Editorial

Militarising the Quad at US behest

THE forthcoming Malabar exercises in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal in November will feature all the four countries of the quadrilateral grouping (Quad) – the United States, India, Japan and Australia. The Malabar exercises had begun as joint exercises of the Indian and US navies in the early 1990s. In recent years, it has become trilateral with Japanese participation.

Enslaving Labour

THE three labour laws passed in Parliament at the fag end of the truncated monsoon session constitute a grave assault on the working class of the country.  The Industrial Relations Code, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code and the Social Security Code, along with the Code on Wages adopted last year, were ostensibly meant to simplify and modernise the host of laws related to labour.  However, the entire exercise was aimed at fulfilling a vital element of the neoliberal reforms, which is to usher in a regime of hire and fire, labour flexibility and removal of all prote

Throttling Democracy

THE truncated monsoon session of parliament has been, in every sense, the worst session of parliament ever held, except probably the one during the emergency in 1976 that adopted the 42nd constitutional amendment meant to facilitate an authoritarian regime.

What happened in the Rajya Sabha, when two of the bills related to agriculture were being considered, was a mockery of parliamentary democracy.  After a curtailed discussion, the deputy chairman railroaded through the two bills violating all parliamentary procedures and rules. 

Shortchanging Farmers

EVER since the three ordinances concerning agriculture and marketing were promulgated in June, kisan organisations and farmers have been protesting against the serious assault on their rights. On the eve of the parliament session, there have been big protests in Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh.

Not heeding this opposition, the government has introduced three bills to replace these ordinances in the current monsoon session of parliament, to be adopted forthwith.

In the Face of Twin Disasters

IN the space of a few days, there have been two developments concerning the pandemic and the economy which are alarming.  India became the country with the second largest number of Covid-19 cases in the world, overtaking Brazil.  Preceding this came the news that in the first quarter (April-June) GDP had contracted by 24 per cent.  This is the worst fall among 25 major economies of the world.

Brazen Violation of States’ Rights

THE refusal by the central government to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation due to the states is patently illegal and violative of the constitutional scheme regarding relations between the centre and the states. The finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced in the GST council meeting held on August 27 that the central government was unable to pay the compensation amount to the states in 2020-21 as there was a big shortfall in the compensation cess collected and the revenue accruing to the government.

Brazen Violation of States’ Rights

THE refusal by the central government to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation due to the states is patently illegal and violative of the constitutional scheme regarding relations between the centre and the states. The finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced in the GST council meeting held on August 27 that the central government was unable to pay the compensation amount to the states in 2020-21 as there was a big shortfall in the compensation cess collected and the revenue accruing to the government.

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