Posts Tagged ‘bill’

Islamic Republic of Pakistan has let down women again by surrendering to the fundamentalists!

December 1, 2017

Islamic Republic of Pakistan has let down women again by surrendering to the fundamentalists!

Vani-Swara or Watta Satta

Girls can be excanged for debts, debt recovery and other proceedings: Islamic Republic of Pakistan (hereinafter mentioned as IRP) has been notorious for pedophile activities carried on in Madrasas by Mohammedan clerics. Though, many reports came, arrests made, but, prosecutions have been limited and the involved maulanas, kajis and Mullahs escaped. While the boys are exploited in this way, the girl-children are sexploited in a different way, under the guise of “marriages”. Child marriage in Pakistan is connected with tradition, culture, and customary practices. It sometimes involves the transfer of money, settlement of debts or exchange of daughters (Vani/Swara or Watta Satta) sanctioned by  a Jirga or Panchayat (council of elders from the community)[1]. It is estimated that 21% of girls in Pakistan are married before the age of 18. When the question of “non-Muslims” come, the “marriages” become atrocious, horrible and ending with prostitution, as Islamic law can be applicable for such activities under mutah and other forms of marriages. Thus, by and large the Islamic law has been used only to sexploit the girls and women.

Pakistan draft electoral bill, 2017

IRP obligation to end child marriage and legislations stopped by the clerics: As awareness is created and educated women have started questioning such practices, IRP has pledged to end child marriage by 2030 as part of a global initiative. Based on this, IRP gets many funds and monetary packages from the global organizations. Yet, the legislations brought to curtail, ban and stop the Child marriages and pedophile activities have been stopped by the Mohammedan clerics under the pretext of Quran, Hadis and Shariat. In other words, the funds received for the purpose have not been producing desired effect, instead, opposite results show the other-way happenings there. According to a Gallup survey released in October 2017, approximately 7.3 million people in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan were married before the age of 16, and an additional 15.5 million Pakistanis got married before they were 18. Gallup calls this “child marriage” for its survey purposes[2]. The observation made, “Child brides often drop out of school and become pregnant, and these early pregnancies have a greater risk of ending in maternal or infant death,……….Child brides are also at greater risk of sexual violence, abuse, social isolation and exploitation.” said Gallup[3].

Paki riots-electoral reform bill-TOI

The bills were stalled in 2014, 2016 and so on: A bid to ban child marriage in Pakistan utterly failed, after the Council of Islamic Ideology declared the legislation “anti-Islamic” and “blasphemous.”  The bill didn’t even move past the first stage in the legislative process, The Express Tribune reports[4]. It was almost immediately pulled by Pakistan Muslim League party’s Marvi Menon following condemnation from CII, whose job it is to advise the legislature on whether bills are compliant with Sharia law. In this case, the bill clearly violated Islamic law as tradition holds marriage as acceptable when a girl hits puberty[5]. Sheerani had opposed the proposed amendments, saying they were contrary to Islamic teachings and laws. “Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah,” he had said while backing his arguments with relevant laws and a few references from the Holy Quran and Hadith. According to Islamic laws, marriage can be solemnised when a girl attains puberty, Sheerani claimed[6]. After CII’s declaration, a parliamentary committee rejected the legislation solely for religious reasons and Menon subsequently pulled the legislation. Existing legislation in Pakistan already violates Islamic law. The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act 2014 places the legal age of marriage at 16 for women, but the recent proposal attempted to move that age up to 18 and also included serious punishment for the common practice of child marriage. That punishment would have included prison for up to two years for anyone caught engaging in child marriage[7].

Pakistan draft electoral bill, 2017-3

In May 2017 also, the National Assembly rejected the draft Child Marriage Restraint Act for the second time: Social and gender inequality, a desire to control women’s sexuality and protect family honour, economic hardship and lack of awareness of the harmful impact of child marriage are common driving factors[8]. Pakistan’s Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA) 1929 sets the legal age for marriage to 16 for women and 18 for men. In May 2017, the National Assembly rejected the draft Child Marriage Restraint Act for the second time. The proposal would have increased the legal age for marriage from 16 to 18 nationwide. In February 2017, the Parliament adopted an amendment to the Penal Code that would toughen punishment against child marriage. Offenders face a minimum of five years in prison and may serve up to 10 years. They also face a fine of up to 1 million rupees ($9,547). Thus, it appears that IRP and the fundamentalist have been playing trick with the UN and global organizations strategically, as if the have been introducing the Bills, but, only the fundamentalist clerics have been stopping it in the name of Allah and Quaran, that is not questionable by any Muslim.

