THE HINDU EDITORIAL : JANUARY 3, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 3, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  IBPS Clerk 2018 Mains Exam, Canara Bank PO – PGDBF 2018 and IBPS SO 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension, Cloze Test or Error Detection in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.


A) GST shortfall

As the tax collections remain below target, it may be time to recalibrate expectations

Revenue collections from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are going too far off the mark for comfort. Inflows declined for the second consecutive month in December to ₹94,726 crore from ₹97,637 crore in November and ₹1,00,710 crore in the month before. Between April and December, GST collections have averaged about ₹96,800 crore, and have not even once met the monthly target of ₹1,06,300 crore, going by the Union Budget math for 2018-19. Now in order to achieve the year-end target, GST collections over the next three months will have to reach an average of ₹1,34,900 crore. But given the spate of tax rate cuts announced by the GST Council in December that kick in this month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinting at further rationalisation of rates for construction materials soon, the pressure on revenues is likely to persist. Separately, as the government looks to woo traders and small businesses back to its electoral fold, the Council is considering a relaxation in the GST norms for micro, small and medium enterprises by raising the annual sales threshold for compulsory GST registration from ₹20 lakh to over ₹50 lakh. Such a relaxation, along with regulatory steps like greater forbearance for small business loans, will boost sentiment among such firms, but it will further dent the tax kitty. Other revenue heads, including direct tax or disinvestment receipts (even via innovatively structured intra-public-sector deals), are unlikely to be adequate to plug the GST shortfall.

This poses a challenge for the Centre at a time when it would have been hoping to announce some populist measures ahead of elections, while retaining its macro-economic management credentials. States’ revenue collections under the GST regime have been uneven and a GST Council panel is examining inter-State variations. But the Centre is bound to compensate States for revenue shortfalls for the first five years of the GST regime. Unless the Centre decides to drop its fiscal deficit goals, a squeeze on spending, including planned capital expenditure, may be the only option. There is a more problematic aspect to the dip in GST collections, based on economic activity and compliance trends in November. The total number of returns filed that month hit a high of 72 lakh from 55 lakh at the beginning of the fiscal, yet revenues fell. November also marked the onset of India’s festive season, with a late Deepavali. Yet, the higher compliance and the festive fervour translated into collections lower than the average monthly receipts for the year till date. Though India’s growth fell to 7.1% in the second quarter of this fiscal, an uptick in private investment over the same period was considered a sign of revival. But if consumers are not confident enough to spend, a consumption-led investment revival to take the economy to an 8% growth path seems elusive again.


B) On detention of Canadians in China: Caught in a crossfire?

Spats over detention of Canadians in China reflect the scale of the U.S.-China trade war

The diplomatic row between Beijing and Ottawa over the detention and treatment of Canadian nationals in China continues to escalate, to the detriment of bilateral relations. But more serious could be the implications of the standoff for the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. The spat goes back to the detention on December 1 of a top Chinese telecom executive in Vancouver, who has since been released on bail, in response to a U.S. request. Washington wanted custody of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of the company’s founder. Her arrest was part of the U.S. Justice Department’s ongoing criminal probe into the company’s sale of telecommunications equipment to Iran, a potential breach of sanctions against Tehran. But the arrest is also seen in the context of the caution in much of the West against Huawei’s potentially winning bids as 5G communication networks are adopted, on grounds of a security threat. The military background of the Huawei founder has only raised speculation about the firm’s connection to the Chinese defence and intelligence services. Conversely, the U.S. has invoked a rare national security provision under domestic law to impose punitive tariffs on global steel and aluminium imports. A similar investigation is under way specifically to determine the risk to domestic security from alleged Chinese intellectual property abuses. In addition, Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” industrial policy has aroused deep suspicion in the U.S. about the persistence of state subsidies to prop up indigenous firms. It is therefore speculated that Washington has its lens trained on Huawei, which has emerged as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, surpassing Sweden’s Ericsson.

