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Nitin Patel gets Finance, crisis blows over

The 48-hour-long drama that kept BJP’s Gujarat political circle on tenterhooks ended on Sunday, with party chief Amit Shah granting deputy chief minister Nitin Patel the Finance portfolio, following which the veteran leader took charge.Patel, who was given Road and Building, Health, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpsar and Capital Project during the portfolio allocation on Thursday night, stayed home and refused to take charge, making his displeasure over taking away important portfolios that he had held in the previous government evident.Addressing the media at his residence in Thaltej, Ahmedabad, around 10:45 am, Patel said, “BJP president Amit Shah called me up in the morning and assured me that I will be given a portfolio which befits my stature as the number two in the cabinet and as the deputy chief minister.””I have no more complaints. I was not happy as I didn’t get a befitting portfolio, but I never crossed the party’s line of discipline,” he added.The deputy CM thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, the Patel community and other leaders who stood by him. He also acknowledged the Sardar Patel Group, an outfit of the Patel community seeking reservation.Though it was a Sunday, Patel rushed to Gandhinagar and assumed charge at 11:39am.With the new allocation, Saurabh Patel, who was orginally given Finance, is now left with just one ministry — Energy.Soon after taking charge, Patel left for his Assembly constituency, Mehsana, to meet his supporters.Shortly after his arrival at Mehsana in the afternoon, Rupani announced in Gandhinagar that the Finance portfolio had been given to Patel and that the issue was over now.”We have made certain changes in the portfolios. We have given Finance to Nitinbhai. With this, the issue is over now. Such small things happen in a big family like the BJP. I have already sent a letter to the Governor, informing him of this change in the portfolios,” the chief minister told reporters.Patel maintained that the issue was not about some departments, but about “self-respect”.”I had conveyed to the party high-command to either give me respectable departments or relieve me from the cabinet,” he said.The veteran leader added that he had been serving the BJP as a “loyal and disciplined” soldier for the last 40 years.The deputy chief minister performed puja at his office and assumed charge. “I will perform all my duties with integrity and honesty. I thank my party for the responsibility they have given me. I had assumed office soon after the swearing-in ceremony and had reviewed the process of purchase of groundnuts by government from farmers at minimum support price. From Monday, the first day of the New Year, the Gujarat government will work on fast track.”In the previous government headed by Rupani, Patel used to handle key portfolios of Finance and Urban Development, among other departments.However, this time, Finance was given to Saurabh Patel, while Rupani kept Urban Development with himself. Unhappy over the allotment, Patel had refrained from taking charge of the departments, prompting the top BJP leadership to swing into action to placate the senior Patidar leader.Sending feelers to the deputy chief minister, Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Saturday said he would extend support to him and talk to the Congress leadership to ensure that Patel got the respect he deserved from the party, if he left the BJP, along with 10 other MLAs, and joined hands with the Congress to form a new government.DISPLEASURENitin Patel, who was given Road and Building, Health, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpsar and Capital Project refused to take charge, making his displeasure over taking away important portfolios evident.

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Max Hospital in soup again, kin say stents put in patient without permission

The family of a 58-year-old heart patient, who died in the Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, on December 25, has accused the hospital of negligence, a charge that the upscale facility has denied. The family said they will approach Union health minister JP Nadda on Thursday.Earlier on December 8, the Delhi government had cancelled the hospital branch’s license in another case of negligence. The services, however, resumed 10 days later, after the Finance Commissioner stayed the state government’s order.”We will try to reach out to health minister J P Nadda and the chief medical officer of Delhi on Thursday. We want justice. My father was on his feet when he visited the hospital on December 25. He was sweating, so they took him to the emergency ward and an ECG test was conducted. The test revealed that he had blockage in his arteries,” said Sarika, 35, daughter of the deceased Kamlesh Chander.According to the family, the doctors inserted a stent in Chander’s body without informing them. They also said that a senior doctor was supposed to operate upon him but instead a junior doctor performed the surgery.”Even as we were discussing the matter, they came and informed us that stents have been put in his body. They did that without even asking us. Also, the doctor under whose supervision my father was admitted was on leave. A few hours later, my father died. This is fraud and negligence. We demand justice. We are waiting for the autopsy and after that we will organise the funeral,” she said.The family further stated that the hospital gave them a bill of Rs 3 lakh. A police officer said inquest proceedings under section 174 of the CrPC has been initiated,The hospital, however, denied the allegations. “The patient was brought to the emergency (ward) in the afternoon of December 25, complaining of chest pain and breathlessness. There was blockage in three major arteries. The patient was 58 years old and had a history of diabetes, hypertension, and smoking,” the hospital said in its statement. It added: “The family was counselled by Dr Devendra Agarwal, who is a senior consultant and a well-qualified interventional cardiologist. The family was informed that Dr Navin Bhamri was on a leave. The family was fully informed about the diagnosis, the patient’s condition, and the treatment plan at various stages. The documents were signed by the family. Only one stent was used in the angioplasty procedure.”IN THE PAST7-year-old Adya Singh dies of dengue, hospital bills family Rs 16 lakh. On November 20, reacting to a tweet by the child’s uncle, Union Health Minister JP Nadda asked for details and said necessary action will be taken against the hospital.

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Home Ministry gives one-month deadline to NGOs to open account in any designated bank

The home ministry has directed all NGOs, business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, including one foreign, within a month for higher level of transparency. It also asked them to ensure that such funds are not utilised for activities detrimental to the national interestThe directive to the NGOs, companies and individuals to open foreign contribution accounts in banks, which are integrated with the central government’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS), came for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance, according to the ministry order, accessed by the PTI.The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 provides for the regulation of acceptance of the foreign funds or foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations, organisations and companies “to ensure that such contributions or hospitality is not being utilised for the activities detrimental to the national interest”, it said.Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under the FCRA, 2010, the central government hereby directs all persons who are either registered or who have sought prior permission under the FCRA 2010 to open their bank accounts as mandated in one or more banks in the list of the 32 banks, the order said.This exercise shall be completed expeditiously within one month (by 21-01-2018) with intimation of the details of the bank accounts to the ministry under a prescribed form, it said. The central government has already decided that all banks where the FCRA registered persons and organisations have opened their foreign contribution accounts would be integrated with the PFMS for providing a higher level of “transparency and hassle-free” reporting compliance.While some banks have already integrated their systems with the PFMS for compliance of the central government’s order, many banks have still not completed the integration of their systems with the PFMS despite repeated letters, directions and meetings, the home ministry said.The 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts are: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, The Cosmos Co-Operative Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank.Allahabad Bank, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad UP Gramin Bank, DCB Bank, Manipur State Co-op Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank, Yes Bank, Oriental Bank Of commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank and Axis Bank are the others.The PFMS, which functions under the Controller General of Accounts in the Ministry of Finance, provides a financial management platform for all plan schemes, a database of all recipient agencies, integration with core banking solution of banks handling plan funds, integration with state treasuries and efficient and effective tracking of fund flow to the lowest level of implementation for plan scheme of the government.It also provides information across all plan schemes/ implementation agencies in the country on fund utilisation leading to better monitoring, review and decision support system to enhance public accountability in the implementation of plan schemes.Introduction of the PFMS resulted in effectiveness and economy in public finance management through better cash management for government transparency in public expenditure and real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes. It also resulted in improved programme administration and management, reduction of float in the system, direct payment to beneficiaries and greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.Early this year, the home ministry had asked around 9,000 NGOs and other entities to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy.The Narendra Modi-led government tightened the rules for NGOs and took action against all such entities for violation of various provisions of the FCRA 2010 which include non- filing of annual returns as mandated in the law.Last week, Union minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju told Parliament that the registrations of 18,868 NGOs were cancelled between 2011 and 2017 for violating laws. Following the action, foreign funding to Indian NGOs has also come down drastically—from Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 to Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17.Rijiju had said the quantum of foreign funding received by NGOs in India in the last three years were: Rs15,299 crore in 2014-15, Rs17,773 crore in 2015-16 and Rs6,499 crore in 2016-17. Currently, around 10,000 FCRA-registered NGOs are operating in the country.

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Race for next CS begins in power corridor

Hunt for new chief secretary has intensified as Ashok Jain is left to serve only a week the topmost post until December 31. The power corridor in chief minister office (CMO) is mulling ACS (forest) NC Goel, ACS (Finance) DB Gupta, ACS (Administrative Reforms) Vipin Chandra Sharma and ACS and director general (HCM, RIPA) Gurjot Kaur, the second senior most IAS, for the coveted post.A Hamlet-like situation of ‘To be or Not to be’ is posed before the state government, seriously, this time in the selection of the bureaucrat for chief secretary post. Goel, an 82 batch officer, who was considered for the top office twice, emerges a sublime choice in the race. Albeit, his selection comes with a question- why the government would appoint a bureaucrat who will get retired just four months in April end. This question fades in the light of the appointment of current Jain who served the post merely for six months, though.In terms of tenure, efficiency and proximity to the power center of the CMO, an 83 batch officer Gupta come up in the list of probables with more strength. With ample time as his service would terminate by September 2020, Gupta is currently looking affairs of the state’s finance under CM Vasundhara Raje. In last four years of Raje government, he held most important offices- UDH, PWD, Infrastructure, Energy and PHED which reflects his CV stamped with the trust of Raje. Despite being a top choice for important assignments, a but is quite obvious- why he was not preferred when Raje appointed Jain and OP Mina as CS in last one and half year.If the track of Raje government is seen in the appointment of chief secretary, it is quite clear not superseding the seniority unlike the selection for DGP. OP Mina and current CS Jain had grabbed the post to this seniority parameter along with caste equation. So, if the parameter is adhered then Kaur may be emerged as the dark horse. She, an 81 batch office, stands at second place in the seniority (excluding CS Jain), much ahead to Gupta and Goel, both. Ashok Shekhar, currently posted as chairman of Indira Gandhi Nahar Board, is at the top in the seniority, though. Both top senior-most officers may be in the race with fewer chances until a theory is answered- why they were kept out of the secretariat. Generally, it is a trend that some senior officer occupy berths in the power corridors of the secretariat.In a sudden development, the Raje government recently gave entry to Vipin Chandra Sharma, an 82 batch officer, in the secretariat while appointing him ACS (administrative reforms). He was given poor portfolios like Rajasthan foundation, minority affairs in past four years so far but his entry in the Secretariat once again has fueled speculation. He is at six position in the seniority tally and a batch junior to Rajhans Upadhyay, who is currently ACS (education). Sharma will get retired in March 2018, though. PROBABLESThe power corridor in chief minister office (CMO) is mulling ACS (forest) NC Goel, ACS (Finance) DB Gupta, ACS (Administrative Reforms) Vipin Chandra Sharma and ACS and director general (HCM, RIPA) Gurjot Kaur, the second senior most IAS, for the coveted post.

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Gujarat: Vijay Rupani to continue as chief minister, Nitin Patel named his deputy

Vijay Rupani will continue as Gujarat Chief Minister, while Nitin Patel has been named as deputy, it was announced on Friday.The announcement was made in a meeting conducted by elected BJP candidates following the party’s win in the Gujarat Assembly elections, under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey.Earlier, it was announced that Jaitley and Pandey, wouldl hold consultations with the MLAs before the new chief minister is announced.Though incumbent Vijay Rupani continues to be the favourite for the coveted job, there was speculation about his continuance given the BJP’s narrow victory in its bastion. The BJP has 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, seven more than the 92 required for forming government but its lowest in a long time. The Congress and its pre-poll allies have 80 seats, with the main opposition party having 77.A party worker from Rajkot said on condition of anonymity, “We believe that Rupani only will be the CM but we are also hearing that other leaders are also under consideration. Let us see what happens but I am keeping my finger crossed for Rupani.”Also readRajkot eagerly awaits Vijay Rupani’s return as CMOn the other side, the Rajkot BJP is preparing for the grand celebration of victory of Rupani in city once he returns to hometown after the formality of oath taking. The leaders are also confident that Rupani only will become the CM of Gujarat.A BJP leader from Rajkot and very close friend of Rupani, Nitin Bhardwaj said, “I have no doubt that Vijay Rupani will be the CM of Gujarat again. Amit Shah had given clear indication during campaigning that Rupani will continue as CM. We are waiting for the announcement of his name as it is a formality only.”Also readTINA factor may help Vijay Rupani to stay on as Chief Minister”We had prepared a slogan during poll campaign here, Rajkot ka beta, Gujarat ka neta- meaning Rajkot’s son is to be leader of Gujarat. We will hold a grand celebration once his name is officially announced. We had celebrated for Narendra Modi, Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani when they came here after becoming the CM. We also offered grand welcome to Amit Shah when he came here after his appointment as BJP chief,” added Bhardwaj.BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said, “Rupani was in Gandhinagar as he is the CM and could not come to Rajkot due to regular courses, but we all celebrated his victory here in his absence. Once he comes again to Rajkot, we will celebrate it with more enthusiasm.”BJP chief Amit Shah had said during the campaign that the elections would be fought under Rupani. Since Modi was the face of the BJP in the keenly fought electoral battle, a last minute change cannot be completely ruled out, sources said. Many in the party wonder if the top leadership would go for somebody from the Patidar community, as the party prepares for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Though the Patidars have traditionally backed the BJP, a section led by young community leader Hardik Patel turned against the party over the quota issue.

