Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)


Recently, The Supreme Court prima facie agreed to reconsider two aspects of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) upheld by its judgment on July 27, which deprives an accused a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) and transfers the burden of proof of innocence onto shoulders of the accused instead of the prosecution.


GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Money Laundering), GS II: Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002
  2. Enforcement Directorate
  3. Functions of Enforcement Directorate

Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002

  • According to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002, Money laundering is concealing or disguising the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources.
    •  It is frequently a component of other, much more serious, crimes such as drug trafficking, robbery or extortion.
  • Money laundering is punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 7 years and Fine under the PMLA.
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is responsible for investigating offences under the PMLA.
  • The Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) is the national agency that receives, processes, analyses and disseminates information related to suspect financial transactions.
  • After hearing the application, a special court (designated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act PMLA, 2002) may declare an individual as a fugitive economic offender and also confiscate properties which are proceeds of crime, Benami properties and any other property, in India or abroad.
  • The authorities under the PMLA, 2002 will exercise powers given to them under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
    • These powers will be similar to those of a civil court, including the search of persons in possession of records or proceeds of crime, the search of premises on the belief that a person is an FEO and seizure of documents.

Enforcement Directorate

  • The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.
  • It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government Of India.
  • It is composed of officers from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Corporate Law Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Administrative Service.
  • The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1 May 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
  • In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.

Functions of Enforcement Directorate

  • The prime objective of the Enforcement Directorate is the enforcement of two key Acts of the Government of India namely, the
    • Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA)
    • the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA).
  • The ED’s (Enforcement Directorate) official website enlists its other objectives which are primarily linked to checking money laundering in India.
  • In fact this is an investigation agency so providing the complete details on public domain is against the rules of GOI.
  • ED; investigates suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA.
    • Suspected violations includes; non-realization of export proceeds, “hawala transactions”, purchase of assets abroad, possession of foreign currency in huge amount, non-repatriation of foreign exchange, foreign exchange violations and other forms of violations under FEMA.
  • ED collects, develops and disseminates intelligence information related to violations of FEMA, 1999. The ED receives the intelligence inputs from Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.
  • ED has the power to attach the asset of the culprits found guilty of violation of FEMA.
    • “Attachment of the assets” means prohibition of transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property by an order issued under Chapter III of the Money Laundering Act [Section 2(1) (d)].
  • To undertake, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action and survey etc. against offender of PMLA offence.
  • To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from respective states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime and handed over the transfer of accused persons under Money Laundering Act.
  • To settle cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999 and to decide penalties imposed on conclusion of settlement proceedings.



The Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, recently criticised the Manusmriti, the ancient Sanskrit text, over its gender bias. Her remarks came while delivering the keynote address at the B R Ambedkar Lecture Series organised by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.


GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Manusmriti?
  2. What is the text about?
  3. What is its significance?
  4. Why is it controversial?

What is Manusmriti?

  • The Mānavadharmaśāstra, also known as Manusmriti or the Laws of Manu, is a Sanskrit text belonging to the Dharmaśāstra literary tradition of Hinduism.
  • Composed sometime between the 2nd century BCE and 3rd century CE, the Manusmriti is written in sloka verses, containing two non-rhyming lines of 16 syllabus each.
  • The text is attributed to the mythical figure of Manu, considered to be ancestor of the human race in Hinduism.
  • There has been considerable debate between scholars on the authorship of the text.
    • Many have argued that it was compiled by many Brahmin scholars over a period of time.
    • However, Indologist Patrick Olivelle (Manus Code Of Law: A Critical Edition And Translation Of The Mānava Dharmaśāstra, 2005) argues that Manusmṛiti’s “unique and symmetrical structure,” means that it was composed by a “single gifted individual,” or by a “strong chairman of a committee” with the aid of others.

What is the text about?

