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Prompt service commission makes lives easier

When it comes to citizens applying for services under the Right to Services (RTS) Act, the response is spot on, say many.It is so prompt that many citizens compared the speed to services under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. In both, a number of them managed to get the needful done the moment they approached the RTC commission — an independent office, as compared to appeal-stage one that are part of the government — when they did not get the services they applied for.Only RTS is a more direct Act and was enacted to ensure that notified services were delivered to eligible citizens on time, while the RTI Act entitled citizens timely information that aided transparency and accountability. Under the RTI Act, a number of citizens managed to get services the moment they sought information under the RTI, which was not delivered on time. Penal action lead to officers providing services.”In most cases, citizens have written to us stating that they managed to get services after our intimation for hearing was sent to the officers,” said Swadheen Kshatriya, chief of the RTS commission.Some cases in point are about shop licences, which were not given even after the government took several initiatives towards “ease of doing”. Rushi Chavan from Pune did not get ac shop license certificate. In the first appeal stage, order was given that services be rendered. The second appeal stage too had a similar response. However, Chavan did not get the info and officers said that his application was not available. The moment the case reached the the second third appeal (commission) stage, Chavan replied that he got the certificate.In two more cases, also from Pune, authorities did not issue a license, stating that documents were not proper. However, no such reply was given in writing to the applicants. Only when the commission sent a notice for hearing were the licenses given. In all three cases, applicants said that since they got the service, a third appeal was not needed.Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner, said, “An average citizen will not pursue it but the commission should ask for explanation and penalise officers. After all, the third appeal stage is laborious. Ideally, at this stage if they feel that the designated officer has a good case, he should be spared, otherwise they should be penalised to create a fear of the law. Else, there will be cases piled up at the commission.”

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L-G Anil Baijal, AAP fight gets murkier

“If the delivery of Pizza doesn’t cause any traffic congestion and pollution, then how come delivery of services at doorstep will cause traffic congestion and pollution?,” the Delhi government stated in its statement on Thursday. The AAP-led government was responding to the ongoing controversy between the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal after the doorstep delivery of services became another flashpoint between the two, with both of them comparing the services to ‘pizza delivery services’.”If a Pizza delivery, LPG gas delivery, credit card executives, and other delivery don’t pose a threat, how can Doorstep Delivery of Services be a threat to the safety and security of women and other citizens? The concern in our humble opinion appears to be misplaced,” the statement further stated.The L-G house on Thursday alleged that a misplaced parallel is being drawn between the current proposal and E-Commerce.”There is no technology so far to download Pizza and many other E-Commerce products, whereas most of the proposed services in the Government proposal can be and are already being delivered online. Moreover, delivery of Pizza and most of the other E-Commerce products can also not be compared with the documents proposed to be delivered through the ‘Mobile Sahayaks’ as the latter would involve sensitive personal information,” the L-G house said in a statement. The L-G house once again confirmed that the proposal was not rejected.Among the 40 public services, which were to be covered under the scheme in the first phase, are caste certificates, income certificates, driving licences, new water and sewer connections, driving licences, duplicate driving licences, handicap pension schemes, domicile certificates, issuance of the delayed birth order and Lalo Dora certificates.According to previous figures, approximately 25 lakh transactions of these 40 services are held every year. Each transaction takes around four visits to the office concerned by the applicant. In the second phase, 30-35 more services would be added to the scheme every consecutive 30 days.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
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Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
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Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars
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L-G Anil Baijal’s note on scheme ‘saddens’ Manish Sisodia

Continuing the attack on Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday that he was “extremely saddened” after reading the noting of the L-G on doorstep delivery of services scheme.On Tuesday, Sisodia had alleged that the L-G rejected the proposal for 40 doorstep services in the national Capital. “I am unable to understand why the L-G has a problem with residents of Delhi getting delivery of services at their doorstep? The basic question that arises is that should a selected L-G have the power to reject a major decision of the elected government?” Sisodia asked on Wednesday.Among the 40 public services that were to be covered under the scheme in the first phase were caste certificates, income certificates, driving licences, duplicate driving licences, new water and sewer connections, handicap pension schemes, domicile certificates, delayed birth order, Lal Dora certificates, etc. Clarifying the doubts raised by the L-G, Sisodia said these services will put an end to the long queues in government offices. “There will be a 100 per cent feedback system to check corruption and quality of services. There is no fear of documents going missing as the executive will visit your place, scan the documents, and upload them then and there. This system will be super quick. The executive will visit your place on a phone call and provide the services,” he explained.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had planned to hire a private agency to implement the decision. According to the plan, mobile sahayaks (facilitators) will be hired through the agency, which would set up call centres.

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Rajasthan doctors’ strike ends after 12 days

As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 28 December 2017 3:32 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>After eight-hours of negotiations and the intervention of four ministers and state BJP president, the protesting in-service government doctors in Rajasthan finally called off their strike. The discussions on Wednesday were held between government representatives and leaders of All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association (ARISDA), the body under which doctors were agitating. These doctors have been striking the last 12 days and the deadlock was broken only after two fresh agreements were signed.As per the agreement signed with ARISDA leader on Wednesday, demands include removal of the officer of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) Girish Parashar from the health department and adjustment of leaves taken by doctors during their agitation, even in earlier months, against their earned leaves. The agreement also reiterates the execution of the agreement from November 12 and withdrawal of cases registered against the doctors under the Rajasthan Essential Services Management Act (RESMA) during the agitation.