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Family approaches court day after Max Hospital reopens

A day after Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh reopened after 10 days, the family of the victims approached Rohini Court seeking direction to the concerned investigating agency to file status report and monitor the police investigation.”How can they allow the hospital to function? We want to have all details about the case and how the files have moved so far,” said Ashish Kumar, the father of the premature twin.The hospital had presented its case to the Finance commissioner on Tuesday. “The operation of impugned order is stayed till the next hearing,” says the order by Finance Commissioner. The next hearing is on January 9.”Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate Appellate authority to whom an appeal was made. We are fully focused on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the hospital said in its statement on Wednesday morning.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead. A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.”In compliance of the cancellation order, planned procedures, including 171 chemo therapies, 63 surgeries, and 241 dialysis sessions had to be cancelled, rescheduled or transferred,” the hospital had said in a statement.The Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh, on a monthly basis, attends to nearly 14,000 patients in the OPD, over 1,600 emergency patients, and an additional 3,000 in the inpatient wards.

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2G scam verdict: CAG report triggered furore over 2G

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on allocation of 2G licences pegging the presumptive loss to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in November 2010 triggered the political slugfest which led to the arrest of A Raja within three months in February in 2011.The CBI had registered an FIR in 2009 but did not name any accused. As the agency failed to take any action the CAG report opened the floodgates for the opposition to slam the UPA government.Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court that eventually began monitoring the investigations by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.Regular status reports were filed by the investigating agencies in the apex that finally culminated in the charges being filed against then Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozhi for being part of the conspiracy and receiving kickbacks.Parts of the CAG report were leaked before it was tabled in Parliament creating a furore. It finally became the basis on which criminal action was initiated as it gave a blow-by-blow account of how Raja bypassed procedures, ignored suggestions from Prime Minister Office (PMO), Ministries of Law and Finance.The report was taken by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. There was no consensus and it was rejected by one vote by the committee.

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Slugfest begins as Max Hospital resume services

After fighting a battle for more than 10 days, services at Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh resumed on Wednesday. The hospital had presented its case to the Finance commissioner on Tuesday. “The operation of the impugned order is stayed till the next hearing,” says the order by Finance Commissioner. The next hearing is on January 9.As the decision to open the hospital came out in public, a political slugfest kicked off between BJP and AAP over the decision. Neither the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal not the Delhi government owned up to the decision fearing public outrage, instead who is ‘ruling’ the Finance Commissioner became the trending topic.”Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate Appellate authority to whom an appeal was made.We are fully focussed on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the hospital said in its statement on Wednesday morning. However, the ‘Appellate authority’ has not been specified by the officials.The L-G house stated on Wednesday that no officials from the hospital met Baijal regarding the cancellation order. “The powers of appellate authority, being a quasi judicial function are performed by the Financial Commissioner, Delhi as per his/her judgment without any interference or supervision by any authority,” a statement from L-G house stated.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead. A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.”On what basis & by whose decision was the appellate authority formed to hear the Max Shalimar Bagh licence cancellation appeal ? How did the appellate authority reach to the conclusion in the first hearing itself that a stay can be given on the DGHS decision ??,” Delhi government spokesperson Nagender Sharma tweeted.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues. The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.”The Commissioner falls under the jurisdiction of the L-G and not Delhi government. We were not even informed about the order,” said a senior Delhi government official.The blame game between AAP and BJP began with both the parties turning it into a political issue. “It was just to attract public attention. The government has taken back its decision. There is definitely some behind this decision,” said Manoj Tiwari president, Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”What was the tearing hurry for the appellate authority to stay the cancellation of Max Shalimar Bagh licence ? Why did the heart beat only for profit making hospital & not the new borns ?? Decision on whose directions ??,” Delhi AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.

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No relief for Max hospital yet, matter further shifted for hearing on January 9

The commissioner has not given any relief to the hospital so far, hence the hospital’s services will remain disrupted until further orders.“The commissioner heard the arguments made by the hospital and the government. After hearing both the version, the matter has been again listed for January 9. The final decision will be taken on the same day only,” Dr Kirti Bhushan, director general of health services (DGHS), Delhi government, who was present in the hearing.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead.A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned.After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.The authorities had then approached the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to look into the cancellation order.“Following the due process of law, we have filed an appeal with the appropriate authority against cancellation of registration of Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh. Earlier, we had also requested Delhi Government to review their decision and restore the registration. This decision has caused significant inconvenience to thousands of patients and local residents and this is further compounded by unavailability of suitable alternatives for their medical needs in the vicinity,” the hospital had said in its statement.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues.The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh on a monthly basis treats around 14,000 patients in the OPD, attends to over 1,600 emergency patients and additional 3,000 are treated in inpatient wards.

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No relief for Max Hospital on licence cancellation

The Finance Commissioner on Tuesday heard the appeal made by the authorities of Max Hospital in regard to the cancellation of its licence by the Delhi government. The commissioner has not given any relief to the hospital so far, hence the hospital’s services will remain disrupted until further orders.”The commissioner heard the arguments made by the hospital and the government. After hearing both the versions, the matter has been again listed for January 9. The final decision will be taken on the same day only,” said a senior Delhi government official who was present at the hearing.The government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s Shalimar Bagh branch for wrongly declaring a new-born baby dead. A preliminary report submitted had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.The authorities had then approached the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to look into the cancellation order. “Following the due process of law, we have filed an appeal with the appropriate authority against cancellation of registration of Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh. Earlier, we had also requested Delhi Government to review their decision and restore the registration. This decision has caused significant inconvenience to thousands of patients and local residents and this is further compounded by unavailability of suitable alternatives for their medical needs in the vicinity,” the hospital had said in its statement.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues. The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, treats around 14,000 patients in the OPD on a monthly basis, attends to over 1n600 emergency patients and additional 3,000 are treated in the inpatient wards.

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Centre defends Special Court move to try politicians

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley supported the Supreme Court’s recent direction to the Centre to set up special courts to deal with criminal cases involving legislators and politicians, as Opposition MPs raised concerns on “singling out” elected representatives.Jaitley said “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion” and urged political parties to rise and set an example. As elected representatives, can lawmakers say that their trial should be delayed? he asked.”You are class apart… you are lawmakers. You should set the example,” he said, responding to Opposition parties led by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party on the issue.CM Ramesh from TDP also came out in support of fast-track courts. SP leader Naresh Agrawal was the first to express his concerns, stating that Article 14 of the Constitution provides for equality before the law, and that elected representatives are at par with other citizens.”While there are no special courts for criminals, setting up one for elected representatives would create misleading perception about politicians,” he said.He also questioned the government’s affidavit supporting setting up of fast-track courts.Congress leader Anand Sharma also joined in but clarified that there is no question of delaying prosecution of anyone. It would tantamount to profiling and excessive vilification of lawmakers if a perception is created that fast-track courts are needed for elected representatives alone, he said.The government, he said, should ensure that enough funds are allocated to set up enough courts for fast-track trial of all.”But singling out only elected representatives will create a public perception that would otherwise have an inherent potential of being abused by the government of the day,” he said.Majeed Memon from NCP said if a certain section is treated separately, it may be bordering on infringement of Article 14 of the Constitution that assures equality to all.Lawyer KTS Tulsi, a nominated member, asked who would do justice to undertrials languishing in jail for 10-15 years.Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) asked if the government would also set up special courts to prosecute those who have defrauded the country of Rs 8.5 lakh crore.Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he would give a ruling on the point of order at an appropriate time.

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Parliament functions finally, but threat of Opposition disruption hangs

Opposition parties, which disrupted Parliament for two days, seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apology for remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh, finally allowed government business on Tuesday, after back-to-back hectic parleys. But the sword of disruptions still hangs.Opposition leaders have decided not to disrupt Parliament till Friday, after Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu intervened on Tuesday, asking treasury and Opposition benches to sort out the issue outside the House.Among various proposals under consideration is also an idea that Modi and Singh could meet in the House to break the logjam. There are eight more sittings after Friday, from December 27 to 29 and from January 1 to 5, that may be hit if Opposition leaders resume protest next week.After Naidu’s directions, there was a series of meetings between Opposition leaders and members from the treasury benches.Earlier, Azad raised the issue of PM Modi’s insinuation against Singh, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, a retired Army Chief and a former Foreign Secretary, during electioneering in Gujarat.On his concern that Singh’s “loyalty to the country has been questioned” and it was also a case of breach of (his) privilege since he is a member of the House, Naidu intervened to state “he is the most respected person” and he had already met him to express his concern.Naidu said he has read a note on what exactly was said by Modi, and that he has also read how Modi was abused during the electioneering. He said that it was better to keep in mind that the PM and the ex-PM both deserve respect.He also pulled up Congress members and made them return to their seats without another protest in the Well, saying Azad has aired his grievances and it has gone on record. He also pulled up BJP MPs led by party general secretary Bhupender Yadav, raising their voice, sternly telling them not to disturb when he was trying to search for a solution to allow the House to function.In the meetings outside the House, Opposition leaders made it clear to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that the blockade would be resumed unless Modi regrets, clarifies and withdraws his insinuation.They however relented to an extent. “We understand the stature of the PM office. We will not insist on his apology. But he must clarify and regret,” said a top Opposition leader.Jaitley was conveyed the stand that in case no solution is found, the Opposition, which holds majority in the Rajya Sabha will be forced to protest. The Finance Minister, who is also Leader of the House, sought time to enable him to speak to Modi and get back to them.Temporary truceThe FM was told that if no solution is found, the Oppn, which holds majority in the RS, will be forced to protest Jaitley sought time to enable him to speak to Modi and get back to them

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Too early to comment on GST collections, says govt

The government has said that it is too early to comment on GST collections, which slipped about 10 per cent in November – over the previous month – to Rs 85,931 crore.As per the information provided by the finance ministry to the Lok Sabha on Friday, as many as 33.2 lakh new taxpayers have registered themselves under GST till December 11 from the day of roll out on July 1.”It is too early to comment on the changes in the tax collection as a result of changes in the tax base because of factors like overlap of taxpayers pre and post introduction of GST, variation in exemption limits between Centre and States and among States and mechanism of apportionment of fund under IGST,” Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply to a question.He also informed that total number of tax payers who migrated from pre-GST regime was 64.12 lakh as on December 11.The GST collection was Rs 95,132 crore in October. It was over Rs 93,000 crore in September as well as August.In reply to another question, Shukla said that the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been smooth so far.The GST Council, he added, had made some changes in the new tax regime based on the representations from stakeholders.

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Licence cancellation: City govt officials, Max to meet tomorrow

The Delhi government will have its first meeting with the Max hospital authorities on Tuesday, after the hospital’s license was cancelled over medical negligence charges. The hospital authorities had appealed to the government and other authorities on Wednesday to reconsider their decision.The hospital representatives will be making their case to the finance commissioner, who will take a final call regarding the matter. The Department of Finance will submit its recommendation to the Department of Health for further consideration.”The government will once again hear their side of the story. The hospital has approached us and we do not want to do anything against the public. We will strictly monitor the reasons, and if there is any scope, we may reconsider the cancellation order,” a senior Delhi government official said.The Delhi government on Friday cancelled the license of the hospital branch in connection with a case of gross medical negligence. A preliminary report by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government on Tuesday had found the Max guilty of not following norms in dealing with a pair of newborns.The three-member panel had submitted the report after scrutinising hospital records and meeting with the staff concerned. After the infant’s death, investigation into the alleged medical negligence case was transferred from the northwest district police to the Crime Branch.”In compliance of the cancellation order, planned procedures, including 171 chemotherapies, 63 surgeries, and 241 dialysis sessions had to be cancelled, rescheduled or transferred,” the hospital statement read.The Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh, on a monthly basis, attends to nearly 14,000 patients in the OPD, over 1,600 emergency patients, and an additional 3,000 in the inpatient wards.

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Reforms in education, judiciary long overdue: Arun Jaitley

Stressing the need of reforms in education and judiciary, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday that the reforms in these sectors are long overdue.Jaitley was addressing the gathering as chief guest of the 14th convocation ceremony at Symbiosis International (Deemed University) at its Lavale campus on Sunday. “Judicial and educational systems are the two sectors where radical reforms are needed. These reforms have been pending for a long time,” the minister said.Speaking about the reforms in education system, Jaitley said, “We have one of the largest population which can be either asset or liability. There is a demographic difference in the world where population of some of the economies in the world is going down. India looks at this demographic difference as an opportunity to create trained human resources which will not only serve the Indian economy but those economies where population is going down.””Unlike in the past, today’s world has become highly competitive. In this competition, merit will take students forward than anything else. There is a huge space of excellence waiting for a talent in the society,” Jaitley said.

