02 September 2017-Current Affairs

  1. Indian artisans and GST
  2. The Central government’s efforts for Financial inclusion


  1. Indian artisans and GST

In the GST process, the cottage and tiny sector, which has a workforce of 110 lakh, has remained voiceless. This number is actually the tip of the iceberg since those employed in the handcrafting of goods, made in the smallest of villages, have never been documented scientifically.

These two sectors constitute the only industry in the country that provides low cost, green livelihood opportunities to millions of families, supplementing incomes in seasons of agrarian distress, checking migration and preserving traditional economic relationships

UN has declared 2017 as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism and India is a signatory to the Paris Agreement for Climate Change. But natural dyestuffs, which do not pollute water bodies the way chemical dyes, do attract a tax of 18 per cent.  Hand bags and shopping bags of cotton and jute that provide an alternative to plastic, attract 18 per cent tax.  The alternative to plastic bags then seems to be non-woven fibre imported from China, turning people into traders of Chinese goods instead of promoting “Make in India” and “Skill India” programmes. This tax variation is seen for other craft items from the country too.

Large numbers of crafts people will lose their incomes during their best earning season of this year, thanks to a lack of comprehension of GST requirements.  Most artisans do not know about GST technicalities like the tax applicable to the craft products, reverse input refund, online procedures etc. They need government’s urgent attention before we settle into the new GST regime.




2. The Central government’s efforts for Financial inclusion 

  • For the individual, a lack of financial inclusion forces the unbanked into informal banking sectors where interest rates are higher and the amount of available funds much smaller. Any dispute between lenders and borrowers cannot be settled legally.
  •  For the society, financial inclusion increases the amount of available savings, the rate of capital formation, efficiency of financial inter-mediation, and thereby allows the tapping of new business opportunities.
  • The scope of financial inclusion is not limited to banking services. It extends to other financial services like insurance, equity products, pension products etc
  • Financial inclusion helps government plug gaps and leakages in public subsidies and welfare programmes as the government can directly transfer the subsidy amount into the account of the beneficiary. The government has saved more than Rs 57,000 crore in its subsidy bill and ensured that the benefit of the subsidy reaches the real beneficiary directly. One of the most crucial of the several steps taken by this government to that end is JAM — Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile.
  • The launch of direct benefit transfers through the support of Aadhaar is a major factor that led people to open new bank accounts and continue to use them.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna 

  • to increase the penetration of banking services and to ensure that all households have at least one bank account
  •  formally launched on August 28, 2014
  •  Entered the Guinness World Records for opening a record number of bank accounts.
  •  A customer gets the additional benefits of a RuPay debit card with an inbuilt insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh and an overdraft (OD) facility of Rs 5,000 for satisfactory operation of the account for six months

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).

  •  to provide social security to all citizens
  • PMSBY covers persons between 18 to 70 years and a risk cover of Rs 2 lakh is provided at an affordable premium of Rs 12 per annum.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) is a one-year life insurance scheme, renewable from year to year, offering coverage for death. It is available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 years ( life cover up to age 55) having a savings bank account . Under PMJJBY scheme, life cover of Rs. 2 lakhs is available at a premium of Rs.330 per annum per member and is renewable every year

    Atal Pension Yojana

  •  Open to all bank account holders between 18 to 40 years and they can choose different premiums based on the pension amount.
  • a monthly pension is guaranteed to the subscriber and after him to his spouse and after their death, the pension corpus as accumulated till the age of 60 years is given to the nominee of the subscriber
  • Central government also contributes 50 per cent of the premium subject to a maximum of Rs 1,000 per annum.

White Label ATMs

  • To expand the network of ATMs, the RBI has allowed non-bank entities to start ATMs  called “White Label ATMs”

RuPay Cards

  • significantly increased its market share to 38 per cent (250 million) of the total 645 million debit cards in the country
  • The card has been provided to the account holders of PMJDY (170 million).

Financial Literacy Centres 

  • started by commercial banks at the request of the RBI
  •  the government has advised the banks to deploy micro ATMs in rural areas and consequently, 1,14,518 micro ATMs had been deployed by December 2016.

 venture capital scheme

  •  SC/ST groups were encouraged to become job providers instead of job seekers.
  • Initially, in this scheme, loans were provided from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 15 crore and from Rs 20 lakh to 15 crore.
  • These ventures, on average, provide employment to 20-25 people.


  1. http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/counting-every-household-in-narendra-modi-aadhaar-jan-dhaar-nda-4824519/
  2. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/insure/all-about-pradhan-mantri-jeevan-jyoti-bima-yojana/articleshow/58907299.cms