Budget Session 2017 Highlights

1)   Which of the following is true about the Finance Act, 2017?

a. Aadhaar is now mandatory for filing income tax returns
b. Aadhaar is mandatory for filing for PAN
c. Competition Appellate Tribunal will be replaced by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
It is compulsory for each person to give their Aadhaar number after July 1, 2017 while applying for PAN or filing IT returns, as per the Finance Act.

Certain tribunals will be replaced, their functioning taken over by current Tribunals under other legislations:

a. Under the Competition Act, 2002, Competition Appellate Tribunal will be replaced by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal under Companies Act 2013.

b. Under the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008, Airport Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal will be replaced by Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal under TRAI Act 1997.

c. Under the Information Technology Act 2000, the Cyber Appellate Tribunal is being replaced.

d. Under the Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act 2002, the National Highways Tribunal is being repealed and the Airport Appellate Tribunal under AAI Act 1994 will take its place.

e. The Employees Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal (under the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952) is being taken over by the Industrial Tribunal (under the Industrial Dispute Act 1947)

f. The Employees Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal (under the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952) is being replaced by the Industrial Tribunal (under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947)

g. The Copyright Board (under the Copyright Act, 1957) is being replaced by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (Under the Trade Marks Act 1999)

h. The Railways Rates Tribunal (under the Railways Act 1989) will be replaced by the Railways Claims Tribunal (under the Railways Claims Tribunal Act, 1987)

I. The Appellate Tribunal for Foreign Exchange (under the FEMA Act 1999) is being replaced by the Appellate Tribunal (under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulation [Forfeiture of Property] Act 1976)


2)   Which of the following statements are true about the CGST?

1. This legislation is from MoF.
2. It was introduced on March 27, 2017.
3. It was passed by the LS on March 29, 2017.
4. It was passed by the RS on April 6, 2017.


a. 1,3 and 4
b. 2,3 and 4
c. 1,2 and 3
d. All 4
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All 4

Explanation:
A. Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017

Bill provides for the levy of Union Territory Goods and Services Tax on the supply of goods and services within the boundary of the UT.

The tax rates of the UTGST will be recommended by the GST Council– this rate will not exceed 20 percent.

Centre can exempt certain goods and services from the UTGST through notification based on recommendation of the GST Council.

Officers of Police, Railways, Custom and Land Revenue Collection Officers including Village and Central Tax Officers will help the tax administration to implement the Act.

B. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017

Bill provides for the levy of IGST by centre on inter-state supply of services and goods.

Centre will levy IGST on the basis of:

a. inter-state supply of goods and services
b. imports and exports
c. supplies to and from SEZ

Supply includes sale, transfer, exchange and lease made to further a business.

Additionally, IGST will be levied on any supply not under the purview of Central and State GST Acts.

IGST will be levied at rate recommended by GST Council and capped at 40%.

Centre will exempt goods and services from IGST through notification based on recommendation of the GST Council.

The IGST revenue obtained by the Union government will be apportioned between centre and state to which supply of services or goods was received.

Collected revenue will be apportioned to the centre to the state where the goods and services supplied were received.

Collected revenue will be apportioned to Union government at tax rate specified in the CGST Act and the rest to the state.

C. The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017

This bill was introduced in the LS on March 27, 2017.

The bill provides for compensation to states for revenue loss during GST implementation.

Compensation will be provided to the state for 5 years from the date on which the state brings the State GST Act into force.

For calculating the compensation amount in a given financial year, the base year will be assumed to be 2015-2016. Revenue will be projected from this year.

The revenue growth rate for a state during the 5 year period will be assumed to be 14 percent per year.

Base year revenue comprises tax revenue of state from:

a. State value added tax
b. Central state tax
c. Entry Tax
d. OCTROI
e. Local body tax
f. Tax on luxuries
g. Tax on ads etc.

Revenue among these taxes arising for supply of alcohol for consumption by people and certain petrol products will not be part of the base year revenue.

D. The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017

It was introduced in the LS on March 27, 2017.

Bill provides for levying of CGST.

Centre will levy CGST on supply of goods and services within state boundary. Supplies include sale, transfer and lease made for consideration to move a business further.

The CGST tax rates will be recommended by the GST Council, not exceeding 20 percent. Additionally, the Bill permits taxpayers with a turnover of less than INR 50 lakhs to pay GST at flat rate known as composition levy, rather than value of supply of goods and services.

This rate will be capped at 2.5%.

Centre may exempt certain goods and services from GST purview through notification based on GST Council recommendations.

Liability for paying CGST related to supply of goods and services will be based on one of the two (whichever is earlier):

Issue of invoice

Receipt of payment

CGST will be levied on supply of goods and services where value includes:

a. taxes and duties under different tax lay
b. price paid on supply
c. interest, late fee, penalties for delayed payments


3)   Which Act does the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill 2017 impact?

a. Payment of Wages Act 1926
b. Payment of Wages Act 1936
c. Payment of Wages Act 1963
d. Payment of Wages Act 1962
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Payment of Wages Act 1936

Explanation:
The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha on Feb 3, 2017 by the Minister of Labour and Employment.

The Bill amends the Payment of Wages Act, 1936.

The Bill replaces the Payment of Wages Ordinance, 2016 which was promulgated on December 28, 2016.

As per the 1936 Act, all wages must be paid either in coin or currency notes, or both.