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Centre raises customs duty on cellphones; move to hurt Apple

The government has the raised custom duty on many electronic items, including mobile phones and TVs. The move is aimed at reducing imports and to promote domestic manufacturing. Pankaj Mohindroo, president of the Indian Cellular Association, said the move will help domestic manufacturers who are making about 500 million phones annually.On mobile phones, the duty has been increased to 15 per cent from 10 per cent, which will increase the cost of importing phones impacting Apple’s iPhone models.Currently, Apple assembles iPhone SE models in India and imports rest of the models. The company had sought tax relief for manufacturing the iPhone in India last year, but the government is yet to take a final call on it.Though it is not clear by exactly how much prices of the iPhone will go up after this move, experts tracking the sector said it would be marginal for people who are already buying high-end phones. Secondly, India is a very small market for Apple – it accounts for just around 2 per cent of their global sales. They may absorb the price increase.Most companies manufacture in India now, due to the steep increase in imports of feature phones and evidence of dumping in India. Eight out of 10 phones sold in 2017 were made locally, according to data from Counterpoint Research.As per a notification issued by the department of Revenue, under the Finance Ministry, duty on monitors and projectors has doubled to 20 per cent. Import tax on video cameras has increased to 15 percent from 10 percent; and that on television sets has doubles to 20 percent, as has the tax on microwave ovens. Customs duty on video recording equipment as well as TV cameras has increased to 15 per cent from 10 per cent; import duty on set top boxes has doubled to 20 per cent.For push-button telephones or mobiles, duty has been raised to 15 per cent from nil. Water heaters and hair-dressing instruments now have double the duty at 20 per cent.Goods import for India in the seven months ending in October increased by 22 percent to $256.4 billion from 2016. To reduce dependence on imports, the government had launched a Make-in-India program to increase manufacturing in the country.Minister of electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, had recently said about 95 mobile manufacturing factories have come up in India and India is becoming a big hub of electronics and mobile manufacturing.Rise in dutyDuty on monitors, projectors, water heaters and hair-dressing instruments doubles to 20% Import tax on video cameras goes up from 10% to 15% Tax on TVs, set-top boxes and microwave ovens doubles to 20%

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Rahul Gandhi: If Congress is dead, why is PM Modi dedicating speeches to us?

Congress president designate Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned the logic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating 50% of his speech to Congress when the latter in the same breath says it is a dead party.”These days 50% of Modiji’s speeches are about Congress. The rest are about himself. He keeps saying that Congress is a dead party, then why does he feel compelled to talk about the Congress so much,” said Gandhi.The Congress leader who was addressing his second public meeting of the day in Viramgam said the PM has moved on from Narmada water to OBC to Vikas and now only talks of himself and Congress. “This is because after 22 years of ruling Gujarat, the truth has finally caught up with him,” said Gandhi.He said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Modi have clearly said no to any farm loan waiver for farmers. “But if you come in a Mercedez Benz or fly by helicopter and wear a Rs10 lakh suit, they will listen to your demands to waive off loans. That is how 10 to 15 rich friends of Modiji had their loans waived off,” said Gandhi.RaGa slams BJPGandhi said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Modi have clearly said no to any farm loan waiver for farmers. “But if you come in a Mercedez Benz or fly by helicopter and wear a Rs10 lakh suit, they will listen to your demands to waive off loans. That is how 10 to 15 rich friends of Modiji had their loans waived off,” said Gandhi.

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Got assurance on resolution of tax notice issue: Nasscom

IT industry association Nasscom today said it has got an assurance from the government that the service tax notices served to several IT companies has been “corrected” and the issue has been resolved.However, it could not be confirmed from the tax department whether the government is withdrawing or amending the reported Rs 10,000 crore demand notices served to some 200 companies.”The kind of tax notices which had been issued recently to a few companies that actually do not recognise IT services as exports because of some interpretation… We were happy to note that the Government has clarified in today’s meeting that that situation has been corrected,” Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said.Chandrashekhar was speaking to reporters after a meeting between IT industry and the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today on pre-budget consultations.During the meeting, the apex software body also discussed issues related to Place of Effective Management (POEM) and refund of service tax, amongst others.On the tax notice issue, Chandrashekhar pointed out that the government has clarified that suitable advisories have been issued and that the “problem has been resolved”.”We have been informed that the clarification has already been issued and the matter stands resolved. We are waiting to get clarification,” he added.While Chandrashekhar did not divulge further details about the tax notices, reports suggest that many IT and IT enabled services companies had been sent notices by the tax department.These companies were reportedly asked to return export benefits claimed in the last five years on software provided to clients outside India, and also asked to cough up service tax along with penalty.Telecom Equipments Manufacturers Association Chairman Emeritus NK Goyal thanked the government for resolving the tax issue that had confronted the IT companies.”We appreciate the Government for withdrawing tax notices …That was served to IT companies,” said Goyal who was also part of the meeting.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Constitutionally and financially ‘impossible’ to implement Congress manifesto, says Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today termed the Congress party’s Gujarat poll manifesto as ‘constitutionally and financially impossible’ and said the promises like quota to Patidar and farm loan waiver can never be fulfilled.On the day Gujarat went in for the first phase of polling, Jaitley said, “Having no model of development, the Congress party’s manifesto is one of fiscal impossibility. The total revenue earned by the state is about Rs 90,000 crore per annum. The Congress promises a tax waiver of Rs 20,000 crore.”This will bring down the effective revenue income of the state to Rs 70,000 crore, he said in a long Facebook post.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Congress releases manifesto five days ahead of polls”To this may be added the Central devolution and the borrowings which under the FRBM Act have a three per cent cap. All these constitute the committed liabilities of salaries, pensions, social and developmental expenditure. There is no surplus money left after this committed expenditure,” he said.He further said, the Congress manifesto promises an additional bonanza of Rs 1,21,000 crore in terms of populist programmes and it doubles the expenditure while reducing the income, which is a fiscal nightmare.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Congress manifesto promises farm loan, Patidar quota “The two important limbs of the Congress manifesto comprise of one – a constitutional impossibility and the other a fiscal impossibility. The Congress party can well afford this risk since its victory is a political improbability,” he said.The next important limb of the Congress campaign, the finance minister said, is a promise of reservations over and above 49 per cent.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | BJP releases manifesto just a day before pollsCiting the Supreme Court order, he said, it has repeatedly emphasised that the net total of all reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent since 1992 and states which have attempted to breach this cap have faced constitutional resistance.”A promise of reservations beyond 50 per cent has been made by the Congress and the PAAS to the people of Gujarat. This act of self-deception is a constitutional impossibility – which will never be judicially permissible,” he said.Taking on Congress’ claim that Gujarat model of development does not exist, Jaitley said, this claim has been conclusively demolished by the recent data that Gujarat is the only state in India whose GSDP grew by 10 per cent during the period 2012-2017.”Gujarat grew at least two per cent faster than the nearest growing state i.E. Madhya Pradesh. A double digit growth rate is unheard during the period of economic downturn. Even the Chinese new normal during this period has been 6.5 per cent,” he said.The fact that this growth rate has been sustained for five years in a row is an evidence of the success of the Gujarat model, which the Congress wants to wish away, he said.Another distinct aspect of the Congress party’s campaign, the finance minister said without naming its allies, is that it has clearly demolished its own state-level leadership and outsourced both its leadership and issues to those who had conventionally nothing to do with the party.There is not a single state leader who is touring the state for the campaign, he said, adding the party has disconnected the traditional issues on which it has been campaigning since 2002 and opted for a divisive agenda of social repolarisation.”The state paid a heavy price for such mis-adventures in the 1980s and would be very reluctant to repeat this experiment after having liberated itself from caste wars,” he said.

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Centre may amend act to give seat to judiciary

The Centre on Friday submitted that it might look into the possibility of amending the Finance Act to include a nominee for the Chief Justice of India on the selection and disciplinary committee for administrative members in the tribunals.According to the provisions of the Finance Act, 2017 that was passed earlier this year, the judiciary will no longer play a role in the selection of chairpersons on tribunals that are largely made up of retired judges from the higher judiciary.The act, which the Lok Sabha passed as a money bill, scrapped eight of the 19 tribunals and merged the rest with existing ones.Attorney General KK Venugopal made this submission when the Supreme Court expressed its concern over the rising vacancies in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).Venugopal added that the Centre was also willing to look into suggestions made by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on fixing the tenure of judicial members of a tribunal for five years.The apex court bench that also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud advised the Centre to consider, as a temporary measure, extending the tenure of judicial members of CAT and National Consumer Commission for the next three months.To this, Venugopal responded that he would seek instructions on the suggestion and reply by December 11.The top court was hearing a batch of pleas that challenged the constitutional validity of the Finance Act, specifically pertaining to the ‘Tribunals, Appellate Tribunals and Other Authorities (qualifications, experience and other conditions of service of members) Rules, 2017’.Senior advocate PS Patwalia submitted that the NCDRC and the CAT, which were already functioning with depleted strength, would be further weakened when members retired by the end of January, 2018.The Court went on to record the same before ordering, “In view of the nature of function of the tribunals, we enquired from the learned Attorney General whether it will be in the fitness of things to allow the adjudicator who are continuing in these two tribunals for a period of three months so that things can be brought under control. Learned Attorney General prays for time till 11th December, 2017, to obtain instruction for the said purpose. Be it noted, our suggestion is only in respect of NCDRC and CAT and nothing more.”

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Neech row: Am ready to accept any punishment Congress party gives me, says Mani Shankar Aiyer

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was in the eye of the storm for making derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has addressed his suspension.Speaking to news agency ANI, Aiyar said, “If any damage has been done to Congress because of what I said or did then I am saddened by it. I had no such intention. I am ready to accept any punishment that the Congress party wants to give me.”Aiyar on Thursday called Modi a “neech aadmi” (a vile man), who did “dirty politics”, kicking up a row on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls.”He (Modi) is ‘neech kism ka aadmi’ (a vile man) who has no ‘sabhyata’ (civility),” Aiyar said, attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in B R Ambedkar’s name but trying to erase his contribution to nation building.Also readMani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘Neech Aadmi’ comment: Has Rahul Gandhi’s timely intervention saved the day for Congress? The Congress today suspended its senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of the party and issued him a show cause notice, after he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “neech aadmi” (vile man).The disciplinary action against the Gandhi family loyalist came barely two days before the first phase of Assembly poll in Gujarat.Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it a ‘deliberate casteist statement’, ‘a convenient apology’ and ‘a strategic suspension’. He wrote on Twitter: “Mani Shankar Aiyer’s ‘Neech’ -attack on Prime Minister- a deliberate casteist statement, a convenient apology, a strategic suspension. People should see through this game.”

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Prime Minister’s Office help sought for Mumbai Metro execution roadblocks

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) executing several Metro projects in the city has sought help from Prime Minister’s office (PMO) for tackling several issues involving land acquisition and getting clearances from several state and central government agencies for construction of Metro corridors in the city.According to MMRDA, PMO’s ‘pragati portal’ monitors the Metro projects in the city and regular assistance is sought from the PMO for clearances from Central government agencies like Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Defence for acquiring their land for Metro projects.Pravin Darade, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We seek assistance from PMO where central government agencies are involved. At several stretches we either require land from the Defence Ministry or require no objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Railway, as our Metro alignment is going above railway tracks at several locations. In this case, seeking assistance from PMO helps in getting approvals smoothly.”A senior MMRDA official, said, “We may also seek assistance from the PMO regarding roadblocks for procuring loan from international banks. We want the 75 per cent of the Metro coaches to be manufactured in India under ‘Make In India’ but the banks that are going to finance the Metro projects have reservations about it.”The MMRDA official, added, “In this case, we will seek assistance from PMO who will certainly intervene along with the Union Ministry of Finance for having banks agree with having 75 per cent coaches made in India.”
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Yashwant Sinha’s ‘celebration’ tweet on GDP numbers targets Modi govt

Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Thursday refused to second the Centre’s joy over the improved the GDP estimates in the second quarter.Data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on Thursday showed India’s GDP growth recovering to 6.3 per cent in the second quarter from a three-year low of 5.7 percent in first quarter.Sinha, who in the past has also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) economic policies, took to Twitter to train his guns at the government.Also readIndian economy back on track, GDP expands 6.3% in July-Sep quarter: Who said what“Agri production has declined sharply, manufacturing has fallen, construction is down yet wait to see how we go gaga over this figure of growth,” Sinha tweeted.He further said India’s GDP needs to grow at 8 per cent to 10 per cent to create jobs for the youth.Also readAhead of Gujarat polls, GDP brings cheers for PM Narendra Modi, grows at 6.3% in Q2“India must grow at 8% to 10% to create the jobs we need for our youth. But let us celebrate 6.3% as a great achievement of our government. All our problems now stand resolved,” he said sarcastically in the second tweet.Sinha’s scathing attack on the government came after Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley hoped that the GDP will further improve in the coming quarters.“Demonetisation and GST’s (Goods and Services Tax) impact is behind us. The economy now seems to have weathered the transitional challenges experienced earlier in the year and hopefully in coming quarters, we can look for an upwards trajectory,” Jaitley said.He further added that ‘encouragingly, the rate of growth of gross fixed capital formation has also increased from 1.6 per cent in the first quarter to 4.7 percent in the second quarter. Real private consumption growth has broadly held steady at 6.5 percent”.Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia also said the GDP number may go up when it is finally revised.Sinha’s sour relations with his party led Union Government are not new.On September 28, Sinha described the implementation of the GST from July 1 as the second major blow to the Indian economy after demonetisation.
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Double damages for tribals’ resettlement, tiger authority told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In view of its directive in March asking states to halt settlement of tribal rights inside tiger reserves, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has sought detailed reports from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on the voluntary relocation and rehabilitation of tribals. The commission, senior officials said, wants to examine and verify on ground NTCA’s claims of ‘voluntary relocation.The reports were sought during a hearing NCST Secretary Raghav Chandra had held to examine NTCA’s March directive which said that pending formulation of guidelines to notify ‘critical wildlife habitats’, tiger bearing states should freeze settlement of tribal rights inside tiger reserves. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change was to formulate the guidelines in 2007.Chandra had informed NTCA during the hearing that its order was in violation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and should be kept in abeyance. Chandra also told NTCA that no tribal should be displaced till the guidelines are prepared.According to the minutes of the hearing, NTCA officials informed NCST that the compensation paid to tribals willing to move out of tiger reserves was being reworked with the concurrence of Ministry of Finance. NCST Secretary Raghav Chandra asked NTCA to consider raising the compensation to Rs 20 lakh per family from the existing Rs 10 lakh as the existing amount is insufficient. He said that CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) funds lying with the Centre could be used to settle tribals from the core or critical tiger habitats.As per law, tribals can either avail the cash compensation or they can be resettled and rehabilitated with the aid of the forest department.Chandra was also of the opinion that in case of relocation of tribal people from protected areas and tiger reserves, each tribal family should be provided land up to four hectares or area under occupation by tribals, whichever is less, adjoining the protected area, minutes of the hearing show. In case land of similar nature is not available, then double the area of occupation of eight hectares whichever is less should be provided for relocation and rehabilitation of tribals from protected areas and tiger reserves, the NCST secretary added.”The entire cost towards relocation or rehabilitation should be borne from CAMPA. This exercise of cash compensation should be carried out within a period of three years, failing which forest rights should be conferred immediately,” the minutes stated.The environment ministry had sought identification of critical wildlife habitats or inviolate forest areas when the Forest Rights Act (FRA) was passed, to maintain areas free of human interference. The FRA, meanwhile, mandates settling of the rights of forest dwelling communities living inside tiger reserves and even critical wildlife habitats. The relocation of tribals from such areas has to be done on a voluntary’ basis, only after settling their rights and taking their consent.WHAT FRA saysForest Rights Act (FRA) mandates relocation of tribals from tiger reserves and other critical wildlife habitats on a voluntary basis, after settling their rights and taking their consent.