Pakistan riots- 25-11-2017-1

Mohammedan clerics declare that girls can get married by 9 years or getting puberty, whichever is earlier: According to the organization Girls Not Brides, over 21 percent of the girls in Pakistan enter into marriage before the age of 18. CII Chairman Mohammad Khan Sheerani reiterated in 2014 that girls can be married at age nine, so long as puberty is apparent, adding that attempts to revisit the issue are pointless and unnecessary. “Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah,” Sheerani said in 2014, according to The Express Tribune. CII was created in 1962 with the express purpose of advising parliament on Islamic law. CII is also known for calling to make DNA evidence inadmissible in rape cases as recently as 2013. What CII wanted instead is to bring back the old practice of bringing in four witnesses to support rape claims. With increasing immigration, the practice of child marriage has also spread to the West, raising alarm especially in the United Kingdom. According to data from the Home Office’s Forced Marriage Unit, there were 1,485 cases of child marriage in 2012. Another government report also foundchild marriage is increasing around the world, with the rate expected to climb to 14 million child marriages a year before 2020 hits.

Pakistan draft electoral bill, 2017-2

Law Minister Zahid Hamid  accused of for “blasphemy” and fatwas issued: Law Minister Zahid Hamid had been accused by clerics of committing blasphemy due to a change in the wording of an oath taken by parliamentarians in the South Asian country. The protesters, led by Rizvi and other scholars, perceived the change in wording as representing a softening of the state’s position against members of the Ahmadi sect, who are not permitted to identify themselves as Muslims in Pakistan. The oath was hastily amended back to its original wording, but protesters held the capital under siege for weeks, demanding that Hamid resign from the cabinet. According to the agreement signed on Monday, the government will also make public an internal inquiry into how the wording of the parliamentary oath was changed. The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) political party, led by Rizvi, has also agreed not to issue any religious edicts [fatwas] against Hamid.  Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan, and certain forms of it can carry the death sentence. Increasingly, those accused of blasphemy have also been subjected to violent attacks by mobs and charged protesters. Since 1990, at least 73 people have been killed over alleged blasphemy, according to an Al Jazeera tally. They include those accused of blasphemy, members of their families, lawyers who have defended them and judges.

Pakistan riots- 25-11-2017-2

Zahid Hamid, Law Minister resigned[9]: Pakistan’s federal law minister has resigned, acceding to a key demand made by thousands of protesters who have blocked a major highway into the Pakistani capital for weeks, the state radio broadcaster reported. An agreement has been signed that would see the demonstrators in Islamabad and other cities disperse, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal told the Islamabad High Court during a hearing on 17-11-2017, Monday, ending a weeks-long standoff that threatened to escalate into countrywide violence. “On the assurance of the Chief of Army Staff, we are calling off the sit-in,” Muslim scholar and protest leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi told a crowd of around 2,500 demonstrators in Islamabad on Monday, AFP news agency reported. The agreement would also see all protesters who were arrested during the sit-in, which began on November 8, be released within three days[10]. The government will also take responsibility for paying for any damage caused to both public and private property during the protest. An inquiry will also be ordered into a government security crackdown on Saturday which saw thousands of riot police fire tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the protesters. Demonstrators fought back with stones, sticks and metal rods, and were able to beat back the authorities. At least five people were killed and more than 217 – mostly members of the security forces – wounded in those clashes.

© Vedaprakash

30-11-2017

Pakistan riots- 25-11-2017-3

[1] Francais, Child marriage around the world: Pakistan, Information compiled based on UN and Pakistan documents.

[2] CNCnews, Islamic Republic of Pakistan Child marriages: 7.3 nillion, By Michael W. Chapman | November 10, 2017 | 11:20 AM EST

[3] https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/islamic-republic-pakistan-child-marriages-73-million

[4] DailyCaller, Anti-Pedophilia Bill Rejected In Pakistan As ‘Anti-Islamic’, Jonah Bennet, National Secuirity / Politics Reporter, 12:41 PM 01/15/2016.

[5] http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/15/anti-pedophilia-bill-rejected-in-pakistan-as-anti-islamic/

[6] Tribune, Bill aiming to ban child marriages shot down, by Maryam Usman, Published: January 5, 2016.

[7] https://tribune.com.pk/story/1027742/settled-matter-bill-aiming-to-ban-child-marriages-shot-down/

[8] https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage/pakistan/

[9] Aljazeera, Pakistan minister resigns, ending Islamabad standoff, by Asad Hashim, November 27, 2017/

[10] http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/pakistan-minister-resigns-protester-stand-171127071421060.html

 

GST Council Meeting clears drafts of 3 enabling bills including compensation for states: Next meeting on January 3 and 4, 2017.