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Watch: Patients evacuated as major fire breaks out in East Delhi hospital

A major fire today broke out at a hospital in east Delhi’s Preet Vihar and 84 patients were evacuated from the building, officials said.Some patients suffered minor injuries in the rescue operation in the fire that broke out on the second floor of the Metro Hospital and Cancer Institute, they said. The fire started in an air conditioning vent and then spread to other floors, a senior police officer said. A senior officer from the Delhi Fire Services said a call was received at 3.20 PM alerting them about the blaze, which intensified in the next 20 minutes. Twelve fire tenders were rushed to the spot, he said.”But it was controlled by 4.15 PM and completely doused by 4.50 PM,” the official added. Police said that the 84 patients were safely evacuated from the hospital and shifted to its Noida branch. The cooling operation was underway, the police said, adding that some patients suffered minor injuries in the episode.

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AMC pitches for more biogas plants as part of Swachh Bharat, total to hit 37

Standing committee of Ahmedabad civic body may approve a work to have more biogas plants in the city, as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission, on Thursday. In December 2016, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had approved the work of installation of 20 such biogas plants near the vegetable markets.Now, 17 more biogas plants have been conceptualised for the civic body-run party plots, hospitals, and educational institutes and campuses.With a capacity of 40 to 50 kilo, the proposed 17 mini-bio-gas plants will cost around Rs 10 lakh. The last time when 20 such biogas plants were set at the cost of Rs10 lakh, the observation was that it was converting the vegetable waste into biogas. As per an AMC official, the prices have shot up due to the Goods and Services Tax .Also, this time, the civic body is open to sell them, if one shows an interest. “If someone wants to have the biogas plant, we will sell them at the actual cost. We want equal participation from citizens also to come forward to set up such plants in their societies,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, the in-charge medical officer of health, AMC.On monthly basis, the 20 plants are producing around 300kg of gas. Soon after the code of conduct revoked from the state, AMC has pulled its socks to make the city clean and working hard for the solid waste management.In few weeks there will be the announcement of Swachhta Sarvekshan. AMC has not improved its ranking in 2016. AMC has tried a lot many innovations in solid waste management. AMC has hit two birds with two stone when air pollution in was observed very poorly. At the time, to control the dust particles from the air, AMC has washed flyovers, bridges, footpaths and trees, which is also claimed one of the drives and an innovative idea under the Swachh Bharat Mission program….& ANALYSISWhen smaller civic bodies are also acting on the lines of setting up toilet bio-gas plant, AMC should consider toilet bio-gas plants at least for their own housing scheme. Such plants ensure appropriate treatment and reuse of waste water and an additional incentive of bio-gas.

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L-G Anil Baijal cancels exam to recruit teachers over paper leak issue

Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Tuesday cancelled a Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) examination for recruiting primary teachers in MCD-run schools, after a Delhi Police report alleged cheating during the test on October 29.The move comes days after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia demanded the cancellation of the examination, stating that the question papers were leaked. “The L-G has cancelled the DSSSB examination held on October 29. The move follows a report by the Delhi Police on the issue of alleged cheating in the examination,” his office said in a statement. Baijal directed the education secretary to take strict disciplinary action against all staff identified in the case and submit an action taken report within 10 days.Following the allegations of cheating, an FIR was registered on October 29 and the matter was handed over to the Crime Branch for a swift investigation.According to the L-G’s office, Baijal had directed Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik to investigate the matter in a time-bound manner.Baijal then issued directions to the DSSSB chairman to reconduct the examination expeditiously, so that vacancies could be filled as soon as possible.”The DSSSB may review their systems and methods of conducting the examination thoroughly and also look into the modus-operandi employed by the accused, so that in the future, all such loopholes can be plugged,” the statement read.Earlier this month, Kejriwal had sought Baijal’s nod on the Delhi government’s decision to cancel the DSSSB examination.In November, Sisodia had written to the L-G, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged DSSSB examination paper leak case and had demanded strict action against the officials involved.

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Pakistan’s ISI bid to honeytrap three Indian officials in Islamabad foiled: Report

Three officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were recalled from Pakistan, foiling the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) bid to honeytrap them and extract information, reported Times of India.The officials, whose names are being withheld, are being questioned and were recalled earlier this week.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan confirms wife and mother have received visas to visit himA report said that the bid was foiled before classified document could be passed on to ISI, as the officials approached senior Indian authorities for help.The officials worked with the language section and were responsible for the translation of official documents, said a report, adding that the government will decide in the next few days how to proceed in the matter.Also read43 Indian fishermen have been arrested by Pakistani authorities

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GST brings jobs boom for Indian CAs