Gujarat Elections 2017: It is going to be one-sided contest, says Jitendra Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Q: How is BJP positioned in the state elections? The party has been in power for 22 years.A: We are comfortable. With each passing day, we are consolidating our position and I can say with confidence that it is going to be a one- sided contest.Q: How is BJP dealing with the resentment in the trading community over GST?A: Contrary to the opinion in certain parts, GST has been very well accepted all over the country and Gujarat. Opposition is raking up this issue to provoke the industry and traders but the fact is that they are okay with it. Yes, they have some issues and Finance Ministry is monitoring the feedback. It is sensitively dealing with the situation. Certain issues related to GST which are primarily procedural in nature will also be addressed. At end of the day, business community knows that their interests are only protected by a BJP government. They will not go for any other option.Q: Lot of traders in Surat say that GST has worked perfectly for big business with a permanent infrastructure and not for the small and medium traders?A: These are transitional issues not specific to Surat. These are general issues. These issues too will be taken care off. Business community has confidence in us.Q: How is your party tackling the Patel issue? They were the dedicated BJP voters.A: Mark my word. As Gujarat has been a model for organizational discipline, the state will also send a strong message for beginning of the end of caste politics in India. It is unfortunate that Congress which is the oldest party and claims to have pan India presence is trying to stoke caste passions for political mileage. They will not succeed. BJP rallies in the Patidar dominated constituencies have been big and phenomenal.Q: You spoke of the Gujarat development model but the critics say that only big businesses have reaped benefit.Your response?A: Gujarat went through revolutionary transformation when Narendra Modi was at helm of affairs in the state. It is a case study in its self. Kutch was a dessert but today it is an international destination for tourists. Many other states are suffering from power deficit but Gujarat is a power surplus state.Q: Are you saying that Gujarat can come up with a surprise like Uttar Pradesh assembly elections?A: As far as we are concerned, we can sense a comfortable win with an improvement in the tally. It may surprise those who have created a perception that BJP is not doing well.

Jaypee promoters can’t sell personal assets: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking cues from the Kingfisher case — where its promoter, liquor baron Vijay Mallya, hid the details of his transaction with a British firm called Diageo when he filed an affidavit in the court, sharing details of all his movable and immovable assets, the Supreme Court on Wednesday barred 13 promoters and directors of real estate giant Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) from selling their properties.”Neither the independent directors nor the promoter directors shall alienate their personal properties or assets in any manner, and if they do so, they will not only be liable for criminal prosecution but also for contempt of the Court,” the bench led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra ruled.”That apart, we also direct that the properties and assets of their immediate and dependent family members should also not be transferred in any manner, whatsoever,” it added.The court’s move is perhaps precautionary since, earlier this year, Mallya was held guilty of contempt for deliberately failing to disclose $40 million he received in February 2016 through sale proceedings from Diageo. “The money was received in violation of various orders and injunctions against him. Dr Mallya deliberately failed to disclose this amount and has transferred the money in a trust set up for his three children,” Shyam Divan, representing State Bank of India, had said.The bench further directed the JAL to deposit Rs 275 crore in two installments by December 31. This amount will be over and above the already existing order of Rs 2,000 crore JAL is expected to deposit with the SC registry — before the next day of hearing in January 2018.”We have nothing against you. You must give their (home buyers) money back, acche bacche ki tarah paise de do,” the bench that also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud told company’s promoter Manoj Gaur, who along with 12 others had furnished the details of their personal assets.The top court’s order came during the hearing of a plea filed by home buyers who haven’t received possession of their flats from the real estate company.In August, home buyers were left in the lurch after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Allahabad, admitted IDBI Bank’s plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden company for defaulting on a loan to the tune of Rs 526 crore. According to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which was passed by Parliament in 2016, if insolvency proceedings are initiated against a company, all court proceedings attached to it are stayed.Home buyer Chitra Sharma’s plea offers respite to almost 33,000 buyers who invested their money in 27 projects by the real estate firm. In her plea, Sharma alleged that the NCLT would affect home buyers, who are considered as unsecured creditors, would get nothing. The dues of financial institutions, who are secured creditors would be cleared first.Sharma’s plea challenged the validity of the law and sought a response from the Centre and others on the issue that it “shall not curtail the legal statutory and vested rights of the flat owners/buyers as consumers” defined under the Consumer Protection Act.Sharma suggested that if the insolvency proceedings against the company were unsuccessful, then liquidation proceedings could be initiated. The money raised would then go to secured creditors as opposed to home buyers, some of who have invested their life’s saving for their dream flats.In order to safeguard their interest, Sharma suggested that home buyers be declared as secured creditors, like financial institutions and banks.The petition alleged that Section 14 of the code, introduced by the Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs was “unjust, unfair and unreasonable” and violative of Article 14 (Right to Equality) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.

After Sonia Gandhi’s attack, govt says committed to hold Winter Session, to decide dates soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Congress President Sonia Gandhi lashed-out, the government on Tuesday said that they are committed to hold Winter Session and will soon decide on dates.”We are committed to hold Winter Session of Parliament and in the next couple of days we are going to have cabinet committee on Parliamentary Affairs and decide the dates,” said Union Minister Ananth Kumar.On Monday, Gandhi said the government took the extraordinary step of not holding the winter session to escape answering questions on corruption in high places, conflict of interest of serving ministers and dubious defence deals.”The Prime Minister had the audacity to have a midnight celebration in Parliament to launch an ill-prepared and flawed GST but today he lacks the courage to face Parliament,” the Congress chief said.She also added that the Modi government in its arrogance has cast a dark shadow on India’s parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the winter session of parliament on flimsy grounds.However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said there was no truth that the government was dropping the Winter Session. There are speculations that a truncated session will start from December 11.”Changing the schedule of Parliament session during elections is nothing new. The congress has also done it before,” he said.The winter session of Parliament traditionally convenes from the third week of November and lasts till the third week of December. Jaitley said the opposition party had also delayed a session in 2011 and even earlier because the sittings coincided with election campaigns.

BMS paper leak: 5 students take exam under police watch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five students who were arrested by Amboli police for allegedly leaking the third-year question papers of Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), ‘Marketing and E-commerce and Digital Marketing’, appeared for their examinations under police watch on Monday. Police probe revealed that question papers of Bachelor Accounting and Finance (BAF), too, were leaked.The Amboli police will soon arrest the female student who was first found with the question paper in her cellphone while writing the exam. According to police, main accused Kalpesh Bagul, head of the technical department of the Nirmal Memorial Foundation College in Kandivli, had leaked five question papers of the BMS course and four question papers of BAF course.”We escorted the students to their examination centres and they were kept under watch while taking the exam. On Monday, 13 accused, including students, were produced before Andheri court and remanded to judicial custody and were later released on bail.”, said an Amboli police officer.Police sub-inspector Daya Nayak and his team had arrested three other people during interrogations after it was learnt that the question papers of BAF were leaked too. “Even those students who did not pay money for the question papers also received the copy through WhatsApp. The students had passed on the question papers to their friends and they benefited from it leading to their arrests.

J Jayalalithaa’s kin slam Centre, Sasi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the late night Income-Tax department searches at late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s residence, rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of carrying out a political vendetta to destroy his family using the Income-Tax department.Dinakaran, nephew of jailed leader VK Sasikala, also alleged that chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and deputy CM O Panneerselvam would go to any extent to safeguard their position and that they were instigating the central government.Dinakaran went on took a dig at Modi for his recent meeting with DMK chief K Karunanidhi in Chennai. “When Jayalalithaa was in the hospital, Modi never visited her. Now, he visits Karunanidhi,” he said, hours after the I-T officials completed the four-hour-long search at Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence “Veda Nilayam”.Sasikala, a trusted aide of Jayalalithaa, had lived at the late CM’s residence with her sister-in-law Ilavarassi and three children for over two decades. On Friday night, I-T officials recovered a laptop, a desktop and four pen drives from two rooms used by Sasikala, said a senior official. “We received input that some important electronic storage devices are going to be removed from the two rooms,” an I-T official said. According to him, it was a “limited mission”.Meanwhile, Palaniswami blamed Sasikala’s family for the search and said that the state government has nothing to do with it. “I came to know through news reports that the search at Poes Garden was a continuation of the raids conducted in the premises connected to Sasikala and her relatives. No search was done in Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) room,” he said.Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa, who made vain attempts to enter the Poes Garden residence on Friday night, also slammed Sasikala’s family. “This property was earned by Amma with her blood and sweat (as an actor in the) film industry. This raid is being carried out to defame Amma and was done with the cooperation of the family of Sasikala,” she said.ALLEGATIONS ABOUNDDinakaran alleged that CM Palaniswami and deputy CM would go to any extent to safeguard their position.
Dinakaran took a dig at Modi for his recent meeting with K Karunanidhi in Chennai.
‘This raid is being carried out to defame Amma,’ said Deepa from outside Poes Garden

Poes Garden raids ‘betrayal to Amma’s soul,’ an attempt to destroy our family, alleges TTV Dhinakaran

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TTV Dhinakaran, the rebel AIADMK leader, has slammed the lat night Income Tax raids at the Poes Garden in Chennai on Friday.The official residence of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister and AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalithaa, the Poes Garden has been the centre of Tamil politics.Calling the I-T raids an attempt to destroy his family, Dhinakaran also termed the late night operations as ‘betrayal to Amma’s soul’.Though reports now confirm that the ‘search and recovery’ operation was confined to only two rooms in Poes Garden, the protests are inevitable.Dhinkaran, nephew of Jayalalithaa’s once closest aide VK Sasikala, said that he and his family is ‘not scared’ by the raids and that ‘we won’t run away’.The jailed confidant and her family is under radar for unaccounted income. Sidelined and under tax department’s lens, the Sasikala clan is trying hard.In a no-holds barred approach, Dhianakaran not only attacked the state government of Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam but also dragged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley into the raids issue.He said that the Centre is using the I-T department to destroy his family. The raids are a follow-up of the mega search operations carried out earlier this month.There are reports that the I-T officials seized a laptop and few pen drives as what is believed a crucial evidence in the unaccounted income case.

Crime against women: Police should be held responsible, says Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to be present in the court on December 11, with a plan to bring down crimes against women.A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said that if CP, Amulya Patnaik, cannot be present, then any officer of his rank, like that of a Special CP or a JCP should come to represent him.The court’s direction comes after advocate Meera Bhatia, appointed as the amicus curiae in the case, informed the court that the police knew everything about who the criminals are, what types of crimes are taking place.”To bring down the crime rate, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCPs) should be held responsible as the entire city is divided into districts under the concerned DCPs.Following this, the court said, “The Commissioner of Police, any such person similar to his rank such as Special CP or Joint CP should be present in the court on the next date of hearing to explore the feasibility to monitor all cases of crimes against women,” the bench said.During the course of the hearing, Swati Maliwal, chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), broke down in the courtroom while narrating the ordeals of minor girls who have been raped.”In the last ten days, three minors have been sexually assaulted. I met all three of them. There is no improvement in the law and order in the city. Following these incidents, I went to several police stations but the strength of the officials is so less that they cannot do anything. There is no improvement,” she said.On a query from the bench, Maliwal informed them that on an average three rapes are taking place on a daily basis.This drew the ire of the court, which said,”From the last three years, we have seen that nothing has been happening. It is not to find faults but don’t reject the whole process. We suggest both the ministries to sit together and decide. Take it on a war footing.”Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain informed the court that a letter was written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Finance in compliance to the earlier order for recruitment of officers in the Delhi Police.While the Ministry of Finance did not file any response, the MHA did not give a substantive response.Why the cops?The Delhi High Court direction comes after advocate Meera Bhatia, appointed as the amicus curiae in the case, informed the court that the police know everything about who the criminals are, what types of crimes are taking place, with regard to cases on crimes against women.