  • The Manusmriti is encyclopedic in scope, covering subjects such as the social obligations and duties of the various castes and of individuals in different stages of life, the suitable social and sexual relations of men and women of different castes, on taxes, the rules for kingship, on maintaining marital harmony and the procedures for settling everyday disputes.
  • At its core, the Manusmriti discusses life in the world, how it is lived in reality, as well as how it ought to be, according to Wendy Doniger and Brian Smith (The Laws of Manu, 1991).
  • They argue that the text is about dharma, which means duty, religion, law and practice.
  • It also discusses aspects of the ashashtra, such as issues relating to statecraft and legal procedures.
  • According to Olivelle, the aim of the text is to “present a blueprint for a properly ordered society under the sovereignty of the king and the guidance of Brahmins.”
  • It was meant to be read by the priestly caste and Olivelle argues that it would likely have been part of the curriculum for young Brahmin scholars at colleges, and would have been referenced by the scholarly debates and conversations on the Dharmasastras at that time.

What is its significance?

  • By the early centuries of the Common Era, Manu had become, and remained, the standard source of authority in the orthodox tradition for that centrepiece of Hinduism, varṇāśrama-dharma (social and religious duties tied to class and stage of life).
  • They argue that it was a very significant text for Brahmin scholars — it attracted 9 commentaries by other writers of the tradition, and was cited by other ancient Indian texts far more frequently than other dharmaśāstra.
  • European Orientalists considered the Manusmṛiti to be of great historical and religious significance as well.
  • It was the first Sanskrit text to be translated into a European language, by the British philologist Sir William Jones in 1794.
  • Subsequently, it was translated into French, German, Portuguese and Russian, before being included in Max Muller’s edited volume, Sacred Books of the East in 1886.
  • For colonial officials in British India, the translation of the book served a practical purpose.
  • In 1772, Governor-General Warren Hastings decided to implement laws of Hindus and Muslims that they believed to be “continued, unchanged from remotest antiquity”.
  • For Hindus, the dharmasastras were to play a crucial role, as they were seen by the British as ‘laws,’ whether or not it was even used that way in India.

Why is it controversial?

  • Manusmriti has categorised all women as “shudras”, which is “extraordinarily regressive”.
    • Recently, Dalit boy in Rajasthan was allegedly beaten by his teacher for touching a water pot, and subsequently died due to his injuries.
  • The ancient text has 4 major divisions:
    • Creation of the world.
    • Sources of dharma.
    • The dharma of the four social classes.
    • Law of karma, rebirth, and final liberation.
  • The third section is the longest and most important section.
  • The text is deeply concerned with maintaining the hierarchy of the four-fold varna system and the rules that each caste has to follow.
  • For the author of the text, the Brahmin is assumed to be the perfect representative of the human race, while Sudras, who are relegated to the bottom of the order, are given the sole duty of serving the ‘upper’ castes. Some verses also contain highly prejudicial sentiments against women on the basis of their birth.

Project Arth Ganga


The Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, spoke about the Arth Ganga model during his virtual keynote address to the Stockholm World Water Week 2022.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Project Arth Ganga
  2. Features of the project:
  3. Significance of the project
  4. About National Ganga Council

About Project Arth Ganga

  • PM Modi first introduced the concept during the first National Ganga Council meeting in Kanpur in 2019, where he urged for a shift from Namami Gange, the Union Government’s flagship project to clean the Ganga, to the model of Arth Ganga.
  • The latter focuses on the sustainable development of the Ganga and its surrounding areas, by focusing on economic activities related to the river.
  • At its core, the Arth Ganga model seeks to use economics to bridge people with the river.
  • The project has been assisted by the World Bank.

Features of the project:

Under Arth Ganga, the government is working on six verticals.

  1. Zero Budget Natural Farming, which involves chemical-free farming on 10 km on either side of the river, and the promotion of cow dung as fertiliser through the GOBARdhan scheme.
  2. The Monetization and Reuse of Sludge & Wastewater, which seeks to reuse treated water for irrigation, industries and revenue generation for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
  3. Arth Ganga will also involve Livelihood Generation Opportunities, by creating haats where people can sell local products, medicinal plants and ayurveda.
  4. To increase public participation by increasing synergies between the stakeholders involved with the river.
  5. The model also wants to promote the cultural heritage and tourism of Ganga and its surroundings, through boat tourism, adventure sports and by conducting yoga activities.
  6. The model seeks to promote institutional building by empowering local administration for improved water governance.