After the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India in July this year, the demand for Chartered Accountants (CAs) well-versed in the new tax regime has been on a global rise, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) revealed. GST or similar tax regimes are now applicable in nearly 164 countries, including India.After GST’s implementation, the ICAI changed its syllabus and trained the existing CAs to suit the new tax regime. According to officials, since July till now, 500 CAs have already migrated to Dubai for jobs and at least two a month have been going abroad to join international firms.”The reason for this is that Indian CAs are well-versed in tax regime as they have to go through many levels of examinations. With the knowledge of GST, which is an international tax law, they have become best of the lot. If they want to practice abroad, they would already be more qualified than those in other countries. Their syllabus is much more complex with different kinds of tax laws but GST is simpler, so they have to concentrate their energy on just one thing,” a senior ICAI official said. Currently, there are more than 20,000 ICAI qualified CAs and the number is expected to rise further in future. “We cannot tell as to how much this number will rise, but the demand for Indian CAs abroad has definitely been on a rise after the implementation of GST,” the official added. ICAI is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and is responsible for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy.The new curriculum for CAs, which is mandatory for the next batch, will kick in from the 2018 academic session. For the existing students, the new syllabus is optional and most of the students have opted for it.Meanwhile, the number of women CAs has also increased from 8 per cent in the last decade to 22 per cent now, and is expected to go up to 33 per cent in the next 3 years.

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Bomb scare at Khan Market, but nothing found after day-long search

A bomb threat sent Delhi Police and intelligence agencies into high alert on Friday. Early in the morning, an anonymous caller informed police that a bomb had been planted in the tony Khan Market and would soon blow up. The upscale market area also houses VIP residences.Police, fire-fighters, and a dog squad with a bomb disposal team surrounded the Market in no time and kept scanning the area until evening. However, no explosive was found.Since the Parliament is located within a radius of 2.5 km from the market, and bearing in mind that it was the first day of the Winter session, police presence was ensured until late. Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg of the Delhi Fire Services said, “After assuring the area was free of explosives, the parking space was opened.””A few shops also started functioning. Vigil, however, was maintained till around 4pm,” he added.Cleared of parked vehicles, Khan Market was fortified throughout the day with police vehicles, anti-terror Parakram vans and armed commandos.”The New Delhi District Control Room got a call through Police Control Room at 6.46 am today (Friday) saying ‘Khan Market mein bomb plant kar diya hai’ (A bomb has been planted at Khan Market), said Deputy Commissioner of Police BK Singh, “A probe revealed that the call originated from outside New Delhi district. Adequate measures were taken and all the concerned agencies were roped in without any delay.”He added that the police was verifying facts and following the steps required as per the standard drill to handle a threat call. “There is no need to panic,” he asserted.

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Anna Hazare to address a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground on Jan 23 to seek electoral system

Social activist Anna Hazare announced today that he would address a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground on January 23, highlighting the plight of farmers and demanding reforms in the electoral system.Hazare, who led a popular movement in 2011 seeking establishment of an anti-corruption ombudsman, said three-and- a-half years have passed since the BJP assumed office at the Centre, but the government has not yet been able to implement the Lokpal Bill.On the agriculture front, he said that the farmers were not getting remunerative prices for their crops.The Goods and Services Tax has done nothing good for the common man, he claimed.He said the time has come for effecting changes in the country’s electoral system.Also readHope no Arvind Kejriwal will emerge from my movement again, says Anna Hazare Lamenting that even after 70 years of achieving Independence, democracy, in its true sense, was yet to come to India, Hazare earlier said in Agra, “We do not want a government of capitalists. No (Narendra) Modi, no Rahul (Gandhi). We want a government which works for farmers’ interests.”Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal had taken part in Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in 2011. Subsequently, he had parted ways with the social activist and launched his own political outfit.

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Delhi High Court tells state to issue ads for teachers

In a blow for the AAP government, the Delhi High Court on Monday put a stay on the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board’s (DSSSB) notice that withdrew the process of appointment of over 8,914 teachers for schools run by the Delhi government.Justice AK Chawla directed the authorities to issue a fresh advertisement, calling applications by December 20, which shall be received latest by December 31. The single judge bench removed its stay on the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in Delhi government schools.The court said: “Processing of applications, arrangements for written test, final selection and drawing up of a panel, would be completed by August 31, 2018. The panel shall be declared and communicated to the Directorate of Education of GNCT of Delhi by September 15, 2018.”It also directed that after the selection of the candidates, posting orders should be communicated to them before October 31 next year.The court issued the orders on an NGO’s application, which sought a stay on the DSSSB order withdrawing a notice on appointment of teachers in government-run schools. The plea by NGO Social Jurist alleged that the Board’s notice of August 24 was “illegal and contemptuous in nature”.The Delhi government had introduced the Board with the purpose of recruiting capable, competent, and highly-skilled individuals by conducting written tests, professional tests and personal interviews. The plea, filed by advocate Ashok Agarwal was part of an ongoing contempt petition by the NGO, which has alleged deliberate omission in compliance of the court’s December 2001 order.”Unfortunately, the directions were never complied with, resulting in accumulation of vacancies of teaching posts since 2011. No attempt was made by the DSSSB in last several years to fill up the posts and provide regular teachers,” NGO’s counsel Ashok Agarwal had argued before the court. The court put on hold the operation of the August 24 notice of DSSSB and directed it to proceed with the advertising afresh for recruiting teachers.WHAT COURT SAYSAccording to the court said: “Processing of applications, arrangements for written test, final selection and drawing up of a panel, would be completed by August 31, 2018. The panel shall be declared and communicated to the Directorate of Education of GNCT of Delhi by September 15, 2018.”