Rasgulla: Why two Indian states are feuding over a sweet

Two states have been battling over who gets to claim rights over a popular sugary delicacy. Why?

Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust wins Dawood Ibrahim’s Mumbai properties in auction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) on Tuesday won the auction of three Dawood Ibrahim properties in Mumbai.Three properties of underworld don and main accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts were auctioned by the Ministry of Finance, under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (SAFEMA) Forfeiture of Properties Act.The three properties include a two-storied building, Shabnam Guest House; six flats in Damarwala building; and a restaurant Rounaq Afroz.Three properties located in Bhendi Bazaar had already caught the interest of the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) that is redeveloping Bhendi Bazaar.A source from SBUT had told DNA that they were participating only because the buildings are important for a complete redevelopment.Last year, unable to gather money to buy underworld Ibrahim’s property Hotel Raunak Afroz, former journalist S Balakrishnan’s ‘earnest money deposit’ of Rs 30 lakh was forfeited.In December 2015, Balakrishnan, through his NGO Desh Seva Samiti, had participated in an auction of properties belonging to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Three properties of Dawood Ibrahim up for auction in Mumbai today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three properties of underworld don and main accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts Dawood Ibrahim will be auctioned on Tuesday by the Ministry of Finance, under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (SAFEMA) Forfeiture of Properties Act.The auction will be held in three forms — e-auction, public auction, and tenders, the highest bidder amongst all the three will be awarded the property. The three properties include a two-storied building, Shabnam Guest House; six flats in Damarwala building; and a restaurant Rounaq Afroz.The reserve price for the three properties are Rs 1.21 crore, Rs 1.55 crore and Rs 1.18 crore respectively. Three properties located in Bhendi Bazaar have caught the interest of the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) that is redeveloping Bhendi Bazaar.“All the three properties fall within the ambit of Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment that is being carried out by us. We are participating only because the buildings are important for a complete redevelopment,” a source from SBUT told DNA. Last year, unable to gather money to buy underworld Ibrahim’s property Hotel Raunak Afroz, former journalist S Balakrishnan’s ‘earnest money deposit’ of Rs 30 lakh was forfeited.In December 2015, Balakrishnan, through his NGO Desh Seva Samiti, had participated in an auction of properties belonging to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Arun Jaitley denies govt lowered GST on over 200 goods due to electoral compulsions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today debunked Congress’ claim that it forced the government to lower tax on over 200 goods, saying rationalisation of rates was in works for 3-4 months and it is “juvenile politics” to link it to any election or political demand.Rejecting Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s demand for a single rate of tax, he said there is scope for further rationalisation of rate but the course will be decided by revenues that accrue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was implemented from July this year. “This rationalisation is 3-4 month exercise,” he said, adding that the GST Council decided on the rate cut on the recommendation of a Fitment Committee.The decisions in the GST Council are “all consensus decisions,” he said. “This is really juvenile politics to link it with either elections or political demands”. The GST Council, which Jaitley heads, had last week brought down tax rate on 178 products from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and pushed down several others in lower bracket. Congress, which has made high tax rates and increased compliance burden in the GST regime an election issue in the run up to the assembly elections in Gujarat, claimed credit for the move.Its vice president Rahul Gandhi had demanded a single rate of up to 18 per cent GST tax as against 0, 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent slabs currently. Explaining the rationale for the rationalisation in rates of goods and services that have been done after the launch of the GST in July, Jaitley said the principle objective is that the transition has to be smooth and not abrupt. He said almost every item is better off than it was in July 1.”Those who are speaking of a single rate GST have no understanding of the tariff structure. Food items have to be taxed at Nil. Common man items have to be taxed at the lowest range of 5 per cent. “Luxury goods, sin products and products hazardous to environment and health cant be taxed at the same rate as aam admi (common man) product. So, wheat, rice, sugar cant be taxed at the rate as Mercedes car or yacht or tobacco,” he said. Without taking any names, he said those who speak of single rate have “no elementary understanding” of GST.He, however, said there is a scope for rationalisation of rate.”In 4 months we have rationalised the 28 per cent slab. Such rationalisation (will happen in future) depending on revenue buoyancy will take place,” he said. He went on to reel out the benefits of GST saying there is a single rate for products across the country, all inter- state barriers have gone and inspectors have disappeared. “You only have to address software (issue with filing of tax return). I think there is already a net advantage in medium and long term, smooth and a larger market and revenue buoyancy,” he said.Jaitley said the government expects all the tax rate benefit to be passed on to consumers, helping bring down inflation. “This is the advantage of an efficient tax system.” “Rationalisation process in the transition will always continue. So, wherever there is scope for improvement and procedural simplification will always continue,” he said. As the transition from over a dozen central and state levies to a single GST, the Council has been very pragmatic and flexible. “It has not been rigid. We react to market realities,” he added. On the decision of lowering tax on food bill in restaurants to 5 per cent from 18 per cent previously, the finance minister said the Council has taken a tough decision to deny the restaurant owners the right to set off tax paid on inputs from the tax on products as they had “unfairly” “pocketed” tax credit and did not pass on the credit to consumers.After the November 10 decision of the GST Council, Gandhi said the Congress will continue to fight for a lower 18 per cent tax for all products. “India need a simple GST, not a Gabbar Singh Tax. People of India and the Congress fought to bring down the rates of many items under the 28 per cent slab. Our struggle will continue to have a single rate and an 18 per cent cap. If the BJP doesn’t do it, Congress will show how to do it,” he tweeted on November 11.Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “Ministry of Finance must be complimented for ‘improving’ macro-economic situation in 4 months and 10 days! This is the time taken for common sense to germinate, flower and ripen into a fruit”. He said on November 10 that “Gujarat elections did what Parliament and common sense could not do”. Jaitley said the Council has simplified the return filing process till March because GST is in its early days and it was important to get people into the habit of filing regular returns. Last week the Council decided to simplify return filing till March 31, 2018, to bring down compliance burden. When asked about anti-GST sentiment, Jaitley said “there is an initial reluctance whenever there is a change. But, I have no doubt that in medium and long term businesses will realise that this is a change for better

Rajasthan: After seven days of protests, doctors finally call off strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After seven days of protests, the Rajasthan doctors finally called off their strike on Sunday night. The strike ended after a detailed discussion between government officials and a four-member team from the Rajasthan Doctors’ Association (ARISDA).Earlier, the doctors went on strike with a 33-point demand. Both, the government and ARISDA came to a compromise and a draft was signed.The meeting started at the secretariat around 2 pm. In the meeting, health minister Kalicharan Saraf and officials, including ACS (Finance) DB Gupta, Principal Secretary (Home) Deepak Upreti, Principal Secretary (Health) Veenu Gupta, secretary (Medical Education) Anand Kumar and Secretary (Budget) Manju Rajpal were present.The meeting that went on for around nine hours, at one point appeared to have failed again. But around 11:15 pm, Saraf announced that agreement was signed. Soon after, ARISDA president Dr Ajay Chaudhary came out of the meeting room and said, “A positive agreement on 33 point demand has come out and right from the moment doctors will come back to their duties at hospitals.”“As per the agreement government promise to execute all our demands. The only demand, to run hospitals in single shift, will be referred to chief minister and she will take a call on it,” Dr Jagdish Modi, coordinator of ARISDA said.

Fresh salvo from Yashwant Sinha: PM Modi should remove Arun Jaitley, current GST structure is ‘faulty’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Friday launched a fresh attack on the government, saying Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had not applied his mind while rolling out GST and should be removed from his post.Sinha, who served as finance minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, said demonetisation has not achieved its goal of flushing black money out of the system.He also charged the current regime with resorting to lies on the note ban and the new tax regime.”The finance minister did not apply his mind while rolling out the Goods and Services Tax and that’s why he is tinkering with GST everyday…,” Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by former Bihar speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary on reservation.Jaitley, he added, has made a mess of GST.”The prime minister should bring a new finance minister. I am saying this with full responsibility,” Sinha said.The former Union minister’s comment came on a day the GST Council chaired by Jaitley met in Guwahati to lower the tax rate on many household items — from the top 28 per cent slab to 18 per cent.”Now the government is saying that out of 227 items, tax rates will be brought down from 28 to 18 per cent on around 200 items,” Sinha said.He asked whether the reduction would lead to a decline in revenue collections.”The current structure of GST is a faulty one and that’s why the government is making amendments everyday,” Sinha alleged.In his view, “tinkering” with the GST will not serve the purpose, what is needed is a complete overhaul.In September, Sinha had blamed Jaitley for messing up the country’s economy.Jaitley returned the barb by caustically referring Sinha as “a job applicant at 80″.inha has suggested that a committee be formed under economist Vijay Kelkar, who had earlier headed a committee on GST, for advising the government on effective and efficient implementation of the tax.”After one year of demonetisation, we can say that it could not wipe out black money,” he said.Both demonetisation and GST have brought down the pace of the economy, he said.The attorney general had submitted before the apex court that the government hoped Rs 4-5 lakh crore would not return to the system, but that did not happen, he said.”Around 99 per cent money got deposited in the banks.” People, he added, had deposited money in huge amounts in banks.”A raid raj is going on across the country and cases are being registered under Income Tax Act. Years will go in deciding whether the deposited money was black money or not,” the former finance minister said.Ridiculing statements made by some Union ministers that stone pelting has come down in Jammu and Kashmir after the note ban, Sinha said the government was trying to give demonetisation credit for everything.”The government is publicising it as a success but the fact of the matter is that it has not achieved its objective,” Sinha said, adding that he has taken “sanyas” from electoral politics.​

In one year since DeMo, Rs 445-crore gold seized at airports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Industrial Security Force, in charge of airport safety, has seized gold worth more than Rs 445 crore and silver worth over Rs 2.4 crore being transported illegally by passengers at various airports since demonetization. Apart from this, cash Rs 87.1765 crore was also recovered, CISF said on Thursday.A senior officer said that following demonetization and acting on an advisory from the Ministry of Finance, the CISF had issued directions to all its units at 59 airports to keep a close watch on movements of high volume of cash and gold in hand baggage. It was also directed to inform the Air Intelligence Unit of Income Tax Department of the respective airports for further action.Hemendra Singh, Assistant Inspector General and the Public Relations Officer, CISF, said that between November 8, 2016 and November 7, 2017, the CISF has recovered 1491.504 kg of gold, 577.637 kg of silver, and cash worth Rs 87.1765 crore.”During this period, the airports that witnessed highest gold recovery were Jaipur with 203.544 kg and Mumbai with 342.989 kg, while Delhi topped with 498.356 kg. Jaipur, however, saw the highest recovery of silver at 266.362 kg, followed by Ahmadabad with 103.704 kg and Delhi at 74.55 kg,” Singh said.Mumbai saw the most cash, Rs 33.29 crore, being recovered. Interestingly, Imphal witnessed recovery of the second highest amount of cash at Rs 16.60 crore, while Delhi saw only Rs 6.25 crore.The data showed that a major chunk of Rs 71.48 crore of cash was recovered within less than two months after demonetization was announced on November 8 last year. Only Rs 15.6871 crore was recovered in 2017 up to November 7.Also, no airport witnessed ‘no recovery’, even though Trivandrum, Madurai, Nagpur, Patna, Jodhpur and Bhavnagar saw minimal recoveries in that period.A senior officer said that the airports which lie in states sharing international boundaries or those with sea route connectivity witnessed a large number of recoveries.”Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Imphal, Jaipur saw major recoveries. These states either touch with international boundaries or have sea routes. There is a possibility of easy cross border movement from these location, which might have been one of the reasons of airports here seeing major portion of total recovery,” the officer said.RECOVERYCISF has recovered 1491.504 kg of gold, 577.637 kg of silver, cash worth Rs 87.1765 crore.
None of India’s 59 airports witnessed ‘no recovery’.

DeMo turns 1: Loot was during UPA, noteban right step – FM Arun Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reacted sharply to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s criticism of demonetization and called the government move a watershed moment. Jaitley said demonetization was “an ethical drive and a moral step” that made corruption difficult in the country, besides increasing formal economy and widening the tax net.”The loot is what happened in 2G scam, commonwealth games and allocation of coal blocks, whereas demonetization was an anti-black money drive — an ethical drive and a moral step. And what is morally and ethically correct has to be politically correct,” said Jaitley.He said while the 10 years of the UPA government were characterised by policy paralysis, the Modi government introduced structural reforms to make India a developed nation and give it a cleaner economy.Jaitley said the BJP believes that status quo in economy needed to be shaken up to end corruption.Elaborating on the benefits of demonetization, the minister said it was aimed at making India a more formal economy with a broader tax base and less cash in the system.”Less cash in the system may not end corruption but makes corruption difficult,” said Jaitley stressing that terror funding got squeezed post-demonetization.He said, with a shift to less-cash economy, India has taken a big leap in digital payments during 2016-17 as the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) handled 160 crore transactions valued at Rs120 lakh crore, up from around 130 crore transactions for Rs 83 lakh crore in the previous year.”Based on big data analytics, cash seizure by the I-T Department has more than doubled in 2016-17 when compared to the previous year. During search and seizure by the Department, Rs 15,497 crore of undisclosed income has been admitted which is 38% higher than the undisclosed amount admitted during 2015-16,” said Jaitley.The Finance Minister further said that the exercise to remove the anonymity with currency has further yielded results in the form of 56 lakh new individual tax payers filing their returns till August 5, 2017 which was the last date for filing returns for this category whereas last year this number was about 22 lakh.