December 29, 2016

GST Council Meeting clears drafts of 3 enabling bills including compensation for states: Next meeting on January 3 and 4, 2017.

gst-council-meeting-dec-23-24

Goods and Service Tax Act, 2016 provisions – almost approved by the GST Council: The seventh GST Council meeting was held on 22-12-2016 [Thursday] and 23-12-2016 [Friday] at New Delhi, as usual. On 22-12-2016, [Thursday], the Council had finalised the Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) clauses. CGST, is one of the three categories under Goods and Service Tax (CGST, IGST and SGST) with a concept of one tax one nation[1]. CGST falls under Central Goods and Service Tax Act 2016. As many as 20 chapters of the model GST law cleared in its last meeting earlier this month. All other provisions of the draft model GST Bill and compensation Bill were cleared[2]. To a query that industry wants more time to prepare for GST, Jaitley said, “That we will decide once we cross all bridges. I am not going to bind myself with anything. Our effort is to do it as quickly as possible. And I think we are making a reasonable headway….. The CGST and SGST laws, a total of 197 provisions and five schedules, have been approved.” The Council approved the draft model GST Bill, except for provisions relating to administrative turf[3]. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 3 August 2016, and the amended bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 8 August 2016. In other words, the opposition parties have been dragging the issues for more than four months.

gst-consensus-is-not-yet-reached-21-11-2016-business-standardGST Council keeps dual control for next time: The politicization of the GST is evealed more in the continuing of GST Coulncil meetings that go on discuss the same issues again and again without reaching any consensus. The tricky issues of division of administrative turf over assessees between the Centre and states — which can make or break the roll-out of the goods and services tax (GST) on April 1, 2017 — was not taken up by the GST Council during its two-day meeting that ended 23-12-2016 [Friday][4]. In spite of the last six meetings, if this was not possible, it is intruguing what they were discussing every time. The next meeting of the Council, on January 3 and 4, 2017[5] would try to resolve the issue of dividing the administrative powers between the Centre and states, but signals given by state governments on Friday suggest that it would be a difficult task. The meeting would also take up the Integrated GST (IGST) Bill[6]. “That leaves us with the very important work of IGST law and cross-empowerment,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting on Friday. A state finance minister said states were clear there should be no dual control over assessees with up to Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover[7]. This means that states want sole control till this limit, and share powers with the Centre over this threshold.

gst-council-makes-headway-on-bills-24-12-2016Cross-empowerment model, Territorial limits of states  and distribution of IGST: On the other hand, the Centre has been pushing for a cross-empowerment model of randomly choosing and dividing five per cent of the assessees between itself and the states, using a computer programme.  The division of administrative turf involves another issue — whether or not states can have control over assessees having inter-state businesses. This comes under the IGST Bill and the Centre is empowered to collect IGST and distribute it among states.  The issue of IGST also involves the territorial limits of states[8]. This could also turn out to be a vexed issue, if not resolved quickly. “Definition of the territory of a state itself is a matter of Constitutional interpretation. We will have to discuss it and reach a decision,” Jaitley said[9]. The Centre also wants to take 12 nautical miles[10] beyond coasts as Union territory and tax any item sold there. Coastal states are averse to this.  With the development of science and technology, the coastal activities have been incresasing on many accounts, attracting manufacture of goods with the involvement of many services. If these issues are resolved even in the next meeting, the Bills could come up in the Budget session of Parliament. When asked whether or not the GST could be rolled out from April 1, 2017, Jaitley said, “Well, I am trying my best to do that. I don’t want to hasten the process of discussion. I don’t want to delay the process of implementation. Left to myself, I would like to (implement it from April 1).”

gst-council-keeps-control-for-next-meet-bs-24-12-2016The Compensation Bill: It also decided to provide full compensation to states every two months instead of quarterly payout decided earlier for first five years of the GST roll-out. There are expectations that the total compensation would amount to Rs 50,000 crore a year, but Jaitley said there was no cap on the amount[11]. The Council had decided to levy a cess on luxury and demerit goods over and above the higher rate of 28 per cent under the proposed multi-tier GST rate structure to create a compensation fund to pay states for their revenue losses after GST rollout[12].  The States, where manufacturing activities are more again and again sress that they would be loosing much, because of the taxing on ultimate sale and therefore, they should be compensated accordingly. Compensation law has to be approved by Parliament. The GST Compensation Bill will provide a legal backing to the Centre’s accord to compensate the states to the full extent of 100% if their revenue growth rate falls below 14% in the first five years of GST roll out. The base year for calculating revenue of a state has been decided as 2015-16.  Basic draft of Compensation law was also approved[13]. Compensation law has to be approved by Parliament[14].

