers, PUCL has contended that the reaction to the said letters have ‘nor set on record nor unveiled.’ PUCL has been tending that looking for removal of its application mentioning the execution of the judgment downplays the enormous scope infringement of the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to fair trials of citizens.

The applicant has proposed the additional directions to be given by the Court in the matter: 

  1. Directions to High Courts: 

The applicant has looked for specific bearings to every one of the High Courts through Registrar Generals. The proposed headings ought to impart to every one of the District Courts and Magistrates that forthwith there ought to be no cognizance taken under the revoked Section 66A of the IT Act. It had been expressed that the High Courts be permitted to start Suo Motu contempt procedures against those liable for enlisting a case under Section 66A or for examining it or for indicting it.

  1. Directions to DGPs: 

The applicant has recommended that bearings are given to the Director-General of Police and Union Territories to convey to all police headquarters inside their separate locales to show a notification that Section 66A of the IT Act has been scrapped. Also, no case can be enrolled under the cancelled Section 66A of the IT Act.

  1. Directions to Respondents: 

Decisions have looked to the Respondents, Union of India, to accumulate the nuances of the cases enrolled by the Police or Law Enforcement Agencies under Section 66A of IT Act since the judgment of Shreya Singhal revealed by coordination with the chief secretaries of the DGP of the States and Union territories.

As per the applicant, Respondents can coordinate to guarantee that Doordarshan and All India Radio make quarterly declarations in significant vernacular dialects advising the public that Section 66A of the IT Act is presently not in power. The applicant has looked for bearings to guarantee that all authority and business forms of the IT Act that are here in after distributed (on the web or disconnected) do exclude the total content of Section 66A and educate the per user that said arrangement stands revoked.

The Shreya Singhal judgment had delivered by the seat which, lifted Section 66A by Judge J Chelameswar and RF Nariman for a violation of Articles 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The judgment wrote by Justice Nariman held the arrangement to be obscure, over the edge, and making an alarming impact on free discourse.

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SC/ST Act Misuse: Alleged Fraudulence Of The Atrocities Act?



SC/ST Atrocities Act II News Aur Chai

The Government of India, recently, claimed in an answer to the MPs of Rajya Sabha, that according to research, many states have conviction rates that are even lower than 1%.

In the year 2019, there were a total of 41,793 incidences of crime or atrocities against Dalits and 7815 cases of crime against tribal people. According to the report, only 44 out of 6540 cases of crimes or atrocities against Dalits in Bihar have been proven factual in trial courts. The STs filed a total of 97 cases under the SC-ST Act, but only two were judged to be true.

The conviction rate was 0.67 percent for men and 2.06 percent for women. It also stipulates the state with the most cases of crime against SCs is Uttar Pradesh, with 9451 cases, or 22.61 percent of all such cases in the country. Rajasthan comes in second with 6659 cases (15.9% of total cases), followed by Bihar (15.6%), and Madhya Pradesh (12.6 percent). In the last year, the number of ST cases filed in UP has increased by 600 percent.

According to the information, 705 cases were filed, however just one case was found to be true during the trials. The conviction rate in Kerala and Karnataka is slightly more than 1%. The SC-ST Act has been used in 1,733 cases in Karnataka. The conviction rate, on the other hand, was only 1.67%. In Kerala, the average conviction rate for atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis under the PoA Act remained at 1.76%. These claims sure put the concerned legislation on spot for being exploited.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, aimed to prohibit the atrocities committed against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, to establish Special Courts for the trial of such offences and the relief and rehabilitation of victims of such acts, and to provide for matters connected with or incidental thereto.

The number of complaints against the misuse of the same has arisen in the last few years. The apex court has had stated in the past, that the Act has been misused to submit bogus complaints to foster caste animosity, rather than blurring caste barriers, adding that, if the Atrocities Act is not brought into line, it may even “perpetuate casteism,” and the court will have to act to prevent “false implication of innocent persons along caste lines.”

However, when seen through the lens of why the Act was necessary and how well it was administered, a different image emerges. The court’s stated goal in a 2018 ruling for the Prevention of Atrocities Act, was to safeguard officers from “arbitrary arrest” and “innocent civilians” from being falsely accused in cases. But according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and the Ministry of Home Affairs, low conviction rates under the Act may be due to the misuse of the provision as much as the way investigations and cases are pursued in the courts.

Those who have pushed for stricter rules under the Act argue that the low conviction rate is due to the way cases are registered and prosecuted. “Dalits are frequently the victims of discriminatory treatment in the administration of justice,” according to a Human Rights Watch report.

According to a report published in the Economic & Political Weekly, approximately half of the cases brought under the Act do not get to court and are closed by the police. It had also hinted at a “caste bias among the investigating officers.” Sthabir Khora, an assistant professor, alleges that compounding, compensation inducement, and criminal intimidation are some of the practices that tend to prevail when the complainant is from the SC/ST category.

In October 2019, the top court observed the National Crime Records Bureau, where over 47,000 cases were reported in 2016 under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. “It would be against the basic human dignity to treat all of them (SC/ST members) as a liar or as a crook person and cannot look at every complaint by such complainant with a doubt,” remarked justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai.

The bench stated that if a case filed under the SC/ST Act is determined to be false or baseless, many a time. It could be due to poor investigation or other factors such as human failures, regardless of caste. Therefore, all such accounts must be taken into consideration before making an informed decision to serve justice.

The bench had also added, “All humans are equal including in their failings. To treat SCs and STs as persons who are prone to lodge false reports under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act for taking revenge or otherwise as monetary benefits made available to them in the case of their being subjected to such offence, would be against fundamental human equality.”

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