How Sonia Gandhi tried to protect Tehelka

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A letter written by Congress President Sonia Gandhi to then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in 2004 surfaced on Monday. It asked him to look into the allegations of harassment of financers of ‘Tehelka’, a news portal that shot to fame with a sting operation on defence deals when the NDA was in power.The letter dated September 25, 2004, said that directors of First Global alleged harassment by some agencies under the Finance Ministry.”I have been informed that this matter has already been discussed in a high-level meeting and certain corrective measures have been agreed to. I would like you to look into these issues on priority in order to ensure that no unfair and unjust treatment is meted out to these petitioners,” the letter said.”My noting on the letter is correct. I am certain that, on behalf of the ministry, I would have sent a reply based on the material put up to me,” Chidambaram told a news agency.The letter of Mrs Gandhi and my reply should be read together. I suggest that the media may ask the government to release the reply to the letter,” Chidambaram said.’Tehelka’ magazine had “exposed” alleged corruption in defence deals during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government which later resulted in the resignation of then defence minister George Fernandes.The then BJP president, Bangaru Laxman, who was caught on camera taking money, was convicted later.Following the expose, a number of cases were registered against promoters of First Global, Devina Mehra and Shankar Sharma, by various investigation agencies. When the UPA government assumed office in 2004, Mehra and Sharma wrote a letter to Gandhi, who was the chairperson of the National Advisory Council with the rank of a Union minister, alleging that persecution by the agencies was continuing even then and sought redressal.Appending First Global’s letter, Gandhi on her official letterhead wrote to Chidambaram asking him to look into the issue on “priority” in order to ensure that “no unfair and unjust” treatment is meted out in the case.(with PTI inputs)The letterDear Shri Chidambaram,I am enclosing a copy of a letter written to me by Directors of First Global regarding alleged harassment by some of the agencies under the Finance Ministry. I have been informed that this matter has already been discussed in a high-level meeting and certain corrective measures have been agreed to. I would like you to look into these issues on priority in order to ensure that no unfair and unjust treatment is meted out to the petitioners.With good wishes, Yours sincerely, Sonia Gandhi

Make In India’ a bane for Mumbai Metro?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While civil works for Metro corridors in the city are being carried out smoothly, the Central Government’s ‘Make In India’ initiative is proving to be a hurdle in the procurement of rolling stocks (coaches) for three Metro corridors, namely, the Andheri East–Dahisar East Metro-7 corridor, Dahisar- DN Nagar Metro-2A corridor, and DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B corridor.Reason? The Asian Development Bank (ADB) funding these three projects have reservations regarding this procurement policy wherein 75 per cent of the coaches will have to be manufactured in India, claimed Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials who have written to the central government seeking assistance on the same.An MMRDA official said, “We already started the civil work for Metro-2A and Metro-7 last year, and the same might get over by 2018, after which we will need rolling stocks to be ready to make these two corridors operational. But the ADB has been delaying the approval of the loan amount which is in a way delaying the procurement process.”The MMRDA official added, “The delay is majorly because of the procurement policy of rolling stocks wherein ADB has reservations over 75 per cent of rolling stocks being manufactured in India. We have written to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the Ministry of Finance seeking assistance.”UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, confirmed approaching the central government for the same. The MMRDA is self financing the civil cost of the all the three corridors mentioned and the cost for rolling stocks, and the rest would be financed by the ADB loan.This also means that as procurement of coaches is getting delayed, the MMRDA will have necessary infrastructure to run Metro but not have the coaches ready to run by next year.The MMRDA plans to procure 63 driver-less trains of six coaches each for the above mentioned Metro corridors of which 15 coaches will be manufactured outside India, and the remaining within the country.Prior to this, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground project had also expressed reservations over having Metro coaches manufactured in India, but had later agreed to the same.

Govt freezes 58,000 bank accounts of 35K shell cos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The noose around shell companies has tightened as the government has banned 58,000 bank accounts of 35,000 alleged shell companies who have deposited and withdrawn over Rs 17,000 crore during since demonetization.The move is part of a massive ongoing drive during which 2.24 lakh companies have so far been struck off. These corporations had been inactive for two years or more.After receiving inputs from 56 banks, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs restricted the operation of the bank accounts of the shell companies.These companies were not disclosing their financial details such as tax returns. Directors associated with these companies have been barred from banking transactions.In one case, a company which had a negative opening balance on November 8, 2016, deposited and withdrew Rs 2,484 crore after demonetization.Another company was found to have as many as 2,134 accounts.The Ministry of Finance said, “Apart from restrictions on bank accounts, action has also been taken to restrict the sale and transfer of the companies’ moveable and immovable properties until they are restored.”The state governments have also been advised to take necessary action by disallowing the registration of such transactions.The Directorate of Investigation, Kolkata, has busted a massive black money racket and identified 64,811 beneficiaries and shell companies involving bogus tax exemption of nearly Rs 38,000 crores through listed companies. The first detailed report on shell companies, prepared by the DDIT (Investigation) led by Dhruv Purari Singh, IRS, has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in 2015. After this report, the PMO constituted a Special Task Force under the joint chairmanship of Revenue Secretary and Secretary, Corporate Affairs, to monitor the drive against defaulting companies, with the help of various agencies. The Special Task Force has so far met five times and has initiated action against several defaulting companies.The information about these suspect companies has been shared with enforcement agencies including the CBDT, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIUs-Ind), Department of Financial Services and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for further action. Companies have also been identified for investigation under the Companies Act, 2013, and necessary operation is underway including criminal prosecution.To curb black money, the government has taken various steps. RoC has disqualified directors on the board of such companies that have failed to file financial statements or Annual Returns for a continuous period of three fiscal years, during 2013-14 to 2015-16. Around 3.09 lakh directors have been affected by this action. A preliminary inquiry has shown that there are over 3,000 disqualified directors in more than 20 companies, which is beyond the limit prescribed by the company law.It was recently that the SFIO authorised the director, additional director and assistant director to arrest any person believed to be guilty of any fraud punishable under Section 447 of the Act, which defines fraud, stringent punishment including imprisonment up to 10 years is stipulated. The SFIO will also house a software application, to be developed soon, put in place an ‘Early Warning System’.The government has also constituted a high-level committee to suggest the revamp of the disciplinary systems against Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants. The government is also planning to set up a National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), an independent body, to test check financial statements, prescribe accounting standards and to take disciplinary action against errant professionals.THE BIG CATCH64,811
The Directorate of Investigation, Kolkata, has busted a massive black money racket and identified 64,811 beneficiaries and shell companies involving bogus tax exemption of nearly Rs 38,000 crores.

Himachal Assembly Polls 2017: We lost two tallest leaders for nation, don’t need BJP’s certificate, says Anand Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP has attacked the Himachal government on corruption. What is the Congress’ strategy?There have been no charges of corruption against the government. There are no FIRs, no inquiries. There are some old cases of disproportionate assets against CM Virbhadra Singh, which are sub-judice. There are allegations against the BJP, too. They have fielded the highest number of corrupt politicians in the state — 23 with criminal charges and 9 with serious criminal charges.
The Prime Minister said in his speech at Kangra on Thursday that the Congress’s support for Kashmir’s “azaadi” is an insult to the Army… The Congress definitely does not need a certificate from PM Modi on our love for the country. The party has paid the supreme sacrifice and we have lost two of our tallest leaders in service of our nation. Modi has no counter for the betrayal of people for not delivering on his promises, especially jobs. He promised 7 crore jobs. His government killedover 4 crore. The twin blows of demonetisation and GST have taken away over 33% jobs from the MSME sector. He needs to address that instead.
The BJP says that it was the Congress which thought of the GST… It is true that the original author of GST was the Congress. Then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee drafted it and sent it to a standing committee. It was finalised by P Chidambaram. For seven years, we could not pass the GST because of a strong opposition from the BJP. Especially from Modi who said that GST was against the “spirit of the Constitution”. But when he came to power, he saw virtue in it. The government met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and later, formally asked for our support. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met me, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chidambaram. We agreed to extend support on three conditions. The first was that the highest tax slab should not exceed 28%, the second was to support small enterprises which do not have infrastructural back-up, and the third was to not exclude revenue goods like petroleum products, fuel, electricity etc. The BJP took our support and did exactly the opposite: there are now five tax slabs and the GST is one of the highest in the world, there is no help for the MSME sector and they excluded petroleum products, fuel electricity etc, which make for 45% of the revenue, from GST.
The BJP has attacked your manifesto, saying that these are false promises… Unlike the BJP, we do not make false promises. Himachal Pradesh has a population of 75 lakh, and in the last five years, we created 65,000 jobs. In Gujarat, where the population is 6.5 crore, the BJP has managed to create10,000 jobs. We built four medical colleges, while they have had to shut down their government schools. The BJP is now talking about appointing a new Lokayukta, when the big question is why have they not appointed the Lokpal even after the Bill was passed and the Supreme Court has passed orders. Their vision document has no vision. It is all lies.

Arun Jaitley to visit Ahmedabad today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat BJP’s poll in -charge and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will visit the city on Saturday. He will hold meetings at the BJP’s media centre raised in Ahmedabad throughout the day. He will take stock of the party exercises for the media and publicity cell of the party and will also assess the work of the manifesto committee of the party.Party spokesperson Harshad Patel said, “Jaitley will remain in Gujarat for a day and will meet different party leaders in Ahmedabad. He will focus on the campaign for the polls and will talk to the spokespersons of the party.”

Panel to examine govt staff pay anomalies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government has constituted a committee to look into the pay anomalies of which the state government employees have complained after implementation of 7th pay commission recommendation in the state. The committee, headed by former IAS DC Samant, will submit its report within 6 months by the time when state would be just a few months away from elections.In an order issued on Friday, the department of finance has asked the committee to determine if arrears are to be given and suggest the way it should be disbursed. Notably, the state government had made the revisions in the salaries of the employees with the implementation of 7th pay commission effective from October this year.The employees have been demanding the arrears and have been registering their protests ever since October 30 when the notification regarding revision in salaries was issued. The committee which will have DK Mittal and M P Dixit, both retired officer of Rajasthan accounts service and joint secretary of finance (rules) as member secretary will also examine the various memorandums which have been given to the department of finance for getting salaries and allowances at par with the same position holders of state government.The various employee unions have been in protest mode since October 30, on Friday, large number of employees of secretariat carried out a march opposing deduction in salary of a section of employees while other employees association covering employees of other government departments is already protesting demanding arrears. In September 2008, when the 6th pay commission recommendations were implemented in the state to resolve the anomalies out of this, a redressal committee headed by the then additional chief secretary Krishna Bhatnagar was formed and asked to submit report within four months.

Vasundhara Raje on hyper drive for infra funds, relief for marble trade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief minister Vasundhara Raje has urged the Centre for nearly Rs 10,000 crore for road infrastructure development at state and reduction of goods and service tax (GST) slab on marble trade.On a three-day tour to Delhi, CM Raje on Wednesday met Union minister for Road Transport and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari and sought support for development of road and water resource infrastructure in Rajasthan. Later in the evening at a meeting with Finance minister Arun Jaitley she asked for relief for marble, granite and tile industry at the state.”The marble industry of Rajasthan has established a global recognition. We have requested for relaxation in the current GST tax slab for Marble, Granite and Tile industry for betterment of the industry as well as buyers,” she said after meeting the Finance minister at his office at North Block.During the meet she also expressed gratitude of the Union government for relief extended to opium farmers and demanded extension of loan limits for these farmers under Uday Scheme. She was accompanied with urban development minister, Srichand Kriplani and senior finance officers from Rajasthan during the meet.Earlier in the day, at a meeting with Gadkari, the Rajasthan CM sought release of Rs 2,823 crore for road projects approved this year and asked for sanction of additional Rs 7,000 crore projects for expansion of road infrastructure at the state.”The Union minister has always been supportive towards development of Rajasthan and has worked for success of several projects at the state,” chief minister, Raje expressed confidence for support expected from the central government after the meet.She also met Union state minister for Tourism, KJ Alphons during the day. Over the next two days, the chief minister will be meeting several other Union ministers to provide impetus to support of center for development works at the state.Assures victory to AlphonsOn Wednesday, KJ Alphons and CM Raje met for the first time since the former was declared as party candidate for Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. CM Raje greeted him and assured him of victory at the elections. During the meet she also discussed several issues concerned with tourism at Rajasthan and sought his support for its further development.NH Status for Suratgarh-Hissar Road.CM Raje demanded National Higway status for road between Surathgarh and Hissar. Being declared as NH, the road passing through Rawatsar, Nohra and Bhadra will receive additional funds for development. The Union ministry has recently announced to extend NH status for the road.