gst-in-last-lap-toi-graphics-04-11-2016-1Contentious issues would be decided with consensus: However, the FM indicated that there would not be voting to resolve the contentious issues; these would be settled through consensus. “It would be resolved through a deliberative way. The GST Council meets for a full day. There is discussion for hours on a single subject. There is a high standard of debate. We get alternative suggestions. We accept the best solution after listening to all proposals. We have not decided any issue through a vote or by a give-and-take policy,” he said. It will be drafted in legally vetted language.  Despite the fact that the government failed to table and pass the draft GST laws in the Winter session of Parliament, Mr Jaitley said he was trying his best to meet the government’s deadline of April 1, 2017 for the rollout of GST. “We don’t want to hasten the process of discussion,” he said[15]. “But we don’t want to delay implementation either. The GST Council meetings are all-day and issues are often discussed for hours. No decision has so far been taken by vote, all are by consensus.”

The effect of demonetization and the GST: “If there are high deposits in banks and we got higher tax receipts after demonetisation, will it be linked to GST?” Jaitley wondered.   The next meeting would also discuss the states proposals for the union Budget of 2017-18. As the ruling party and the opposition had bitter exchanges over demonetisation, a question was asked whether there would be political hurdles in the way of GST. The finance minister said: “We are living in the real world and politics is a part of the real world. At the end of the day, one has to assume that elected representatives of the Centre and states have a sense of responsibilities. So far, despite initial divergence of views, it all ends with convergence.” Ironically, 90% of the press repoting has been based on the Arun Jaitley’s “Press Meet” and therefore, much of the GST Council meeting details were not divulged and the media has been putting up pieces together to give some picture.  The passing of the GST Act is not personal to Arun Jaitley and he need not face any hurdles in implementation[16]. If at all, India has to fall in line with other countries, get FDI for economic development, the States have to cooperate, but, because of their politics, it has been delaying[17]. That they have been harping upon the same points is well noted by the industries, businessmen and common people.

© Vedaprakash

29-12-2016.

aadmi-gst-tariff

[1] Zeebusiness, GST Council finalises compensation rules; next meet on Jan 3, Updated: Fri, Dec 23, 201607:14 pm

[2] http://www.zeebiz.com/india/news-gst-council-finalises-compensation-rules-next-meet-on-jan-3-9576

[3] The Hindu, GST Council moves a step closer to finalising draft laws, NEW DELHI DECEMBER 23, 2016 18:58 IST;  UPDATED: DECEMBER 23, 2016 19:10 IST.UPDATED: DECEMBER 23, 2016 19:10 IST

[4] Moneycontrol, GST Council to take up dual control issue at Jan 3-4 meet, Dec 23, 2016, 09.11 PM | Source: CNBC-TV18

[5] http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/gst-council-to-takedual-control-issue-at-jan-3-4-meet_8157341.html

[6] Business Standard, GST Council keeps dual control for next time, Indivjal Dhasmana & Dilasha Seth  |  New Delhi December 24, 2016 Last Updated at 01:35 IST.

[7] http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/gst-council-to-meet-again-on-jan-3-4-to-decide-on-dual-control-and-igst-fm-116122300722_1.html

[8] DNA, GST council fails to break deadlock on dual control, next meet on Jauary 3,4, Fri, 23 Dec 2016-05:59pm , Mumbai

[9] http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-gst-council-meet-uncertainty-looms-over-issue-of-cross-empowerment-dual-control-2285795

[10] 1 nautical mile = 1.1508 statute miles = 1.85203308 kms

[11] Indian Express, GST council meeting: Compensation Bill to see a redraft on the ‘note ban factor, By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:December 24, 2016 2:25 am

[12] http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/gst-council-meeting-compensation-bill-to-see-a-redraft-on-the-note-ban-factor-4442430/

[13] Doordharshan News,  GST Council clears drafts of 3 enabling bills including compensation for states, Updated on : 23-12-2016 10:55 PM

[14] http://ddinews.gov.in/Home – Top Story/Pages/GSTlaw.aspx

[15] http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/GST-Council-moves-a-step-closer-to-finalising-draft-laws/article16932570.ece

[16] Economics Times, Arun Jaitley faces few hurdles in GST implementation, ET Bureau, Updated: Dec.24, 2016, 09.29 AM IST.

[17] http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/finance-ministry-states-move-closer-to-draft-gst-bill-arun-jaitley/articleshow/56140269.cms