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Google pays tribute to Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photojournalist

Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photojournalist would have been 104 today had she been alive. On her birth anniversary, Google paid tribute to her through a doodle.Here are 10 things you should know about India’s first woman photojournalist- Homai Vyarawalla was born on 9 December 1913 to a Parsi family in Navsari near Surat in Gujarat. Her father ran a travelling theatre company- She is a graduate from the Sir JJ School of Art- She married Jamshetji Vyarawalla, a photographer with The Times of India- She began her photography career in the 1930s where a chunk of her work was published during World War II in the Illustrated Weekly. At the beginning, her pictures were published in her husband’s name- In 1942, she moved to New Delhi where she joined British Information Services. Here her work was recognised as she took photographs of several Indian leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru- Most of her photographs were published under the pseudonym “Dalda 13″. The reasons behind her choice of this name were that her birth year was 1913, she met her husband at the age of 13 and her first car’s number plate read “DLD 13”- In 1970, shortly after her husband’s death, Homai Vyarawalla decided to give up photography lamenting over the “bad behaviour” of the new generation of photographers- Later in life, Vyarawalla gave her collection of photographs to the Delhi-based Alkazi Foundation for the Arts.- She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2011- On her 104th birth anniversary, Google paid tribute to her through a doodle.

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Hospital wrongly tags man HIV+

In yet another case of medical negligence in the Capital, a private diagnostic centre wrongly declared an Uttarakhand resident HIV positive. Taking action against the centre, the Delhi Medical Council (DMC) has now directed the authorities to cancel the license of the diagnostic centre.Complainant Salim Ahmad had applied for a job in Dubai and needed a medical fitness certificate for the purpose. A tout referred the Neutech Medical Centre at Taimoor Nagar in New Friends Colony to Ahmad, which declared him HIV positive. He then decided to get a second opinion.To Ahmad’s surprise, the two other centres he approached reported him completely fit. “This callous attitude of the diagnostic centre is highly deplorable and reflects poorly on the management in-charge. This is incompetence. Our committee examined the other two test reports as well, which declared the complainant completely healthy,” Dr Girish Tyagi, registrar, DMC, said. The DMC’s Executive Committee then examined Ahmad’s complaint and asked the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to cancel the license of the diagnostic centre.”Despite repeated notices sent to the Superintendent of the Neutech Medical Centre, it failed to submit a written statement and medical records pertaining to the treatment and tests of Ahmad,” Dr Tyagi added.
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Mumbai: Metal rods found on Harbour line train tracks interrupting peak hour commute

On Monday morning, trains on Harbour line were affected after metal rods were found on tracks. There were three huge metal rods – which has a quadrangular base on one end – found lying on the rail track and across the sleepers. This could have surely proven dangerous for trains, as worse come to worse, it could have resulted in derailment too.This incident came to light at around 7.30 am when the motorman of a local train, heading towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, saw these three long metal rods lying on tracks. It could have easily hit the wheels and base of the train, which could have resulted in derailment.The train was near Masjid station and was heading for CSMT when this incident occurred. The motorman then picked up these three rods and took it to CSMT. It was kept outside the motorman chamber at the concourse of the station.In January this year, 380 kgs and seven meters long metal rod was kept on rail track blocking the entire line, at Diva. Five people were later arrested for the offence by the railway police. Services on Western Railway were also affected between 8-8.30 am due to a case of trespassing accident at Vile Parle. Due to this, trains ran almost 20 minutes late during morning peak hours.
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Meet Babli, the first trans legal consultant of Delhi High Court

Soon after realising her sexual orientation, 23-year-old Babli left her family in 2010, to save her kin from “public shaming”. Seven years down the line, she has made everyone proud after becoming the first transgender person to become a legal consultant of the Delhi High Court.Babli, hailing from Badaun in UP, started working on a project with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority five months ago, after which she was selected for the post. The journey, however, was not easy. Mental torture and harassment were a regular affair for her.”My family has always been very supportive of me and my sexual orientation. But, this didn’t stop the jibes from the neighbours and relatives, that would haunt me daily. When things went out of line, I decided to leave the house. I consulted a trans friend of mine, who had been working as an orchestra dancer, and decided to join them to earn a living,” Babli said.One day, while she was on a tour with her orchestra team, she saw a person beating a trans and it was on that day that she realised she wants to become the voice of the community.”After returning from the tour, I decided to leave the orchestra. I joined a non-governmental organisation, Pahel, to study. There was no looking back thereafter. Though it was not easy initially, I found ways to work around my hurdles. I used to wake up early to cope with others, as I had missed a lot of early schooling,” added Babli.Finally, after toiling day and night, she secured a government job at the Delhi High Court in September.But, what haunts her still is the kind of treatment usually meted out to transgender people.”I know the world sees us differently, but, at the end, we are humans, too. I still do not understand why people see us as untouchables. This was not something we chose. People should treat us equally; we have done no wrong. We are all creations of God. I have also worked with the Delhi Traffic Police in various campaigns creating awareness about traffic rules and believe in doing a lot of social work in the future, too,” she said.Babli now lives a life of respect and proudly identifies herself as a transgender person. The only thing, she says, missing in her life, is her family.
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Delhi HC employs first transgender legal consultant