Ease of doing corruption replaced by ease of doing business: Arun Jaitley hits out at Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Rahul Gandhi’s criticism, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday hit out at Congress party saying, ease of doing corruption replaced by the ease of doing business.Targeting Jaitley, the Congress Vice-President in Gujarat said that ease of doing business ruined due to note ban and GST. The Congress leader had also put a tweet in Hindi, taking off from a famous Ghalib verse to say that Jaitley was deluding himself.”Sabko maloom hai ‘ease of doing business’ ki haqeeqat, lekin khud ko khush rakhne ke liye ‘Dr Jaitley’ ye khayal achha hai (everybody knows the reality of ease of doing business, but this thought is good Dr Jaitley to keep yourself happy).”However, attacking Congress, Jaitley Tweeted, “The difference between the UPA and NDA- The ease of doing corruption has been replaced by the ease of doing business.”India jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ ranking, sending the jubilant government to vow to continue reforms that will help the country break into top 50 in coming years.The World Bank said it is “one of the top 10 improvers in this year’s assessment, having implemented reforms in 8 out of 10 ‘doing business’ indicators.” This is the first time India has broken into top 100 nations.Reacting to the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government is determined to further improve the rankings and scale greater economic growth with the mantra of ‘reform, perform and transform’.He hailed as “historic” the jump in India’s ranking in ‘ease of doing business’ and said it was a result of “all-round & multi-sectoral reform push”.

Ease of doing biz: Hiding behind World Bank report will not alter grim reality of economy, says Cong

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Tuesday issued a press release criticising the centre after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier in the evening announced that India had risen 30 points to be ranked 100 in the Ease of Business Index report submitted by the World Bank.In a detailed press release, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Ease of Doing Business had become a ‘Cease of Doing Business for MSMEs under the Narendra Modi government’.”It is important to note that the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings does not take into account the utterly flawed impementation of the GST. The cut-off date for implementing any reforms for the said study was June 1, while the GST was imposed on July 1,” the statement added.Cricising the centre, the Congress added that the Narendra Modi government has achieved “a notorious reputation for rapacious tax inspectors exercising draconian new powers of search and seizure resulting in tax terrorism. Predictably, this has sent a chill through the business community and no ‘Ease of Business’ is visible there.”The Congress added that the adhocism of Arun Jaitley to deliver has caused widespread economic misery and distress. “With great responsibility, we would like to say that Arun Jaitley is the worst finance minister in Indian history. Hiding behind a World Bank reports will not alter this grim reality,” the report said.

GCCI delegation hopeful after meeting Arun Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goods and Services Tax (GST) on many items will soon be reduced from 18% to 12%, feels top office-bearers of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) after meeting Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on Monday.There could be announcement on simplification in matters related to tax refunds, particularly to exporters, advance ruling mechanism, filing of tax returns as well as other key aspects that have been troubling the businessmen and tax practitioners for about four months now ever since the GST was rolled out on July 1.As the protest with regard to filing of GST returns and meeting the compliance requirements intensified in Gujarat, a delegation of GCCI met Finance Minister in Delhi to apprise him of the hardships.”We apprised him about the bottlenecks in filing of returns as well as complications in meeting the compliance requirements under the law. The Minister seemed to agree with us and gave indications that things would be ironed out soon,”said Shailesh Patwari, president of GCCI and the leader of the delegation.”The Minister said that since the law is new, it would take some time to sort out things. We also said that the government should not hurry on penal provisions and let businessmen adapt to the new system,” said Patwari.The new tax, and the manner of execution, has made businessmen angry. With Assembly elections due in December, the government is also trying to mollify small businessmen, who have been one of the most loyal supporter of the BJP. Their anger is likely to be a major embarrassment for the BJP government just ahead of the elections.

FM releases Himachal manifesto, raises J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday linked Jammu and Kashmir’s issues to Himachal Pradesh’s elections and hit out at the Congress, saying that its understanding of the problems in the troubled Valley was inadequate.Speaking at Shimla while releasing the party’s vision document, Jaitley questioned the understanding of former Home Minister P Chidambaram. “Lots of young men from Himachal Pradesh join the forces. If the Congress is asking for greater autonomy for Kashmir, it is looking at weakening the Constitutional relationship Kashmir shares with the country, while security forces work around the clock to ensure peace in the Valley. The hopes of a nation are attached to Kashmir,” he said.Asked whether the BJP has now given up on the issue of development in poll-bound states by raising other issues, Jaitley said that national security and unity will always be issues for the BJP. “These issues are linked to Himachal, the people of this state are very patriotic and have joined the forces in large numbers,” said the finance minister.Jaitley also said that the CM candidate of the party will be an experienced hand. Further, he defended the inclusion of Anil Singh into the party despite its insistence on a corruption-free government. Singh’s father Sukhram Singh Sukhu had been mired in several cases. “But there are no cases against Anil,” said Jaitley.Hitting out at the state government in Himachal, Jaitley said that the Congress’ rule in the last five years was a wasted opportunity. “The financial integrity of the government is in doldrums and there have been several scandals involving the top brass,” said the Finance Minister.He also spoke about the Goods and Services Tax Council’s decision to exempt businesses in hill states earning less than Rs 10 lakh per annum from the tax net. “Several hill states asked to be exempted from the Rs 20 lakh bracket as earnings in the Northeastern and hill states are low. While Jammu and Kashmir asked for a Rs 20 lakh bracket, Himachal Pradesh asked for the Rs 10 lakh bracket,” he said.He added that the Centre-state share is one of the highest in the country; it was 40% which went up by 50%. “(JP) Nadda being the Health Minister has helped Himachal in several ways. Connectivity is an issue here and in an unprecedented way, the transport ministry under (Nitin) Gadkari has ensured that schemes reach the people in the state,” he said.

RSS wing holds ‘swadeshi’ rally against Chinese goods

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The year-long campaign of RSS’ economic wing Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) against the influx of Chinese goods and it’s negative impact on the indigenous products in the domestic market culminated into a mega rally on Sunday at the the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.In its memorandum presented to the Centre, the SJM has set demands for preferential treatment to domestic industry, particularly MSMEs, to boost employment, apart from asking for imposition of quality restrictions on Chinese goods. They also demanded that no new trade agreement be signed with the Chinese government and urged states to not allow any Chinese investment. It also asked private companies to desist partnering with Chinese companies.Further, the SJM demanded that Chinese companies not be granted contracts in the northeastern states as it poses a “security threat” and that the Centre must take initiative “to provide impetus to Tibetans to restore their sovereignty from the cultches of China”.The rightwing economic organisation urged the Centre to open ‘Special Chinese Cells’in the Ministry of Commerce and Finance to undertake studied to gauge the impact of the huge Chinese imports and “increasing stranglehold of Chinese investments in India.Some members of BJP had been apprehensive of the rally, which they feared would embarrass the Modi government after the SJM statement on the continuance of UPA’s economic policies. The organisers, however, said that they had had a Swadeshi agenda for a long time and the move was not to cause unease but enlighten policy makers.”For the last one year we have been boycotting Chinese goods and have collected more than 2.5 crore signatures of people from various walks of life in favour of our demands. We have been trying to raise awareness by way of rath-yatras, distribution of pamphlets, student interactions. We reached out villages, too. The maharally is the culmination of our efforts,” said SJM’s national co-convenor R Sundaram.”For the past 25 years we have been propounding our ideas. Just as Ayodhya is the symbol of Hindu pride, this rally, with an immediate focus on the adverse impact of Chinese goods on our economy, will be the symbol of a larger debate on economic policies,” Sundaram said, hinting at NDA policies.The SJM has also decided, said sources, that the organisation’s agenda for the coming year would be to churn out an alternate economic model for India’s growth.National convenor Arun Ojha told DNA that the rally was not against or for any government. Rather, it was against an economic menace and for changing the fate of the country. “If some people think otherwise, they can; but, I am sure not all think so,” said Ojha.

How much does he know and when will he know: Arun Jaitley questions Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi over his “Gabbar Singh Tax” jibe, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today asked “how much does he know and when will he know”.Jaitley also asked whether the Congress vice president was satisfied with 17 taxes and 23 cesses which the Nehruvian era gave to the country and wants a system whereby there is no free flow of goods throughout the country.”If somebody chooses to call it ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’, then all I can say is how much does he know and when will he know,” the finance minister told a news channel in an interview.Jaitley said when one does things, one is bound to be praised by people who appreciate it and “criticised by those who either don’t understand it or are at the receiving end of reforms”.Asked if he means that Gandhi does not understand economy, the Finance Minister said, “from the quality and the kind of statements which have come, I am sure he could have done much better”.”Today it is those frivolous tweets at 7 in the morning and politics is really around that,” he said in response to Gandhi’s tweets targeting him.Jaitley said Gandhi does understand that all Congress chief ministers are a party to each of the decisions taken at the GST Council.”Is he more satisfied with 17 taxes and 23 cesses which the Nehruvian legacy gave to the country and that is a legacy that hangs around his neck.”Does he want to go back to a system where every 20 km there is a checkpost checking goods in trucks and where free flow of goods and services are not allowed throughout the country,” he asked.Gandhi while campaigning in Gujarat had earlier this week dubbed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the “Gabbar Singh Tax” and has been mocking Jaitley with his one-liner tweets everyday.The Congress has criticised the government for introducing the GST in the present form, saying it is “unacceptable” to it and is causing hardship to small and medium businesses.Gandhi had yesterday said the GST was “flawed” and it had unleashed a “tsunami of tax terrorism”.

BJP to observe demonetization anniversary as anti-Black Money Day, Cong calls it ‘crude joke’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Congress today dubbed as a “crude joke” with the people the BJP’s plan to observe November 8 as “anti-blackmoney day” and alleged that it is an attempt to divert public attention from the government’s “failures” and “betrayal”.Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also took a swipe at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over a PIB tweet in which the government claimed that the “real GDP growth average is 7.5 per cent in last 3 years”.”Dear Mr Jaitley, May the Farce be with you,” Gandhi tweeted. Congress’ senior spokesperson Anand Sharma hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded that he introspect, apologise to the nation and demit office for his “reckless decision”.Sharma, flanked by Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala, accused Modi and Jaitley of showing “arrogance” by not admitting their “mistakes” of noteban decision and GST implementation which, he alleged, hit the country’s economy hard and halted its growth story. “This is a crude joke with the people of India,” Sharma said in a retort to BJP’s plan to mark November 8 as anti-blackmoney day. He said over 99 per cent of the money the prime minister had junked has returned to banks as it was genuine money of the people and not black money and only 0.0013 per cent of black money has been found.”Where is the issue of having this national celebration.It would be apt if they observed it as anti-people BJP policies day,” he told reporters. “It is nothing but a smokescreen and a myth to mislead and confuse the people,” he said.Sharma accused the prime minister of “destroying” the country’s economy and the growth story that was initiated by the Congress-led UPA. “If morality is still a virtue in India s polity, then it is time for Prime Minister Modi to introspect and demit the office he holds,” Sharma and Surjewala said.They said Modi should order an immediate investigation “into the demonetisation scam as also the loss to economy”.”The PM remains in arrogant denial of the hardship inflicted on people of country by his reckless decision,” Sharma said. He accused Jaitley of making a “desperate” attempt to save the BJP as the “ground is slipping from beneath” its feet. Taking a dig at BJP chief Amit Shah, Sharma asked whether Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah would find a place in this celebration.”‘Modinomics’ and ‘Jaitleynomics’ have destroyed India s economic growth story,” he alleged. He claimed jobs are in peril, exports are falling, GDP is on a downward spiral, NPA’s have touched a whopping Rs 9 lakh crore and credit growth is at a 63-year “The BJP is so drunk with power that it wants to celebrate the ‘Demon of Demonetisation’,” the joint statement said. The two Congress leaders said that a h=government that came to power on the promise of bringing black money of Rs 80 lakh crore and “depositing Rs 15 lakh in every Indian s account” stands exposed.Sharma accused Jaitley of giving people an untrue picture on the state of the country’s economy and alleged the government lacked a plan to put the economy on back on track. The Modi government had “hurt” the economy and “put it in the ICU”. “What has been said about the economy is not true…It is wrong to say that the country’s economic fundamentals are strong. The finance minister claiming that India’s economy is the world’s fastest growing is incorrect and factually wrong,” Sharma told reporters, adding that China was five times bigger economy which was growing faster than India’s.He said the government had now realised the “bad condition” of the economy and has woken up to the situation by announcing a financial package. Surjewala said the truth is that the biggest increase in digital transactions happened during the Congress rule, when it rose by 53 and 49 per cent during 2012 to 2013 and 2013-14. He also said that against Rs 1,01,183 crore blackmoney unearthed during 2013-14, only Rs 29,211 crore was unearthed during 2016-17 and a total Rs 17,526 crore detected as undisclosed income’ during the current year.

Will we get a public holiday? Twitter reacts to BJP celebrating Nov 8 as ‘Anti-Black Money’ Day

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced that the BJP will celebrate November 8 as ‘anti-black money day’, countering the opposition which has declared that it will observe ‘black day’ on the first anniversary of demonetisation. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a press conference, Jaitley said this would be a “priority programme” for the BJP and senior party leaders as well as Union ministers will participate in it.He also listed out steps taken by the Modi Government to counter black money.”November 8 will be celebrated as anti-blackmoney day,” Jaitley said.The BJP’s move comes after around 18 political parties announced that they would observe November 8 as ‘black day’ against note-ban, which they termed as the “most ill-conceived and hasty decision” by the NDA government.

