1. NTFAP PRAISED BY WCO
- The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has praised India’s National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) as a ‘best practice’ which other nations can adopt.
- The NTFAP is meant to ease Customs norms for faster flow of goods across borders.
- It came into effect in February 2017.
- The NTFAP is to be implemented between 2017 and 2020, is part of India’s efforts to improve its ease of doing business ranking
KNOW ABOUT WORLD CUSTOM ORGANISATION
- The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an intergovernmental organizationheadquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
- The WCO is noted for its work in areas covering the development of international conventions, instruments, and tools on topics such as commodity classification, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security, international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities, combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), drugs enforcement, illegal weapons trading,etc.
- Formation – 1952.
KNOW ABOUT TRADE FACILITATION AGREEMENT
- It was outcome of WTO’s 9th Bali (Indonesia) ministerial package of 2013.
- The TFA is the WTO’s first-ever multilateral accord that aims to simplify customs regulations for the cross-border movement of goods.
- The agreement includes provisions for-
1. Lowering import tariffs and agricultural subsidies: It will make it easier for developing countries to trade with the developed world in global markets.
2. Abolish hard import quotas: Developed countries would abolish hard import quotas on agricultural products from the developing world.
3. Reduction in red tape at international borders: It aims to reduce red-tapism to facilitate trade by reforming customs bureaucracies and formalities.
2. MENTALLY RETARDED ADULT CANNOT BE CONSIDERED A CHILD – SC
- A mentally-retarded adult cannot be considered a child and given refuge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012, the Supreme Court held recently.
- The case before the court was that of a rape victim, whose biological age is 38 though medical reports conclude that her “mental age” is that of six-year-old.
- The petitioner said the biological age of a person should not be the governing yardstick for POCSO, which seeks to protect children from sexual abuse.
3. PRADHAN MANTRI VAYA VANDANA YOJANA
- It is a pension scheme exclusively for senior citizens aged 60 years and above.
- This scheme will be available from May 4, 2017 to May 3, 2018.
- Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will operate the scheme.
- Under this scheme, senior citizens will get a guaranteed interest of 8% for 10 years depending upon the investment made by them.