Meanwhile, there is concern that Canadian residents in China may face retribution for Ms. Meng’s detention. A Chinese court last week ruled as too lenient the 15-year sentence against a Canadian convicted of drug-related offences. A former diplomat who was arrested has apparently been denied legal representation, although Canadian embassy officials were permitted to visit him. Another Canadian was detained for alleged transgressions of national security. Given the climate of mistrust between the U.S. and China, it is hard to dispel the perception that Canada has got caught in the crossfire. In fact, the Canadian Foreign Minister has suggested that President Donald Trump should desist from using the episode as a bargaining chip in trade disputes with China. But it is conceivable that Chinese trade concessions to de-escalate tensions could pave the way for a resolution of the standoff over Huawei. That would likely satisfy the hawks in Washington who fear that the U.S. is ceding its technological dominance to China.


VOCABULARY

1) declined

Meaning : (typically of something regarded as good) become smaller, fewer, or less; decrease.

Tamil Meaning : சரிவு

Synonyms : deny

Antonyms : accept

Example : “the birth rate continued to decline”

2) consecutive

Meaning : following each other continuously.

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ச்சியான

Synonyms : ensuing

Antonyms : broken

Example : “five consecutive months of serious decline”

3) spate

Meaning : a large number of similar things coming in quick succession(n).

Synonyms : deluge

Antonyms : dribble

Example : “a spate of attacks on holidaymakers”

4) hinting

Meaning : suggest or indicate something indirectly or covertly(v).

Synonyms : advise

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the Minister hinted at a possible change of heart”

5) persist

Meaning : continue in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition(v).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ந்து

Synonyms : continue

Antonyms : cease

Example : “the minority of drivers who persist in drinking”

6) desist

Meaning : stop doing something; cease or abstain(v).

Synonyms : abstain

Antonyms : persist

Example : “each pledged to desist from acts of sabotage”

7) forbearance

Meaning : patient self-control; restraint and tolerance(n).

Tamil Meaning : பொறுமை

Synonyms : fortitude

Antonyms : agitation

Example : “his unfailing courtesy and forbearance under great provocation”

8) dent

Meaning : a slight hollow in a hard even surface made by a blow or pressure(n).

Synonyms : indentation

Antonyms : increase

Example : “there was a hideous dent in the front passenger door”

9) poses

Meaning : present or constitute (a problem or danger)(v).

Synonyms : posture

Antonyms : honesty

Example : “the sheer number of visitors is posing a threat to the area”

10) retaining

Meaning : continue to have (something); keep possession of(v).

Tamil Meaning : தக்கவைத்து

Synonyms : arresting

Antonyms : releasing

Example : “Labour retained the seat”

11) regime

Meaning : a government, especially an authoritarian one.(n)

Synonyms : reign

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “ideological opponents of the regime”

12) aspect

Meaning : a particular part or feature of something(n).

Synonyms : reign

Antonyms : deface

Example : “personal effectiveness in all aspects of life”

13) dip

Meaning : put or let something down quickly or briefly in or into (liquid)(v).

Synonyms : plunge

Antonyms : aspire

Example : “he dipped a brush in the paint”

14) implications

Meaning : the conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated(n)

Synonyms : meanings

Example : “the implication is that no one person at the bank is responsible”

15) translated

Meaning : express the sense of (words or text) in another language(v).

Tamil Meaning : மொழிபெயர்க்க

Synonyms : converted

Antonyms : stagnated

Example : “several of his books were translated into English”

16) revival

Meaning : an improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மறுமலர்ச்சி

Synonyms : restoration

Antonyms : suppression

Example : “a revival in the fortunes of the party”

17) elusive

Meaning : difficult to find, catch, or achieve(adj).

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : recovery

Antonyms : suicide

Example : “success will become ever more elusive”

18) diplomatic

Meaning : of or concerning diplomacy(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தூதரக

Synonyms : discreet

Antonyms : impolite

Example : “diplomatic relations with Britain were broken”

19) detention

Meaning : the action of detaining someone or the state of being detained in official custody(n).