Anti-black money day: 5 damning statements Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made against Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If Opposition planned to stump Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by celebrating “black day” on November 8, it appears Narendra Modi government is ready with counter-offensive in the form of “anti-black money day”. “November 8 will complete one year of demonetisation. The party has decided to celebrate the day as anti-black money day,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, while addressing the media on Wednesday. Finance Minister launched a no holds barred attack on Congress.Here are some of the barbed statements finance minister made against Congress:* Congress had adequate opportunity to be in power, and I can’t recollect a single significant step that they ever took against black money.* Congress had reconciled to India living with a shadow economy. It is understandable this would never be on political agenda of Cong leadership. I understand their discomfort when steps are being taken against black-money. * Weighing in on the bank recapitalisation decision, Arun Jaitley said that bank’s accounts were completely destroyed between 2008 and 2012 (during UPA II second rule), and later attempts were made to fool the world. * While responding to the delay in announcing Gujarat Assembly Elections dates and allegations levelled by the Congress party, Arun Jaitley said: Election commission can’t be browbeaten by a disgruntled political party. * Those who destroyed the nation are now preaching BJP.Finance minister said that till November 8, BJP leaders will carry out campaigns across the nation and highlight the steps taken by the government against black money. The Opposition parties had earlier decided to observe November 8 – the first anniversary of demonetisation – as ”black day”. The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media here, “Possibly, this is the first time that a decision announced by the Prime Minister had to be changed 135 times. It just shows how ill-conceived it was.”Azad was speaking in the presence of Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O. Brien, besides others. He claimed that 18 parties would be protesting in their own respective ways in all states. O’Brien described demonetisation as a “big scam” and added that TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the first leader to point this out.On Monday, the opposition formed a coordination committee and met for the first time in parliament. The meeting was attended by Azad, O Brien, Yadav, CPI MP D. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and BSP MP Satish Mishra.On November 8, 2016, the Centre announced to demonetise 500- and 1000-rupee banknotes.The government also introduced new Rs.200, Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 notes. The government had then said that the action would curtail the shadow economy and crack down on the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism.(With ANI inputs)

May the farce be with you: Rahul Gandhi takes down Arun Jaitley with Star Wars barb

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Gabbar Singh Tax, Rahul Gandhi returned with yet another barb against the Narendra Modi government, this time inspired by the Star Wars series.The Congress Vice President took to Twitter and slammed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the GDP numbers.Quoting a tweet by the Press Information Bureau, Gandhi said, ‘May the Farce be with you.’The tweet referred to a classic Star Wars dialogue ‘may the force be with you.’ The ‘may the force be with you’ phrase originated in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, and has continued to be a classic part of Star Wars stories ever since.On October 22, at a rally in poll-bound Gujarat, Gandhi scion had renamed the landmark tax reform by the Modi government and called it Gabbar Singh tax.The phrase derived from the name of biggest Bollywood villain Gabbar Singh from the 1975 classic Sholay.The Congress Vice President had said the GST has brought lakhs of small traders to their knees, a charge that the Opposition has been levelling against PM Modi as part of a composite takedown of his handling of the Indian economy.

Govt cracks whip on bogus firms, licences of over 2 lakh cancelled

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has developed an early warning system that would make it easier to tighten the screws on bogus companies. So far, registration of 2,24,000 bogus companies have been cancelled by the ministry and their accounts have been seized. With the new system, bigger and more bogus companies are expected to be caught, Union minister of state, ministry of law and justice and ministry of corporate affairs P.P. Choudhary told DNA on Tuesday.He said that Rs 15 lakh crore has been deposited in the banks after the demonatisation but after the long investigation by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, black money worth Rs 4.5 lakh crore has been unearth.Now there are 11 million 16 lakh companies in the country, all of them are being under investigation by the new system. He told that the directors of the big companies have made bogus companies for the use of black money.. So far only 3% companies were examined But in the next few months, the bank will get a total of Rs 7 lakh crore of black money and all the detail of such bogus companies will come out.Will win electionReturning from Gujarat, Union minister PP Chaudhary said that BJP got huge victory in Uttar Pradesh, and will win the Gujarat elections with a huge majority in the same way. Chaudhary said that the historical development work was done during the twenty years of BJP rule in Gujarat.

Govt unveils Rs 9 lakh cr package to boost growth, Cong calls it ‘shoddy attempt’ to defend ‘decimation of economy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today launched a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “Modinomics” has destroyed India’s growth story.The main opposition party also termed as a “shoddy attempt” by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to defend the “decimation” of the economy after he reeled out economic indicators to support the government’s contention that GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and economy is turning around.”‘Modinomics’ has destroyed India’s growth story. A shoddy attempt of a desperate finance minister Arun Jaitley to defend the decimation of economy has failed to impress either the Indian industry or common people. The growth as projected by the government is only on paper,” Congress’ communications department incharge Randeep Surjewala said.
ALSO READ Those used to 2G, coal scam will have trouble with genuine taxes: Jaitley on Rahul’s Gabbar remarkSurjewala said decisions like noteban and “poor” implementation of GST hurt the core of macro and micro economic fundamentals, and expressed concern over growing NPAs of public sector banks. The bank recapitalisation plan announced by the finance minister neither has a roadmap nor a timeframe, he said, asking the government to do a reality check and share a targeted framework of bank recapitalisation rather than engage in “hyperbole and high-sounding syllables”.On Jaitley’s claim that the macro economic fundamentals of economy are very strong, he said, “On the contrary, mindless and unsound decisions like demonetisation and the poor implementation of GST has hurt the core of the fundamentals of macro and micro economic fundamentals.” The Congress leader alleged common people were being made to suffer, jobs were in peril, and medium and small industries in dire straits, as economy stuttered due to demonetisation and GST roll out. “Time has come to travel from empty jumlas (rhetoric) to meaningful governance,” he said in a statement.
ALSO READ Government plans to revive ailing banking sector as FM Arun Jaitley announces Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation planCongress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said if the prime minister or the finance minister were claiming “all is well”, they should go to Gujarat and listen to what the people were saying. “Today, if the economy is turning around, then why is there ‘no feel good factor among the people. I will tell the prime minister and the finance minister that all is not well,” she said. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Twitter, “If Economy was a wish-horse Arun Jaitley could have ridden it. Fact- in 41 months he created a new bumper sticker ‘Hey honey I sunk the Economy’.”Surjewala said the NPAs of public sector banks jumped from 36 per cent in March 2014 to 82 per cent in June 2017– from Rs 36,000 crore to Rs 8.35 lakh crore. Noting that the money given for recapitalisation of banks will increase the fiscal deficit, he said, “This is a desperate move by a finance minister groping in the dark as demonetization and GST failed to bring in the promised Rs 4-5 lakh crore.”Jaitley today announced a Rs 2.11 lakh crore bank recapitalisation plan to revive investment and growth.Accusing the government of waiving loans worth Rs 1,88,287 crore of wilful defaulters in the last three years, the Congress leader asked, “Is the government risking taxpayers’ money for more such loan waivers without commitment to MSME and agrarian sectors?” On Bharatmala project, he said it is completely debt driven with the burden falling on people of India. Bharatmala is an umbrella programme under which 34,800 km of highways will be constructed at a cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore Seeking to boost note ban and GST-hit economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced a massive Rs 6.92 lakh crore infrastructure spending and another Rs 2.11 lakh crore for bank recapitalisation to revive investments as well as growth. Flanked by all his five secretaries and Chief Economic Advisor, Jaitley reeled out economic indicators to support government contention that GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and economy is turning around.To boost job creation, the government granted enhanced access of funds for MSMEs, including by way of customising Mudra loans. A presentation was made at a briefing titled ‘The India Story: Speeding Up For Take Off!’ which highlighted that the economy grew by 7.5 per cent per annum in the three years of BJP-rule since 2014. For last three years India has been fastest growing major economy in the world, Jaitley said. “And our intention is that the high growth economy that India has become, we continue to maintain that position.”Economy slowed to 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter of the current, the weakest pace since 2014 as demonetisation sucked out 86 per cent of the currency in circulation throwing cash-dependent businesses in disarray and the implementation of GST from July 1 hit small and medium enterprises. “There was a temporary slippage in growth in the last two quarters thanks to transitional effect of demonetisation (of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes) and GST,” an official statement issued at the briefing said.That effect, it said, is now over with all indicators – industrial production, core sector, automobile and consumer spending — pointing towards “a strong growth pick up”. “There is expectation of very good growth from second quarter of current year itself.” The Finance Minister said it is natural that when structural reforms happen there is some impact for limited time. “But medium to long term, there is huge benefit.” The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved a Rs 6.92 lakh crore investment in building 83,677-km of road over the next five years, which will create 14.2 crore mandays of jobs.With this, the total infrastructure spending cleared by the government touched Rs 14 lakh crore, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said.Also, a massive bank recapitalisation programme has been approved. Of the Rs 2.11 lakh crore, recapitalisation bonds will account for Rs 1.35 lakh crore and another Rs 76,000 crore will come from budgetary support and equity issuance. Jaitley said the recapitalisation of PSU banks would be followed by a series of reforms. He, however, did not elaborate. “When you give such a big push to infrastructure, it helps in job creation. And job creation is the intention to push private sector investment and MSME funding,” he said. Public sector banks, which remain the main source of funding, have seen NPAs or bad loans swell from Rs 2.78 lakh crore as of March 2015 to Rs 7.33 lakh crore in June this year, primarily because of reclassification of loan, Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said.Of that, Rs 1.75 lakh crore relates to just 12 cases which have been referred to NCLT. The recapitalisation besides repairing their balance sheets would help banks meet the Basel III banking rules. “The net impact of all these is, private investment will be further strengthened. Infrastructure instantaneously creates job, lending to small and medium enterprises creates job,” Jaitley said. Macro economic fundamentals are strong, he said, adding that there was a need to increase public spending. “Infrastructure expenditure is unprecedented in the country.Efforts are on to increase public expenditure in various sectors of economy — rural roads, highways, Bharat Mala, housing, railways.” Also, the intention is to increase private investment in economy. “It was one area which had its own challenges. So far we believed that public sector banks have done indiscriminate lending at one stake. Between 2008-2014, because of indiscriminate lending, a bigger chunk is NPAs,” he said. On reforms that will follow in banking sector, he said, “I’m only indicating that more reforms will happen so as to ensure that there is no repetition of the situation that was there in 2014 where in you lend indiscriminately while hiding the real conditions of those loans. Its only after March 2015 the actual position of banks became clear.” Asked if the bank recapitalisation plan will impact fiscal deficit, he said: “It will depend on the nature of bonds and the manner in which it is dealt with.”The money which has been deposited in banks post demonetisation that is available for lending, but availability of money doesn’t ensure that it can be lent. For that capital adequacy is needed. And that capital adequacy was eroded because of excessive NPAs and because of situation of banks between 2008-2014.”Jaitley said the Cabinet decided that a “bold step” should be taken by the government to address this problem through Rs 2.11 lakh crore recapitalisation. “This will be accompanied by a series of banking reforms which you will hear from us in the course of next few months.” “Of this money, part of money will come from banks raising their own capital where government equity can come down to 52 per cent,” he said. “There is another Rs 18,000 crore from budgetary resources which will be put into banks under Indradhanush. So that makes it a total of Rs 76,000 crore.”In a presentation made at the briefing, Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said inflation has consistently come down since 2014 and will remain below 4 per cent this fiscal. Detailing macro-economic fundamentals, he said that current account deficit will be less than 2 per cent this year and foreign exchange reserves have crossed USD 400 billion. On fiscal deficit, he said the government is committed to sticking to the target of 3.2 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal but a review would be done in December.Stating that the GDP growth slowdown has bottomed out and the economy is turning around, he said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had recently projected that the country would achieve a 8 per cent growth rate soon.

Sounds like Tusshar Kapoor’s dialogue from Golmaal: Twitter full of jokes after Finance Ministry tweets gibberish

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Diwali festive season turns offices into a virtual graveyard, and those poor souls still stuck at their workplace often wonder why they are working, while the rest of the country is out celebrating with friends and family.Perhaps pulling a shift during the Diwali season hit the poor soul handling the Finance Ministry’s Twitter account exceptionally hard, as handle ended up tweeting gibberish on Friday morning: “Sawa we h we s see see.”As usual eagle-eyed Twitterati were quick to notice as they roundly mocked FinMin handle for tweeting gibberish. Some wondered if it was a code to start a second round of demonetization, while others compared it Donald Trump’s immortal covfefe tweet.Other users wondered, if this was the government’s attempt to ‘explain’ GST and all in all, Twitter had a whale of a time cracking jokes.

Nitish Kumar supports Arun Jaitley’s proposal for bringing real estate under GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today endorsed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks that he saw a “strong case” for bringing the real-estate sector under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).Speaking on the sidelines of his weekly public interaction programme, Kumar said Bihar was among the first states to have raised this demand at a GST Council meeting. “We have always supported the GST and other measures that targeted black money holders. In fact, Bihar was among the first states to have raised such a demand,” Kumar, flanked by deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, told reporters.Sushil Modi is a member of a technical committee on the GST.At a programme at Harvard University two days ago, Jaitley had said that real estate was one sector that has witnessed maximum tax evasion and cash generation. “The one sector in India where maximum amount of tax evasion and cash generation takes place is real estate which is still outside the GST. Some of the states have been pressing for it. I personally believe that there is a strong case to bring real estate into the GST,” Jaitley had said while delivering a lecture at the university.

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