Citizenship Bill to be tabled today
- The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, by wanting to grant citizenship to illegal non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.
- If the Bill is passed, it will be the fi rst time that citizen- ship will be provided on the basis of religion.
- The National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, published on August 31, was updated as per the accord. More than 19 lakh persons, out of the total 3.29 crore applicants, were excluded from the final NRC.
- The Bill proposes that all such migrants will be eligible for citizenship if they came to India before December 31, 2014, and all pending legal cases pertaining to citizenship related matters against them will stand abated.
Delay in NREGS wages hits BPL families
- The alleged delay by the Centre in releasing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wage and material cost arrears of ₹ 1,000 crore due to Kerala has left about 15 lakh below poverty line (BPL) families in the lurch.
- The arrears comprises wages of ₹ 860 crore and material cost and administrative expenses of ₹ 140 crore. Payment of wages has been indefinitely held up at a time when the State is trying to overcome the pangs of rural poverty, price hike of essentials, job loss due to economic slow down and such other major ills.
States may put Centre on mat on GST
- Ahead of the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting on December 18, where States are like- ly to put the Centre on the mat on not being paid their dues, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking that the cut off date for ending compensation to the States be moved from 2021 - 22 to 2026 – 27.
- The government had budget- ed for ₹ 6,66,343 crore in GST collections for the financial year 2019-20, of which only about 50% has been collect- ed so far, with just three months to go for the financial year to end. The Centre had targeted ₹ 1,09,343 crore compensation cess collections, of which it has so far collected ₹ 64,528 crore. The December 18 meeting is set to be an explosive affair.
6 years on, Lokpal is yet to get prosecution wing
- Almost six years after the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, was signed into law, several key provisions need- ed for the anti-corruption ombudsman to function have still not been operationalised. The process of constituting the Lokpal’s inquiry and prosecution wings has not yet begun, and regulations for how to conduct preliminary investigations have not been made, the Lokpal has said in response to RTI queries.