- State’s salary bill higher than revenue
- After the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, the expenditure incurred by the Assam Government is much higher than its own revenue generation. Though the State’s share of Central taxes has increased considerably over the years, the high salary burden has affected development works.Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that under the present circumstances, the State Government would have to find out ways to increase its own revenue generation by plugging the loopholes in tax collection. After the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the State can impose tax on its own on only a few items including petroleum products and alcohol. For increasing GST on any item, the State Government would have to approach the GST Council with detailed proposals. Moreover, after the implementation of the GST regime, the State’s revenue collection growth is still not up to the desired level and it is around six per cent. However, the Centre has been paying the shortfall as was assured.
- Sources revealed that in the current financial year, after the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission and payment of arrears due to the employees in two instalments, the State Government had to take an additional burden of nearly Rs 5,000 crore. It is estimated that the total cost for payment of salaries, wages and pensions in the current financial year would be around Rs 28,000 crore against the estimated revenue generation of Rs 15,000 crore. This will leave a huge financial deficit and that would have to be met from the funds received from the Central Government on account of the State’ share in Central taxes. In an ideal situation, a State Government should be able to increase its revenue generation to meet at least the requirement of salaries and wages so that the other funds including the State’s share of Central taxes can be utilized for development works. But this has not been the case in Assam over the years and the gap between the revenue generation and salaries to be paid to the employees only widened after the implementation of the last pay commission recommendations.
· Washington Becomes First State to Enact Its Own Net Neutrality Rules
- Washington became the first state to pass a new law — House Bill 2282— that restores and protects certain net neutrality rules, after the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in favor of repealing net neutrality nationwide late last year.
- Washington state’s new rules were signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee, and prevent internet service providers from blocking and slowing down content online.
- This will become nationwide law itself by April 23, 2018.
· International Womens Day 2018 Theme
- Every year, March 8is celebrated as International Women’s Day.
- 2018 Theme is: “Press for Progress“
- 2018 UN Theme of “International Women’s Day” is: – “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives“
- Celebrated since:- 1913
- This day was recognised by the United Nations in:- 1975
- Centre sanctions Rs 1,000 crore for research and innovation
- The Union Government has announced a grant of Rs 1,000 crore for the second phase of the Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) India programme.
- Under the IMPRINT-II, a fund is being created by the Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Human Resource Development together, in which participation will come from industry and other interested Ministries.
- Under the IMPRINT-I Programme, 142 projects at a cost of Rs. 318.71 crore are already under implementation.
- Cabinet approves MoU between UPSC and Public Service Commission of Mauritius
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Public Service Commission of Mauritius.
- The MoU will strengthen the existing relationship between UPSC and Public Service Commission of Mauritius.
- It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.
- The MoU will develop institutionalized linkage between the Public Service Commissions of two countries.
- RK Singh launches National E-Mobility Programme
- Shri R K Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy, launched the National E-Mobility Programme.
- The Programme aims to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, service providers, etc.
- The Programme will be implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) which will aggregate demand by procuring electric vehicles in bulk to get economies of scale.
- Biplab Deb to be the new Tripura Chief Minister
- Tripura BJP president and newly-elected MLA Biplab Kumar Deb was unanimously elected leader of the BJP legislature party in the state, Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced.
- Deb, whose name was proposed by party MLA Sudip Roy Burman in the meeting, will be the new chief minister of Tripura, Gadkari said.
- BJP MLA Jishnu Debbarma will be the deputy chief minister.
- Deb will stake claim to form government in the state before Governor Tathagata Roy.
· Architect BV Doshi becomes first Indian to win 2018 Pritzker Prize
- Indian architect, urban planner, and educator Balkrishna Vithaldas (BV) Doshi has won the 2018 Pritzker Prize for ‘deeply personal, responsive, and meaningful’ architecture.
- Born in Pune in 1927, Doshi is the oldest ever recipient of the prize, which is regarded as the highest accolade in international architecture and is worth $100,000 (£72,000). He is also the first winner from India.
· NHAI launches new mobile app named Sukhad Yatra App to empower highway users
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways headed by Nitin Gadkarihas launched a new mobile app called ‘Sukhad Yatra‘ which is aimed to empower frequent highway users.
- Sukhad yatra mobile application has been developed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and offers a number of convenient features including real-time data waiting-time at toll-plazas.
- op-featuresof Sukhad Yatra Mobile App launched by Ministry of Road Transport and NHAI:
Complain about FastTag facility/Lane
Complain against Toll Plaza management
Potholes and other maintenance issues
Safety hazard during road construction along highways across India
Poor workman ship of construction
Online recharge FastTag cards
· Ministry to introduce new biofuel policy soon: Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas
- Minister of Petroleum & Natural GasDharmendra Pradhan ministry will soon introduce a new biofuel policy 2018 and cabinet will give nod for its implementation.
- Inaugurating a two-day bilateral conference on advanced biofuels jointly organized by European Union and India in New Delhi today, he said, in the policy-making, generation of 2G ethanol from non-sugar resource will be the key factor.
- The government is committed towards green energy and has stressed on Govardhan Yojna, for generation of Bio-CNG, in this year’s budget.
- The country will witness a new economy of waste to wealth worth one lakh crore in coming years.
- He will give incentives to the companies which are converting agri-waste into energy in the NCR- Region.
- The conference aims at facilitating the deployment of advanced renewable fuels in the European Union and India and providing a common platform to technology developers, industry representatives and investors in value chains producing low carbon fuels for the decarbonization of transport in European countries and India.
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