Soon after realising her sexual orientation, 23-year-old Babli left her family in 2010 to save it from “public shaming”. Seven years down the line, she has done everyone proud after becoming the first transgender person to get a post of a legal consultant with the Delhi High Court.Babli, hailing from Badaun in UP, started working on a project with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority five months back, after which she was selected for the post but the journey till now was not easy.Daily mental torture and harassment was a regular feature for her throughout her struggling days.Also readTransgender, denied job as cabin crew in Air India, moves Supreme Court “Ever since I was conscious of my sexual orientation, my family had been very supportive of me. But the jibes from neighbours and relatives were something that always haunted me. When things crossed a limit, it was then that I decided to leave the house. I consulted a trans friend of mine, who had been working as orchestra dancer, so I decided to join them to earn money,” narrated Babli.One day, while she was on a tour with her orchestra team, she saw a person beating a trans and it was on that day that she realised she would study and work hard to become somebody different and make her community proud.Also readConsider accommodating transgender officer: Delhi High Court“After returning from the tour, I decided to leave the orchestra. I joined a non-governmental organisation, Pahel, to study. Thereafter, there was no looking back for me. Initially, it was not easy but as they say‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. I used to wake up early to cope up with others as I had missed a lot of early schooling,” added Babli.Finally, after working day and night, she got a government job in the Delhi High Court in September. But she still feels bad about the treatment meted out to transgender people.“I know the world sees us differently but at the end, we are human too. I still do not understand why people see us as untouchables. This was not a choice but God has made us like this. People should treat us equally as we have done no harm to them. I have also worked with the Delhi Traffic Police in various campaigns for creating awareness about traffic rules and believe in doing a lot of social work,” she added.Now, Babli lives a life of respect and proudly identifies herself a transgender person. The only thing, she says, missing in her life now is her family.
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Jat leader threatens protest if Haryana govt does not agree to demands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jat leader Yashpal Malik has threatened to hold a protest if the Haryana government did not agree to their demands.”If Haryana government does not agree to our demands then we will hold a protest and many will come to Delhi on tractors and trolleys for the protest,” the Jat leader said in Rohtak on Sunday. However, Union minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said that there is a chance that they will get a reservation and also get through the judicial scrutiny. “When Gujjars and Yadavs can get reservation then why can’t we,” the minister added.In September, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had upheld the constitutional validity of the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act 2016, that provides for 10% to six communities, including Jats.A violent Jat agitation had crippled the state in February, which resulted in the death of many people and widespread damage to property. It was brought under control only after the army staged a flag march. In March 2016, the Haryana Assembly passed the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act 2016, carving out a new BC (C) category which included the communities of Jat, Jat Sikh, Muslim-Jat, Bishnoi, Ror and Tyagi. The act made provisions for reservations to these six communities.

On issue of joining politics, my wife clearly says no: Raghuram Rajan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ruling out any possibility of entering politics, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today said he is happy being a professor and it’s the job he likes.On being asked if he had an offer from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to join the Rajya Sabha, he said, “No comments on whether I was offered anything. When I was in RBI, people were desperate to get me off to IMF, when I am back as professor, people are desperate to see me elsewhere. I am very happy being a professor. I have my brain working many hours of day.It is a job I like.”On possibility to join politics, Rajan said, “The answer is no…on issue of politics my wife says very clearly no.” The AAP had approached Rajan offering him a Rajya Sabha seat from Delhi, which was reportedly rejected by the ex-RBI governor.In a recorded interview played at the Times Litfest here, Rajan, without disclosing much details, said he is working on another book.This book will be “an attempt to understand better the world we live in. The issue of identity, issue of community and how it impinges on the broader process of economic integration and growth”, he said.His last book, titled ‘I do what I do’ was released in September, touched various aspects of the Indian economy.He also talked about issues like tolerance and connection between political freedom and prosperity in the book, which was a collection of essays and speeches during his stint as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor.Talking about the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Rajan said it is good in the long run even though there are some issues.”There is need to remove the glitches,” he observed.On the relationship between the RBI and the government, the former central bank governor said that it has been developed over the years and it is largely of mutual respect.”Yes, there are frictions which are always there in any relationship,” he said.To a question if autonomy of the RBI as an institution compromised, he said, he is not alarmed.The RBI functions under the government and complete independence is not possible, he said.

