English Practice Set From The Hindu: Part 1

Reading Comprehension

More than six months after the Constitution was amended to enable the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Centre and States have managed to find considerable common ground on the long-debated indirect tax system, overcoming seemingly irreconcilable differences that cropped up along the way. On Saturday, the GST Council approved final drafts of the Central and Integrated GST Bills, which should be placed in the public domain as soon as possible. With the law to compensate States already cleared, the only pending legislative negotiation left for the Council, which is expected to meet again
on March 16, involves the State and Union Territories’ GST bills. As these bills secure assent from State Assemblies and Parliament, and swiftly, the operational rules for the GST must be readied. Industry would need at least three months after that to prepare for the transition from the present system of myriad State, Central and local levies on goods and services. Moreover, switching to a new indirect tax system in the middle of a financial year will bring its own subset of accounting complications. The Central government should resist a pushback on the roll-out date, and expedite efforts to ensure everyone is ready to get on board the new system with early clarity on what rates would apply to different goods and services.
Clearer communication of intent is equally essential. In industry circles, the introduction of a peak 40% tax rate in the GST Bills has set the cat among the pigeons. What started out as a single tax, single market dream for industry has now degenerated into five tax rates, a cess on top, with additional uncertainty about tax rates. Just as effective excise and customs duties are lower than legally specified rates, working in a peak rate for the GST could well be justified. In the current rate structure, a cess has been proposed on luxury and sin goods over and above the highest GST rate of 28%. The cess would finance compensation payouts to States for the first five years. After that, it could be replaced with a higher GST rate to retain the same tax treatment on sin goods, without fresh parliamentary approval. But this intent should be stated explicitly and rates must not be tinkered with in the GST’s first five years at least. It is still not too late to settle another major worry for industry that strikes at the very heart of enterprise. The GST’s anti-profiteering penal provisions are far too vague and draconian, and could discourage companies from making efficiency improvements in supply chains if they are required to pass on the entire benefit to consumers. Lastly, the Chief Economic Adviser has made an impassioned plea to bring real estate under the GST net, linking it to the war against black money. A road map for eventually bringing such excluded sectors into the GST net could hasten the process.
(Source: The Hindu)

1. Identify the meaning of the phrase ‘cat among the pigeons’ as used in the passage.
a. To Cause Confusion
b. To Cause Risk
c. To Do Something That Causes Trouble
d. To Implement Strict Laws.
e. None Of These

2. What could lead to accounting complications?
a, Switching to a new indirect tax system in the middle of a financial year.
b. The industry will need three months for the transaction.
c. No clarity on what rates would apply to different goods and services.
d. None of these
e. All of the above

 3. Which of the following is TRUE in the context of the passage?
i. More than six months after the amendment of the constitution to enable GST, the Centre and State have successfully sorted out their differences.
ii. Law to compensate states is the only pending issue.
iii. The cess would compensate States for the first three years.
a. Only i
b. Only ii
c. Only iii
d. Only i and ii
e. Only i and iii

4. Which of the following statement is NOT TRUE in the context of the passage?
i. In the current rate structure, a cess has been proposed on luxury goods below the higher rate of 28%.
ii. The GST’s anti-profiteering penal provisions are explained explicitly.
iii. A clear plan for bringing excluded sectors into the GST net could speed up the process.
a. Only i
b. Only ii
c. Only iii
d. Only i and ii
e. Only ii and iii

5. Choose the word most OPPOSITE in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
a. Difficult
b. Incompatible
c. Confusing
d. Resolvable
e. Clashing

6. Choose the word most OPPOSITE in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
a. Precipitate
b. Slow down
c. Experience
d. Implement
e. Hasten

7. Choose the word most SIMILAR in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
a. Purpose
b. Mend
c. Deal
d. Rate
e. Understanding

8. Choose the word most SIMILAR in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
a. Increase
b. Unchanged
c. Decrease
d. Tilt
e. Fiddle

Cloze Test

Fill in the blanks with the appropriate word.
India has launched the second phase of the programme to (1) ……… the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) as part of its commitment under the Montreal Protocol, which requires the complete removal of chemicals that result in ozone depletion and aid global warming. These are used mainly in the air-conditioning, refrigeration, polyurethane foam manufacturing and cold chain sectors, and must be replaced (2) ……… better alternatives. All these sectors are in high growth mode as emerging economies witness greater urbanisation and higher agricultural productivity. The data for refrigerant consumption during 2015 compiled by the European Union show that in the developing world, split air-conditioning units, car ACs and commercial refrigeration record the (3) ……… use of these chemicals. It is imperative the Central government ensures that its efforts to upgrade industries using the $44.1 million in funding available under the Protocol are scaled up to meet the need fully. Modernising the technology used by 400 industrial units, many of them small and medium enterprises, by 2023 has to be (4)………by policy changes that encourage adoption by consumers. Systemic change requires the active participation of State governments, which can (5) ……… and enforce new building codes and purchase regulations that are envisaged in the current phase. Newer refrigerants with lower global warming potential are available to industry, and there are some early adopters, while research on chemicals with greater energy reduction and very low contribution to global warming has to continue. Credentialed training of service technicians in the newer technologies is welcome as it will bring about change of refrigerants used in the repair and replacement market and create additional employment. It is important to make consumers (6)……… of green options among products in terms of the underlying technologies, and incentivise adoption through tax structures.
The Environment Ministry’s proposal to prescribe energy-efficient temperature limits for air-conditioning units in public facilities is promising. A lot of energy is (7) ………because of poor infrastructure and lack of understanding of efficiency metrics. Equally, the Centre should conduct audit of public buildings to determine whether they are suitably designed, as climate control relies as much on (8)……… influences such as insulation, green roofing and the nature of materials used in construction. It is possible, for instance, to adopt the Paris idea and ask all major buildings to incorporate solar panel roofing or suitable green cover. The continued success of the Montreal Protocol in its goal to eliminate HCFCs by 2030 will depend on reducing the (9) ……… costs of cleaner technologies. The greater affordability of solar photovoltaic power and its rapid adoption at various scales is a clear pointer. More people will have (10)……… to air-conditioning and refrigeration in coming years, and the focus of government policy must be to make them energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
(Source: The Hindu)

Fill in the blank (1)
a. eliminate
b. rectify
c. reduce
d. lessen

Fill in the blank (2)
a. by
b. with
c. in
d. for

Fill in the blank (3)
a. most
b. more
c. minimum
d. highest

Fill in the blank (4)
a. implemented
b. complemented
c. operated
d. altered

Fill in the blank (5)
a. make
b. bring
c. enact
d. intact

Fill in the blank (6)
a. aware
b. inform
c. sensible
d. known

Fill in the blank (7)
a. waste
b. utilized
c. destroyed
d. wasted

Fill in the blank (8)
a. active
b. outdoor
c. passive
d. designed

Fill in the blank (9)
a. material
b. building
c. acquisition
d. surplus

Fill in the blank (10)
a. access
b. facility
c. choice
d. opportunity
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