Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2020

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Law Ministry to set up fast track courts after data on POCSO from HCs

The data from the High Courts across the country say that more than 96% of 1,66,882 rape trials registered under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) are pending. After receiving the data, law ministry has drawn comprehensive plans to fast track disposal of pending rape cases within a year. The plan is to set up fast track courts to hasten the process.

Highlights

The aim of the fast track courts is to dispose the cases within 1 year. So far there are 1,66,882 cases that are registered as rape cases and 1,60,989 cases registered under Pocso Act. The government of India is also planning to propose similar fast track courts under the 15th Finance Commission (2020-25).

The law ministry will set up 1,023 fast track court to complete the pending cases. The data from the HC says that there are around 389 districts all over the country where the number of cases under POCSO act exceeded 100.

The Ministry had earlier directed state governments and union territories to set up fast track courts for POCSO cases. Under the order around 218 such courts were set up in UP. The information was given in the Lok Sabha on December 6, 2019.

Issue

POCSO act mandates that the investigation of cases registered under the act has to be completed within a time span of 2 months. In spite of such strict law and policy framework, the number of rape and POCSO cases have increased.

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Lok Sabha clears Taxation (Amendment) bill, 2019

On December 2, 2019, Lok Sabha passed the Taxation Laws (Amendment) bill, 2019. The main objective of the bill is to provide an option for the domestic companies to pay taxes at the rate of 22%.

Key Features

The bill replaced the ordinance promulgated by the President in September 2019. The ordinance reduced corporate taxes. The bill aims to amend both Income Tax Act, 1961 and Finance Act, 2019.

The bill provides the domestic companies to pay taxes at the rate of 22%. However, this can be availed only if the companies are not claiming deductions under the Income Tax act. Currently, the companies with annual turn over of Rs 400 crores are paying taxes at the rate of 25% and the companies with annual turn over more than Rs 400 crores are paying taxes at the rate of 30%.

Concessions are provided to those companies that were started after September 30, 2019 and begins manufacturing before April 1, 2023. They can pay taxes at the rate of 15% provided they do not claim deductions from other laws and rules

The companies opting for the new tax rates need not pay Minimum Alternate Taxes (MAT).

Background

The main aim of the bill is to promote growth and investment in domestic manufacturing sector. In order to pull up the economy of the country the Union Government also reduced the corporate tax rates up to 10%. It was the biggest reduction in the last 28 years.

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