Despite bad service, MU pays MetritTrac over Rs 1.18 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even after a series of goof-ups and delays, the University of Mumbai has cleared the payment of over Rs 1.18 crore to MetritTrac — the agency that was assigned the task of onscreen evaluation at the varsity. The response furnished by the varsity to RTI activist Anil Galgali revealed that despite a series of glitches which led to an unprecedented delay in declaration of results, the university paid the company.The response revealed that MeritTrac Services Pvt Ltd has raised 2 bills on the university, the 1st amounting to Rs 1,48,63,750 which was raised on 18 May, and the 2nd amounting to Rs 2,69,27,350 which was raised on 16 August, 2017. Of the Rs 4,17,91,100 claimed by the company, the varsity made a partial payment of Rs 1,18,17,404.“Despite the glitches in the working of the whole process due to the company’s inefficiency, the university has continued to pay the service provider. The office of the Governor removed the then VC, Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, from his post due to the result mess but has failed to take any action against the company so far. The company should be blacklisted immediately,” said Galgali.Earlier this month, another RTI response received by Galgali had revealed that the university passed the purchase order for awarding the contract to the company on April 27, 2017.

Jaipur: Retired IAS officer arrested on charges of raping girl in 2013

Updated: Nov 21, 2017, 04:33 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Retired IAS officer BB Mohanty has been arrested on charges of raping a 23-year-old girl in 2013, police officials said here today.Mohanty was arrested last night. He was chairman of the Rajasthan Civil Services Appellate Tribunal at the time the FIR was registered. He was suspended by the government and later retired. Mohanty surrendered… and was placed under arrest last night. He will be produced in a local court today, Deputy Commissioner of Jaipur Police (South) Yogesh Dadhich told PTI.He surrendered before an assistant commissioner of police (ACP).A case against Mohanty was filed in January 2014 after a girl accused him of raping her in February 2013 on the pretext of helping her clear the civil service exam. The FIR was lodged with the Mahesh Nagar police station following directions by a lower court.

Delh HC pulls up AAP govt for not appointing regular teachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday rapped the AAP Government for not following its directions on appointing regular teachers in its schools.”Enough is enough, nothing has been done since 2011… As appointment of guest teachers is in fashion, so you (government) are also following it,” Justice A K Chawla said. The court said its direction for appointment of regular teachers has been “frustrated” and the rush was only to recruit guest teachers. The judge said the court’s directions are not to be taken “lightly” and asked the Delhi government to begin the process of appointing regular teachers soon.The court said its earlier orders were not being implemented and the government’s “only concern was that contract teachers are to be appointed in the form of guest teachers”. Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh said it was a policy decision which has to be taken by the Lieutenant Governor before whom the issue whether to give extra weightage to guest teachers was pending. It was up to the LG whether he can consider the request of the government or take a different view, he said, adding that the experience of guest teachers should not wasted that is why weightage was being given.The court said it was due to the weightage criteria that everything has been put on hold. “The entire process has been held up due to the weightage criteria. Something needs to be done on this,” it said.The court then asked the government’s counsel how much time will the LG take for a decision and asked him to inform about it on November 22. It also asked Singh to bring an office file relating to the appointment of teachers.The Delhi government had recently informed the court that there was a shortage of over 27,000 regular teachers in government schools here while the present sanctioned regular posts of teachers was 66,736. The court was hearing DoE’s plea to vacate the September 27 stay on the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in government schools so that it could fill nearly 9,000 vacancies. It had said its interim order of stay will continue.The government had said the stay was causing problem to students who were suffering due to shortage of teachers. The AAP government has filed the application in a pending contempt plea filed by NGO Social Jurist, represented through advocate Ashok Agarwal, seeking a stay on the order of the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) withdrawing a notice on appointment of 8,914 school teachers.The court had stayed the appointment process after it was informed that the authorities have not complied with the high court’s 2001 order. The court was also informed that a bill was recently passed in the Delhi Legislative Assembly to regularise all guest teachers appointed since 2010.The NGO’s plea said after a high court order of April 11, the DSSSB issued vacancy notice on August 7 inviting applications from candidates for 8,914 teaching posts in the DoE of the Delhi government and for 5,906 teaching posts in the three municipal corporation schools here. It alleged that the DSSSB, without informing or seeking permission from the court, had on August 24 “abruptly withdrawn the advertisement” regarding these vacancies.

DeMo and GST can impact poll outcome in Banaskantha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lack of public education services, difficulties in getting remunerative prices for agricultural crops, impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation might have a telling effect on the poll outcome in Gujarat, felt those who attended Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s public meeting at Palanpur.Mukesh Thakor, a resident of Palanpur in Banaskantha, said, “In the past few years, 22 government schools in Tharad taluka have been closed and self-financed schools and colleges have mushroomed in the region.”He complained that roads in Palanpur are being resurfaced now only because of the elections in December. Authorities are in no mood to improve public services otherwise.Farmer Somabhai Sankhla (52) of Amirgadh said that most farmers in the region who came to sell groundnuts have to return disappointed as their crop is rejected at collection centres.Alpesh Thakor of Deesa said farmers are told that they will get money only after one and a half months. “How will we take care of immediate expenses?” he asked. He will never forget demonetisation, he said. He was unable to get his son married last year as he did not have cash in hand. “I have an account with the Bank of Baroda. They were giving Rs 2.5 lakh. This could take care of the food expenses. What about jewellery and other expenses? I have never experienced such cash shortage in four decades of my life,” he rued.Shamalbhai Mali (59) of Amirgadh said that demonetisation and now Goods and Services Tax (GST) had affected earnings in rural and small cities. He is also dissatisfied with the way power is centralised in the hands of Shankar Chaudhary, Health Minister in the state government and chairman of Banas Dairy.Mali said BJP had ruled Gujarat for 22 years now, and government services had deteriorated. “It’s time for change. Congress has a chance to bounce back,” he added.Mukesh Thakor of Palanpur also said that while BJP had to arrange for buses to bring people to its rallies, people are flocking to Congress meetings voluntarily.COMPLAINTSResidents complain that the damaged roads in Palanpur were being attended to just before the elections in December. Authorities were normally in no mood to improve public services otherwise.