Synonyms : detainment

Antonyms : release

Example : “the fifteen people arrested were still in police detention”

20) escalate

Meaning : increase rapidly(v).

Tamil Meaning : அதிகரிக்கும்

Synonyms : increase

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “the price of tickets escalated”

21) detriment

Meaning : the state of being harmed or damaged.

Tamil Meaning : கேடு

Synonyms : harm

Antonyms : benefit

Example : “he is engrossed in his work to the detriment of his married life”

22) dispel

Meaning : make (a doubt, feeling, or belief) disappear.

Tamil Meaning : விரட்ட

Synonyms : dissipate

Antonyms : collect

Example : “the brightness of the day did nothing to dispel Elaine’s dejection”

23) probe

Meaning : a thorough investigation into a crime or other matter(n).

Tamil Meaning : ஆய்வு

Synonyms : examine

Antonyms : absurd

Example : “a probe into city hall corruption”

24) breach

Meaning : an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct(n).

Tamil Meaning : மீறினால்

Synonyms : rupture

Antonyms : bridge

Example : “a breach of confidence”

25) disputes

Meaning : a disagreement or argument(n).

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : conflicts

Antonyms : accepts

Example : “a territorial dispute between the two countries”

26) Conversely

Meaning : introducing a statement or idea which reverses one that has just been made or referred to.(adv)

Tamil Meaning : மாறாக

Synonyms : contrary

Antonyms : similarly

Example : “he would have preferred his wife not to work, although conversely he was also proud of what she did”

27) invoked

Meaning : cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument(v).

Tamil Meaning : செயல்படுத்த

Synonyms : enforced

Antonyms : ignored

Example : “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

28) disputes

Meaning : a disagreement or argument.(n)

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்களில்

Synonyms : conflicts

Antonyms : accepts

Example : “a territorial dispute between the two countries”

29) impose

Meaning : force (an unwelcome decision or ruling) on someone(v).

Tamil Meaning : திணிக்க

Synonyms : enforce

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them by others”

30) punitive

Meaning : inflicting or intended as punishment.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை

Synonyms : harsh

Antonyms : acquitting

Example : “he called for punitive measures against the Eastern bloc”

31) intellectual

Meaning : relating to the intellect(adj).

Tamil Meaning : அறிவுசார்

Synonyms : intelligent

Antonyms : ignorant

Example : “children need intellectual stimulation”

32) abuses

Meaning : use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse(v).

Synonyms : insults

Antonyms : respects

Example : “the judge abused his power by imposing the fines”

33) persistence

Meaning : the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition(n).

Tamil Meaning : நிலைபேறு

Synonyms : tenacity

Antonyms : cessation

Example : “Cardiff’s persistence was rewarded with a try”

34) surpassing

Meaning : incomparable or outstanding(adj).

Synonyms : exceeding

Antonyms : inferior

Example : “a picture of surpassing beauty”

35) concern

Meaning : relate to; be about(v).

Tamil Meaning : அக்கறை

Synonyms : regard

Antonyms : calmness

Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”

36) retribution

Meaning : punishment inflicted on someone as vengeance for a wrong or criminal act(n).

Tamil Meaning : பழிவாங்கு

Synonyms : requital

Antonyms : pardon

Example : “employees asked not to be named, saying they feared retribution”

37) convicted

Meaning : declare (someone) to be guilty of a criminal offence by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law(v).

Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை

Synonyms : condemned

Antonyms : acquitted

Example : “her former boyfriend was convicted of assaulting her”

38) denied

Meaning : state that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of.

Tamil Meaning : மறுத்தார்

Synonyms : rejected

Antonyms : admitted

Example : “both firms deny any responsibility for the tragedy”

39) transgressions

Meaning : an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offence(n).

Synonyms : violations

Antonyms : obediences

Example : “I’ll be keeping an eye out for further transgressions”

40) ceding

Meaning : give up (power or territory).

Tamil Meaning : விட்டுக்கொடுத்தார்

Synonyms : surrender

Antonyms : resisting

Example : “in 1874, the islands were ceded to Britain”


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