Pakistan allows import of cotton and sugar from India
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-03-2021; Partially overturning a two-year decision to suspend all trade with India, Pakistan announced on Monday that it would allow the import of cotton and sugar across the border. The move follows the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire announced by India and Pakistan in February and a series of measures seen as part of a broader dialogue process aimed at unfreezing the connections.
- However, speaking to the media at the end of a cabinet meeting that approved the two proposals from Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce, Pakistan’s new finance minister Hammad Azhar said the move was prompted by the increase in price and the need of Pakistani industry for specific products.
- We have allowed the import of sugar, but in the rest of the world, sugar prices are also high, so it is not possible to import. But in our neighboring country India, the sugar prices are much lower compared to Pakistan, so we decided to reopen the sugar trade with India up to 0.5 million tonnes for the private sector, Azhar said,
- Further adding that there was also a high demand for cotton and cotton yarns from India, especially from Pakistani small and medium enterprises (SMEs) due to the increase in textile exports, but a reduced harvest in 2020.
- The decision to cancel the trade was taken by the Imran Khan government on August 9, 2019, days after the government amended Section 370 and reorganized Jammu and Kashmir.
- India’s Foreign Ministry has not responded to developments, nor has it responded to whether it is considering further action.
- Although India has not banned trade with Pakistan, it has suspended inter-LoC trade and removed most-favored-nation (MFN) status from Pakistan following the amendment to Section 370 and reorganized Jammu and Kashmir.
- Experts said Pakistan’s move, which follows India’s granting of sports-related visas after a three-year hiatus, scheduled a long-delayed meeting of the Indus Water Commissioners in Delhi in March, peace in the LoC after more than 5,000 ceasefire violations last year as well as the exchange of healthy messages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Khan, raised hopes for further action .
Mamata writes to 14 opposition parties about Delhi’s NCT bill and says the BJP wants to establish an “authoritarian one-party government”
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-03-2021; The BJP wants to establish an “authoritarian one-party government” in India, reducing state governments to “mere municipalities,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a letter to leaders of 14 parties in opposition. She urged them to come together to counter the BJP after the current Assembly elections.
- He wrote to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, DMK chairman MK Stalin, party chairman Samajwadi Akhilesh Yadav, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, leader of Shiv Sena and chief minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Tackeray, among others.
- In his three-page letter, Banerjee expressed concern about the “series of attacks” by the BJP and the Unity Government on “democracy and constitutional federalism” in the context of the recent passage of the bill in the territory of the national capital of Delhi (Amendment) Parliament.
- With this law, all political decisions made by the elected Delhi government must be approved by the Lieutenant Governor, who is appointed by the Center, before they are implemented.
- Banerjee wrote that the Center attempted to make Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal “subordinate to the Lieutenant Governor” because the BJP was unwilling to accept the term of the people, who elected AAP above the BJP twice, in 2014 and 2019.
- This legislation, he wrote, also violates the 2018 Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the preeminence of Delhi’s elected government in all areas other than police, public order and land.
- With a word of warning he wrote that this law is no exception, but is increasingly becoming the rule.
- She listed seven cases that show the Center is trying to eclipse the powers of state government. These included interference from governors, vindictive use of agencies such as the CBI and ED, and withholding funds from state governments, especially states not governed by the BJP.
- She noted that all platforms where state governments can file complaints have also been dissolved, including the interstate council and the planning commission.
- The BJP, has amassed “unlimited” resources from questionable sources that it uses to overthrow duly elected non-BJP governments by plotting defections.
- There must be a “united and effective fight,” she said, urging all parties to come together to draft an action plan.
Supreme Court Panel on Farm Laws Presents Report
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-03-2021; A panel appointed by the Supreme Court presented its report on the three agrarian reform laws behind closed doors. The report will be released at the next hearing in the case.
- The three laws passed by Parliament in September and opposed by farmers ‘unions are the Agricultural Trade and Commerce Act (Promotion and Facilitation), the Essential Products Act (Amendment) and the Farmers’ Agreement (Empowerment and Protection). ) on the Law of Assurance of prices and agricultural services.
- On January 12, the Supreme Court suspended the implementation of the three laws and appointed a four-member panel of experts “to hear farmers’ complaints about farm laws and government opinions and make recommendations.”
- After one member, agricultural union leader Bhupinder Singh Mann, withdrew from the panel, the other three members met with stakeholders, including farmer groups, farmer organizations, government officials and industry representatives from various states.
- However, the agricultural unions refused to meet with the panel.
The government postpones the implementation of labor codes
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-03-2021; The four labor codes will not go into effect as of April 1, as the states have yet to finalize the relevant rules, which means there will be no changes to the pay for now.
- Once the salary code takes effect, there will be significant changes to the way the employee’s base salary and provident fund are calculated. As the states have not finalized the rules under the four codes, the implementation of these laws is currently postponed, a source told PTI.
- Since work is a concurrent issue under the Constitution of India, the Center and the States must notify the rules under the Codes to put them into effect in their respective jurisdictions.
- Under the new wage code, allowances are limited to 50%.
- This means that half of an employee’s gross salary would be a base salary.
- Provident fund contribution is calculated as a percentage of base salary, which includes base salary and expense allowance.
- Employers have divided salaries into numerous assignments to keep base salaries low in order to reduce provident funds and tax expenditures.
- The new wage code foresees the contribution to the provident fund as a prescribed proportion of 50% of the gross wage.
- In the event that the new codes came into effect as of April 1, the net salary of employees and the liability of the employers’ provident fund would have increased in many cases.
- The employer would now have more time to restructure the wages of its employees in accordance with the new wage code.
The World Bank projects India’s growth in 2021-22 at 10.1%
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-03-2021; India’s economy is expected to grow 10.1% for the year starting April 1, 2021, as the launch of vaccines fuels activity in contact-intensive industries, according to a World Bank report on the vaccines in South Asia.
- However, given the great uncertainty surrounding epidemiological and political factors, real GDP growth could range from 7.5% to 12.5%, stabilizing at 6-7% in the medium term.
- The fiscal year ending March 31, 2021 is expected to see the worst economic damage from the pandemic, the report says (the economy contracted 8.5% in fiscal year 20-21 according to World Bank estimates) .
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-03-2021; The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 1,22,13,561 at the time of this bulletin, with the death toll at 1,64,291.
- India reported 354 deaths in the past 24 hours on Wednesday, the highest since December 17, when 355 Covid-19 related deaths were reported in a single day.
- It is also the highest peak in casualties on a single day this year. Six states are responsible for 82.20% of new deaths, according to the Ministry of Health, with Maharashtra recording the highest (139) followed by Punjab (64 deaths per day).
- Meanwhile, the government of Tamil Nadu, which extended the statewide Covid-19 lockdown with existing restrictions and eases until April 30, has authorized local authorities to impose new restrictions to contain the spread. pandemic in their respective territories.
- The central government has extended the deadline for linking the Aadhaar number to the PAN from March 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021, given the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the income tax department announced today in a message on Twitter.