English: Reading Comprehension Set 2

This set contains Reading Comprehension Practice Passage for upcoming exams like SBI PO, IBPS PO, Clerk and insurance exams.

Read the following passage and answer the questions that follows.

Their tea hot and fragrant, their pencils sharp and red, delegates assembled in Beijing this week for China’s lianghui or “two meetings”, the annual gathering of the country’s rubber-stamp parliament (the National People’s Congress) and its political advisory body (the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference). There they heard the outgoing prime minister, Wen Jiabao, declare the government’s economic targets and aspirations for the year ahead, including 7.5% growth. But the deliberations at these events were upstaged by an earlier, more arresting announcement. On March 1st the State Council, China’s cabinet, spelled out fresh curbs on property speculation, sending the housing market, the stockmarket and even the marriage market into a tizzy.

The curbs impose higher down-payments and stiffer mortgage rates on people buying second homes in property hotspots. They also breathe new life into a pre-existing 20% capital-gains tax on second-home sales, which had been a dead letter until now. It is not clear when this measure will take effect or what its consequences will be. In the long run, it should curb speculative demand, helping to ease prices. In the shorter run, it may have the opposite effect, discouraging some sellers and prompting others to raise their asking price so as to pass on the tax to buyers. The immediate effect of the announcement was that China’s stockmarkets plunged, before regaining some ground . Homeowners rushed to complete sales before the tax arrived. The property office in Shanghai reportedly stayed open late into the night to cope.

Marriage registrars were equally busy. Couples with multiple properties to their name hastened to divorce each other to dilute their tax bills. The tax does not apply to homes bought over five years ago as a sole residence. So married couples with two properties hoped to escape the charge by becoming singletons with one property each. According to Shanghai Daily, a local newspaper, a registrar in the Zhabei district of the city recorded 53 divorces on March 5th, surpassing the previous record of 42.

There are better ways to quell China’s turbulent property market. An annual levy on the market value of a home would discourage owners from sitting on vacant flats in the hope of making speculative gains. By renting out their properties, these hoarders could pass the tax on to the tenant. Such a tax could both curb demand for home purchases and increase the supply of rental properties. The State Council promised last month to extend a pilot version of this tax, which is now confined to a handful of luxurious Chongqing and Shanghai homes. But it has been saying that for a while. Perhaps some of the bigwigs gathered in Beijing could pick up their pencils and urge them to hurry up.

  1. Why the main discussion at the meeting between National People′s Congress(NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC) diverted from the main theme?
    A) Because of the plunge in stock market
    B) As the outgoing Prime Minister announced 7.5% growth
    C) Due to the rubber stamp policy of the government
    D) As the cabinet announced a curb on property speculation
    E) Not clearly mentioned in the passage
    View Answer
    Option D
    Explanation
    : This can be seen from the line : But the deliberations at these events were upstaged by an earlier, more arresting announcement. On March 1st the State Council, China’s cabinet, spelled out fresh curbs on property speculation
  2. Which of the following is not an effect as per the author that the curb on property speculation will have?
    (i) It will curb speculative demand
    (ii) Sellers may increase the price of the property
    (iii) Mortgage rates will become stiffer.
    A) All are effect
    B) Only (i)
    C) Only (ii)
    D) Only (iii)
    E) Not clearly mentioned in the passage
    View Answer
      Option D
    Explanation
    : (iii) point is not the effect as per the view of author that the curb will have. It is a feature of the curb.
  3. Which of the following is not true as per the passage?
    A) The annual levy on the market value of a home is already applied to some luxurious homes in Chongqing and Shanghai.
    B) Prime Minister Wen Jiabao targeted an economic growth of 7.5% for the next year.
    C) The new curb on property speculation repealed the pre-existing 20% Capital Gain Tax.
    D) The Chinese Stock Market moved downwards after the announcement of curb on property speculation.
    E) All are true.
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation
    : The new curb doesnot repeals rather it makes the tax re-functional.
  4. Why did the number of divorce cases increased after the announcement of curb on property speculation?
    A) Couples used this announcement as an excuse to get rid of their partner.
    B) So that they could become the owner of single property each after they become single.
    C) The curb was not applicable on divorced male and Female.
    D) To divert the attention of the government from the main issue i.e property tax.
    E) Not clearly mentioned in the passage/
    View Answer
    Option B
  5. If all the divorce case which had taken place on March 5th (as mentioned in the passage) were due to the result of curb on property speculation then which of the following sentence can be true?
    (i) The marriage of all these couples had completed at least 5 years.
    (ii) None of the marriage had completed 5 years.
    A) Only (i)
    B) Only (ii)
    C) Either (i) or (ii)
    D) None is true
    E) Both are true
    View Answer
      Option C
    Explanation
    : There is a line in the passage saying : . The tax does not apply to homes bought over five years ago as a sole residence.  But this doesnot means that the marriage has taken place before 5 years. It is possible that a person had brought a property 5 years before, but got married just last year. So (i) is not true. And (ii) is also not true. But any one of the two will always be true. Because either a marriage would have completed 5 years or it would have not.  
  6. What alternative to the curb on property speculation has the author mentioned?
    A) Introduction of stiffer mortgage rate
    B) Make property market turbulence free
    C) To levy annual tax on the market value of home
    D) Protests by bigwigs must be organized
    E) Not clearly mentioned in the passage
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation
    : Answer is hidden in this line : There are better ways to quell China’s turbulent property market. An annual levy on the market value of a home would discourage owners from sitting on vacant flats in the hope of making speculative gains.
  1. Which statement(s) is/are true?
    (i) Property Offices in Shanghai remained open late night due to rising number of divorce case.
    (ii) The exact date from when the curb would be applicable was known.
    (iii) After the announcement,Chinese stock market moved downwards before gaining the momentum back.
    A) All are true
    B) All except (ii)
    C) Only (iii)
    D) All except (i)
    E) None is true
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation
    : (i) is false : The property office in Shanghai reportedly stayed open late into the night to cope.
    (ii) is false : It is not clear when this measure will take effect or what its consequences will be.
    (iii) is true : The immediate effect of the announcement was that China’s stockmarkets plunged, before regaining some ground .  
  2. Find the word which means MOST SIMILAR to ARRESTING as mentioned in the passage.
    A) Foiling
    B) Protecting
    C) Surprising
    D) Thwart
    E) Usual
    View Answer
    Option C
  3. Find the word which means MOST OPPOSITE to UPSTAGED as mentioned in the passage.
    A) Controlled
    B) Ignored
    C) Ejected
    D) Disregarded
    E) Focused
    View Answer
    Option E
  4. What does the work RUBBER STAMP as mentioned in the passage means?
    A) Flexible Parliament
    B) Stubborn parliament which disrespects CPPCC.
    C) Parliament that has complete power
    D) Parliament which gives approval to the decision of CPPCC without consideration.
    E) Parliament is superior to any other body in China
    View Answer
    Option D
    Explanation
    : Rubber Stamp : a person or organization that gives automatic approval or authorization to the decisions of others, without proper consideration.

 

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