However, the employer may pay his employee’s wages either by cheque or by crediting it into his bank account, after obtaining his written authorisation.

The Bill amends the 1936 Act to permit the employer to pay an employee’s wages:

(i) in coin or currency notes; or
(ii) by cheque; or
(iii) by crediting them into his bank account.

The Bill removes the requirement of obtaining written authorisation for payment of wages by cheque or through a bank account.

However, the relevant central or state government may specify certain industrial or other establishments where the employer should pay his employees by cheque or crediting into account.


4)   Which of the following is true about the HIV (Prevention and Control) Bill 2014?

1. The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS
2. It prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS,
3. It provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment,
4. It places obligations on establishments to safeguard their rights, and creates mechanisms for redressing their complaints.


a. 1,2,3, and 4
b. 1,2 and 3
c. 2,3 and 4
d. 1,3 and 4
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1,2,3, and 4

Explanation:
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on February 11, 2014.

It was set forth by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare.

The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment.

It also places obligations on establishments to safeguard their rights, and creates mechanisms for redressing their complaints.

Prohibition of discrimination against HIV positive persons:

The Bill lists the various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.

These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment of:

(i) employment,
(ii) education,
(iii) health care services,
(iv) residing or renting property,
(v) standing for public or private office, and
(vi) provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).

The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.

Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared households.

HIV (Prevention and Control) Bill: Know More

  • Current Status: Passed
  • Ministry: Health and Family Welfare
  • Introduction: Feb 11, 2014
  • Lok Sabha: Apr 11, 2017
  • Rajya Sabha: Mar 21, 2017


5)   The Mental Healthcare Bill 2016 decriminalises _________.

a. Murder
b. Arson
c. Suicide
d. Manslaughter
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Suicide

Explanation:
The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 19, 2013. This Bill repeals the Mental Health Act, 1987.

Key Features

  • Every person shall have the right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government.
  • The right to access mental health care includes affordable, good quality of and easy access to services.
  • Persons with mental illness also have the right to equality of treatment, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, free legal services, access to their medical records, and complain regarding deficiencies in provision of mental health care.
  • A mentally-ill person shall have the right to make an advance directive that states how he wants to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation and who his nominated representative shall be.
  • Central and State Mental Health Authority are required to (a) register, supervise and maintain a register of all mental health establishments,(b) develop quality and service provision norms for such establishments, (c) maintain a register of mental health professionals.
  • Mental Health Establishments: Every mental health establishment has to be registered with the relevant Central or State Mental Health Authority after meeting certain criteria in the bill.


6)   Which of the following are provisions of the Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill 2016?

a. The Bill extends this maternity leave to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave.
b. The Bill introduces maternity leave up to 12 weeks for a woman who adopts a child below the age of three months, and for commissioning mothers.
c. The bill holds that period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother.
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:

  • Maternity leave has been extended to 26 weeks for two time mothers.The Act provides maternity leave up to 12 weeks for all women. The Bill extends this period to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave.
  • The Bill requires every establishment with 50 or more employees to provide for crèche facilities within a prescribed distance.
  • An employer may permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so. This may be mutually agreed upon by the employer and the woman.
  • The Bill requires an establishment to inform a woman of all benefits that would be available under the Bill, at the time of her appointment.
  • Such information must be provided in writing and electronic form.
  • The period of maternity leave will be calculated from the date the child is handed over to the adoptive or commissioning mother.


7)   How many record number of bills were passed in the Budget Session 2017?

a. 16
b. 17
c. 18
d. 19
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 18

Explanation:
The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha on Feb 3, 2017 by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Shri. Bandaru Dattatreya. The Bill amends the Payment of Wages Act, 1936.
  • The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Feb 11, 2014 by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri. Ghulam Nabi Azad. The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS.
  • The Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 5, 2016 by the Minister for Labour and Employment, Shri. Bandaru Dattatreya.
  • The Bill amends the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923. The Act provides payment of compensation to employees and their dependants in the case of injury by industrial accidents, including occupational diseases.
  • The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 19, 2013. The Bill repeals the Mental Health Act, 1987. The new Bill was introduced as the existing Act does not adequately protect the rights of persons with mental illness nor promote their access to mental health care.
  • The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 provides maternity leave up to 12 weeks for all women. The Bill extends this period to 26 weeks. However, a woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave.
  • The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 10, 2017 by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri. Thawar Chand Gehlot. It was passed by Lok Sabha on March 23, 2017. The Bill amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964.
  • The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian. It declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be void. This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968. Civil courts cannot entertain dispute cases of enemy property.
  • Finance Bill 2017 introduced in Feb 2017 in the LS replaced tribunals and legislation and made Aadhaar mandatory for PAN and IT.
  • GST reform's supporting legislations include IGST, CGST, UTGST, and Compensation Act. These were passed on Apr 6 2017 by RS and March by the LS. Bills provides for the levy of Union Territory Goods and Services Tax/Central Goods and Services Tax/ State Goods and Services Tax on the supply of goods and services within the boundary of UT/Centre/State. A compensation act was also passed.
  • The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha on February 3, 2017 replacing the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016 promulgated on December 30, 2016. Specified bank notes (INR 500 and 1000 old notes) ceased to be liabilities of the RBI w.e.f Dec 31, 2016 post demonetisation. The notes will no longer be guaranteed by Union Government following demonetisation on Nov 8, 2016 through notification as per RBI Act 1934.