Burnt coaches yet to be moved

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 48 hours after two coaches of a Monorail caught fire at Mysore Colony station on Thursday morning, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has still not been able to move the charred coaches from the accident spot. This has severely hit the Monorail services and also resulted in the suspension of the service between Wadala and Chembur.The reason for MMRDA failing to shift the burned train is because the team is still studying to conclude the exact cause of the fire.”We will probably take the burned Monorail back to the depot on Saturday evening. Two coaches that were burned will be lifted with the help of a crane and the other two coaches will be taken by pushing them with the help of another Monorail,” said an MMRDA official.One Monorail train has a total of four coaches. Meanwhile, MMRDA officials have said that they will approach the insurance company claiming the losses and damages occurred due to the fire.However, UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, told DNA, “We haven’t so far decided about the insurance claims. First priority is to inquire into the cause and be sure about the safety. Services will be started after we get reports about the safety of the trains.”According to MMRDA officials, the services will take time to resume and the team is currently trying to identify the cause of the fire. The MMRDA has also said that this incident will affect the second phase of the Monorail, between Wadala and Jacob Circle, which is in its final stages.Of the total ten trains, six are under maintenance and one caught fire. Ever since the first phase of the monorail was commissioned between Wadala and Chembur, it has been in the news for constant breakdowns.Delay aheadThe MMRDA team is still studying to conclude the exact cause of the fire. They have also said that this incident will affect the second phase of the Monorail, between Wadala and Jacob Circle, which is in its final stages.

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.​

Govt’s plea on appointing guest teachers strange: Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has termed the plea to lift a stay on the exercise of appointing guest teachers by the Delhi government “strange” and directed them to file an affidavit stating the number of vacancies in the process.”It is very surprising why the government is proceeding in this way. It is very difficult. They still wish to proceed in the manner they want to, but the procedure has to be followed,” Justice AK Chawla said, adding that the court was not getting a clear picture of the matter.The court’s observation comes even after an affidavit was filed by the Delhi government through its counsel Ramesh Singh. It was hearing the Department of Education of the government’s plea seeking vacation of the stay granted on September 27 on the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in government schools. The government has filed an application in a pending contempt plea filed by NGO Social Jurist, represented through advocate Ashok Aggarwal, seeking a stay on the order of the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection withdrawing a notice on the appointment of 8,914 school teachers.Singh stated the stay order which the court said would continue, is causing a lot of prejudice to students who were suffering due to a shortage of teachers.He contended that till the newly created posts are filled up either through recruitment or regularisation, guest teachers are required as a stop-gap arrangement against the newly created posts, which is not possible now due to the stay order. Following this, the court asked them to come up with a “logical and legal” solution to fill up the vacancies in schools, addign that it was not averse to guest teachers but was concerned about everyone’s interest.

Shiv Sena to contest over 50 seats in first phase

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ally in Maharashtra, will contest over 50 seats in the first phase of Assembly elections in Gujarat, a top party leader said here on Thursday. It will contest mainly in Surat, Saurashtra and Kutch and will come out with a manifesto soon.Party leader Anil Desai said that Gujarat elections are very important. Hindutva and development will be the main issues on which it will seek mandate of the people. “Hindutva is an important part of the core of Shiv Sena’s ideology. Just like Maharashtra, Gujarat is progressive in education, health and other sectors but still a lot needs to be done,” Desai told mediapersons here. He was non-committal on whether party president Uddav Thackeray will come to Gujarat for polling. However, he clarified that they are not in negotiations with any of the party or political formations for an alliance.The party has, however, not finalised the seats it will contest in the first phase. It also has plans to contest in the second phase for which announcement will be made at a later stage. Replying to a question, Desai said that BJP has deviated from its original goal of Hindutva and building Ram Temple.He came down heavily on the proposed Bullet Train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which was recently launched with much fanfare, and said that instead of taking the country in the right direction, the proposed train will take the country in reverse direction. Instead of focussing on such costly projects, the government should focus on improving the existing infrastructure and services,” said Desai.On demonetisation, which happened a year ago as well as Goods and Services Tax (GST) which was rolled out in the country four months ago, the party leader said that both in Maharashtra and Gujarat, businesses have slowed down. “The unorganised sector has been hit the most. The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are in trouble and its cascading effect is being felt on other sectors as well,” he said.The government’s decision to merge Public Sector Banks (PSBs) has also not gone well with the party. Asked if the party would be able to make any impact in elections, Desai said that the party will put candidates for a win and not to enable anyone to win or lose.WHAT’S ON TABLEDevelopment and Hindutva will be the main issues on which the party will seek people’s mandate Sena is not in talks with any party for any sort of alliance However, it still hasn’t finalised all the seats it will contest in the first phase

