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News Analysis: 28-01-2019
General Studies-II : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Cabinet nod likely for relief package for farmers
The Union Cabinet is expected to soon approve a relief package for farmers grappling with falling prices and to tackle distress in the farm sector, according to sources.
The relief package is seen as an attempt to assuage the farming community’s discontent ahead of the general elections.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday, has been deferred, as per sources.
The Agriculture Ministry has recommended several options to provide both short and long-term solutions to address agrarian distress. However, a final call will be taken at the Cabinet meeting as a huge cost is involved, they said.
There is also a proposal to completely waive premium for insurance on food crops.
The Centre is also evaluating the scheme followed by the Telangana and Odisha governments wherein a fixed amount is transferred directly into the bank account of farmers
Source: The Hindu
General Studies-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.
Donald Trump is forced to retreat by accepting a temporary end to the shutdown
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government was the first major showdown between President Donald Trump and the Democrats after the latter took control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term Congressional elections in November 2018.
Mr. Trump had threatened to keep the government shut down indefinitely unless Congress authorised $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, one of his key campaign promises.
He finally agreed to reopen the federal departments, on the 35th day, without getting anything in return.
The Democrats, on their part, had insisted from the beginning that they first wanted the shutdown to end before discussing border security.
The President had stormed out of a meeting with the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that was called to discuss the shutdown. But now he has agreed to hold talks, after reopening the government.
There were a host of factors that influenced the turnaround. If the Trump team had hoped a prolonged government shutdown would break the Democratic Party’s rank and file, it didn’t happen.
Instead, the longest government shutdown in America’s history created fissures within Congressional Republicans.
The FBI Director, a Trump appointee, was among the senior functionaries who decried the governmental dysfunction.
The President’s approval ratings fell and polls suggested that most Americans held him responsible for the crisis.
For Speaker Pelosi, who stuck to her demand despite the administration’s posturing, it was a victory of sorts in the game of chicken played between Mr. Trump and her. But the key issue remains unaddressed.
For now, the spending bills will allow the government to run till February 15.
President Trump has said he would not back off from his demand for funding for the wall, which he believes is necessary to stop illegal immigration and cut crime — a claim that is contested widely as border-crossing apprehensions hit a 46-year low in 2017.
But Mr. Trump has threatened to shut down the government again in February unless the Democrats agree to fund the wall, or he would declare a national emergency using his executive powers and redirect public funds to build the barrier. Neither option will be easy.
The shutdown tactic has failed. Pushing the U.S. into another government closure would be catastrophic for millions of Americans.
The national emergency idea lacks support even among the Republicans. Mr. Trump will be better off if he realises that holding the government to ransom to extract compromises from Congress is not a sound tactic for a President.
He could adopt a less confrontational approach towards Democrats and hold talks with them with an open mind on immigration and border security. He may just get a deal.
Source: The Hindu
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