Significance of the project

  • The project is a holistic viewpoint of the Ganga rejuvenation project which seeks to promote sustainable livelihood of the population in this area. Inland Waterways being the most important part of the Arth Ganga project, will create huge economic activities while focusing on inclusive and sustainable livelihood.
  • Trade and market access benefits, local community economic growth, and passenger convenience all have a big impact.
  • According to the World Bank, this project’s infrastructure-related operations will lead to the creation of 100–150 direct jobs per industry.
  • The Arth Ganga project will also ensure large scale skills enhancement and public/private sector capability development.
  • The ease of transportation and doing business will have a huge impact on the farmers especially horticulture farmers in the region.

About National Ganga Council

  • In 2016, the government released a notification replacing the National Ganga River Basin Authority by a new body named “National Council for River Ganga”
  • The National Ganga Council is one of the tiers of the five-tier structure envisaged to prevent, control, and abate pollution under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • It is chaired by the Prime Minister.
  • It has been given the overall responsibility for the superintendence of pollution prevention and rejuvenation of River Ganga Basin including Ganga and its tributaries.

One Nation One Fertiliser scheme


The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers announced that it has been decided to implement One Nation One Fertiliser by introducing a “Single Brand for Fertilisers and Logo” under the fertiliser subsidy scheme named “Pradhanmantri Bhartiya Janurvarak Pariyojna” (PMBJP).


GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About One Nation One Fertiliser scheme
  2. Reasons for introducing a single ‘Bharat’ brand for all subsidised fertilisers
  3. What can be the drawbacks of the scheme?

About One Nation One Fertiliser scheme

  • Under the new “One Nation One Fertiliser” scheme, companies are allowed to display their name, brand, logo and other relevant product information only on one-third space of their bags.
  • On the remaining two-thirds space, the “Bharat” brand and Pradhanmantri Bharatiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojana logo will have to be shown.
  • The single brand name for UREA, DAP, MOP and NPK etc. would be BHARAT UREA, BHARAT DAP, BHARAT MOP and BHARAT NPK etc. respectively for all Fertiliser Companies, State Trading Entities (STEs) and Fertiliser Marketing Entities (FMEs).

Reasons for introducing a single ‘Bharat’ brand for all subsidised fertilisers

  • The maximum retail price of urea is currently fixed by the government, which compensates companies for the higher cost of manufacturing or imports incurred by them.
    • The MRPs of non-urea fertilisers are, on paper, decontrolled. But companies cannot avail of subsidy if they sell at MRPs higher than that informally indicated by the government.
    • Simply put, there are some 26 fertilisers (inclusive of urea), on which government bears subsidy and also effectively decides the MRPs;
  • Apart from subsidising and deciding at what price companies can sell, the government also decides where they can sell.
    • This is done through the Fertiliser (Movement) Control Order, 1973.
    • Under this, the department of fertilisers draws an agreed monthly supply plan on all subsidised fertilisers in consultation with manufacturers and importers.
    • This supply plan is issued before the 25th of each month for the following month, with the department also regularly monitoring movement to ensure fertiliser availability as per requirement, including remote areas.
  • When the government is spending vast sums of money on fertiliser subsidy (the bill is likely to cross Rs 200,000 crore in 2022-23), plus deciding where and at what price companies can sell, it would obviously want to take credit and send that message to farmers.

What can be the drawbacks of the scheme?

  • It will disincentivise fertiliser companies from undertaking marketing and brand promotion activities. They will now be reduced to contract manufacturers and importers for the government. Any company’s strength ultimately is its brands and farmer trust built over decades.
  • Currently, in case of any bag or batch of fertilisers not meeting the required standards, the blame is put on the company. But now, that may be passed on fully to the government. Politically, the scheme might well boomerang rather than benefit the ruling party.


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