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Innovative Way to Read Newspaper and Practice English: Part 5

Published on Saturday, February 18, 2017

Reading Comprehension

It is welcome that the Budget proposes several measures to rationalise tax and boost transparency in the policy-challenged real estate sector. Abroad, in the mature markets, real estate accounts for almost half the GDP growth; the like figure for real estate activity here is far smaller. Clearly, there is much potential for growth in the sector — of course, contingent on overall growth and dynamism in the economy as a whole.
The Budget seeks to shift the indexation base year from 1981 to 2001for the levy of capital gains tax on land and real estate, which was long overdue. An unrevised indexation base year is perverse incentive to hide and not fully disclose capital gains in housing and real estate. Additionally, infrastructure status for affordable housing and its broader categorisation are both moves in the right direction of reform. Further, removal of the tax on notional rental income for one year, from the date of issue of completion certificate, would allow real estate developers to liquidate inventory and avoid additional tax burden.

There are still other notable housing-related measures in the Budget, such as the increased quantum of refinance for real estate, or the move to extend the period for external commercial borrowings for housing at reduced rates. Yet, there remains widespread opacity in real estate, and which needs to go. Reportedly, construction permits require several dozen clearances.
We surely need to move to a system of online issuance of such permits, across states. The base-year indexation needs decadal change, for predictability and transparency. The way ahead is to frame concrete rules under the Real Estate Act, 2016, and also revamp regulatory oversight across jurisdictions. We do need to systematically shore up resource allocation for housing and real estate nationally.
(Source: The Economic times)

Ques 1. Choose the word which is most similar to the word "Contingent" given in bold in the passage.
(A) Premeditated
(B) Certain
(C) Painstaking
(D) Unforeseen
(E) None of the above

Ques 2. Choose the most suitable title for the given passage.
(A) Real estate sector in developed countries
(B) The Budget
(C) Budget's welcome policies for real estate
(D) Future prospects
(E) Revised indexation year

Ques 3. Choose the word which is most opposite to the word "Opacity" given in the passage.
(A) Darkness
(B) Murkiness
(C) Clarity
(D) Obscurity
(E) None of these

Ques 4. Choose the word which is most similar to the word "Perverse" in bold in the passage.
(A) Agreeable
(B) Capricious
(C) Compliant
(D) Willing
(E) None of these

Ques 5. Which of the following benefits have not been proposed in this year budget for real estate sector?
(A) Revision of indexation year
(B) Removal of tax on notional rental year for 1 year
(C) Online issuance of construction benefits
(D) Extending period of ECB for housing
(E) Increased refinance for real estate


(a) ________ first time in six meetings this fiscal, the Reserve Bank of India has shifted its policy poise, moving to ‘neutral’ from an ‘accommodative’ stance. The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has opted to sit pat on rates and choose to give itself time to “assess how the transitory effects of demonetisation on inflation and the output gap play out”. The decision (b) _______ just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Parliament that the government’s move to withdraw high-value currency notes had been undergirded by the premise that the economy was “doing well and thus our decision was taken at the right time”. The RBI’s emphasis on caution suggests that not only has the economy suffered short-run disruptions — as the central bank said in December — but that the long-term impact (c) ______ be far more enduring and hard to predict than anticipated. The policy statement issued by the six-member MPC also projected the second successive downward revision in economic growth as measured by the Gross Value Added for the current year ending in March, with the pace of increase in GVA now forecast at 6. 9%, from 7. 1% in December and 7. 6% prior to the November demonetisation.
Separately, both the outlook for inflation and international uncertainty are also (d) _____ for concern, according to the RBI. Viral Acharya, the recently inducted Deputy Governor overseeing monetary policy, flagged the risks that global inflation and a strengthening U. S. dollar (e) ______ to domestic price gains. Specifically, the central bank is worried about the “unyielding” nature of core retail inflation, which strips out food and fuel costs, and has been stuck around 4. 9% since September, mainly due to stickiness in price gains for housing, health, education, personal care and household services. The MPC reckons that the “persistence of inflation excluding food and fuel could set a floor on further downward movements in headline inflation and trigger second-order effects” that, when combined with hardening international crude oil and base metal prices and exchange rate volatility. It could have the potential to threaten the RBI’s baseline inflation path of 4. 5% to 5% in the second half of 2017-18. And ironically, were the effects of demonetisation to wear off quickly, vegetable prices, that had softened on the back of distress sales of perishables, could potentially rebound, posing another risk to the central bank’s inflation outlook. As Mr. Acharya summed it up at the post-policy briefing, the RBI has plumped for prudence and flexibility.
(Source: The Hindu)

Ques 6. Fill in the blank (a) 
(A). In the 
(B). By the 
(C). Since 
(D). For the

Ques 7. Fill in the blank (b) 
(A). Comes 
(B). Came 
(C). Is coming 
(D). Has come

Ques 8. Fill in the blank (c) 
(A). May 
(B). Will 
(C). Is 
(D). Was

Ques 9. Fill in the blank (d)
(A). Cause
(B). Causes
(C). Caused
(D). Has caused

Ques 10. Fill in the blank (e) 
(A). Pose 
(B). Poses 
(C). Posed 
(D). Will pose


Ques 11. Choose the sentence that represents different idea or theme than the other sentences.
(A) The trigger was popular anger against acquisition of land by the Trinamool Congress government through 2012-14, for a Power Grid Corporation (PGCIL) project.
(B) Remember, chief minister Mamata Banerjee swept to power in 2011, opposing the then-Left Front government’s attempts to convert farm land into factory at Nandigram and Singur.
(C) A month ago, Bengal was rocked by violence, protests and road blockages in Bhangar, on the southeastern fringes of Kolkata.
(D) If higher yields in the advanced markets induce some relocation of capital to these markets from emerging markets, that would weaken emerging market currencies, including the rupee.
(E) Faced with the need to attract investment and electricity, ironically, Banerjee faces exactly the same sort of protest she initiated in her drive to power.

Ques 12. Choose the sentence that represents different idea or theme than the other sentences.
(A) More than 90% of the foreign direct investment, in any case, comes through the automatic route and sectoral regulation has also become far more robust, obviating the need for the board that was set up in early 1990s.
(B) There is no larger moral goal to be pursued, such as promotion of democracy, free market or human rights, slogans that explained, justified or even disguised American involvement with the world for several decades now.
(C) Advanced countries, by and large, welcome all foreign investment, but have institutional mechanisms to block any foreign investment proposal that hurts national interest and security. India must also have such institutional safeguards.
(D) The RBI is best placed to play the nodal agency for review; after all, all foreign investment into the country has to comply with its foreign exchange reporting requirements.
(E) The government has done well to announce the decision to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2017-18.


Ques 13. When I heard his knock I went to the door and opened it, but I did not recognize him at first because I was not wearing my glasses.
(A) When I heard his knock
(B) I went to the door
(C) I was not wearing my glasses
(D) No error
(E) I did not recognize him

Ques 14. Hundreds of thousand of Romanians have taken to the streets against the governments attempt to decriminalise graft involving sums below a certain threshold, ostensibly with practical reasons.
(A) thousand....government's....with
(B) thousands....government....with
(C) thousand....government's....for
(D) thousands....government's....for
(E) Sentence is correct

Answer Key

1 (D) ;
2 (C) ;
3 (C) ;
4 (B) ;
5 (C)
6. (D). ;
7. (B)
8. (A)
9. (B)
10. (A)
11. (D)
12. (B)
13. (A) ; Replace his by him
14. (D)

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