45 years on, new wine shop permits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Almost 45 years after it stopped issuing fresh permissions for wine shops, the state government is planning to grant new licences, albeit through the backdoor. The state is looking at allowing Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) manufacturers to start retail vends across the state.”We are planning to allow wine shop licences for potable liquor licence (PLL) holders,” a senior state government official said. “For a state that has a population of 11.23 crore, Maharashtra has just 1,737 wine shops, of which just 1,620 are functional. This is much less than states like Karnataka which have a lower population. It affects state excise revenues,” he added. According to him, demand is affected if people cannot access wine shops where liquor is sold in sealed bottles for off-consumption and is cheaper than permit rooms and bars.This lack of access to authorised vends can also lead to tipplers turning to smuggled, duplicate or illicit brews, he noted.Due to opposition from prohibition activists, no new wine or country liquor shop licences have been issued since 1973.Since new wine shop licences cannot be given out, the old ones have to be transferred or shifted. “This has led to the creation of a monopoly as no new licences have been issued,” he said.The official noted that they were considering granting permissions for PLL licence holders to start their own liquor shops. “Now, they have one licence to start a retail vend in the state. These stakeholders are demanding that this limit be increased to one in each district or at least five in the state,” he added, stating that Maharashtra had 42 such functional IMFL manufacturers. Officials admitted that this amounted to the “back-door grant of new wine shop licences.””This is under consideration though a final proposal has yet to be drafted,” the official said. Sources said the state government was likely to tread cautiously on the issue due to political implications.The proposal is also likely to meet with opposition from pro-prohibition activists who point to the social effects of alcohol consumption.Country liquor sales in Maharashtra from April to September 2017 was at 1,469.63 lakh bulk litres (LBL) as against 1,591 LBL for the same period in 2016 – that’s a fall of 7.63%. IMFL off-take stands at 14.33% less at 795.46 LBL against the previous 928.53 LBL.Beer and wine sales have declined by 16.52% and 13.04%, respectively, to end at 1,425 LBL and 25.88 LBL versus 2016’s 1,707.28 LBL and 29.76 LBL.In 2016-17, beer sales fell by 0.95% to end at 3,285.78 LBL against 3,317.32 LBL in the previous fiscal. IMFL sales increased by 2.99% at 1,930.53 LBL compared to 1,874.51 LBL in 2015-16 and CL consumption rose by 2.41% to 3,254.51 LBL against 3,177.83 LBL. Wine sales grew from 61.57 LBL to 64.70 LBL (5.09%).The state excise department is the third highest revenue source for the Maharashtra government after State Goods and Services Tax (GST) and stamp duty and registration fees. For 2017-18, the state excise has set a target of Rs 14,340 crore, 39.46% (Rs 5,659.1 crore) of which had already been met by September.

Mixed reactions to currency ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Note-ban has not hit the practice of corruption at all. The level has gone back to what it was before the announcement. People have started taking bribes again in cash as the supply has increased to normal level. However, a generation of black money has been reduced, but no major impact can be seen.—Anil Agrawal, a Jaipur-based-businessmanIt brought some initial inconvenience which cannot be ignored, especially to daily wage earners but it must be admitted that the government has taken a bold and a necessary step to bring about a reform and it must be given time to have its effect. I think we should be ready to make some contributions as well.—Samhita Pincha, headmistress of a Kolkata schoolI don’t think it has helped in curbing corruption. Instead, it has promoted corruption. Actually, demonetization helped big corporates and bankers to accumulate wealth. People at the grass-root level are suffering. Plus, the order that all money should be deposited in the banks has hit the people in rural, deep rural, tribal and mountainous areas. They do not have easy access to banks. —Dr Ghulam Rasool, RTI activist in New DelhiNote-ban has definitely been a step towards a cashless economy and it will have its long term effect. But to bring down corruption, strong and fast legal steps against corrupt politicians and bureaucrats should be taken. If they get punishment such as lifetime ban from politics, only then corruption can come under control—Sushil Mohta, Director of South City Projects, KolkataBefore note-ban money was directly exchanged but now the format has changed. It has been replaced by gold, land and it has been quite rampant. It has severely impacted small businesses like ours. It is a complete failure. The government has to urgently take some corrective steps.—Sachin Katakdhond, Navi Mumbai-based entrepreneurCorruption is a major issue for the nation. The present government, by scrapping Rs 500 and 1,000 notes, did attempt to address the problem. We were hopeful that things will change, but it is disappointing that the practice still exists. It is not just the government employees, corruption is prevalent in the private sector as well. It is easy to blame others, but as it is said, charity begins from home. The fight needs to begin at an individual level.—Dhaval Jain, a resident of AhmedabadMonetary corruption is nothing but a by-product of monetary transactions and demonetization has virtually stopped all monetary transactions. Hence, all monetary corruption has ended effectively. Note-ban has also adversely affected the textile industry in the country.—Sayed Kashif, a resident of Bhiwandi, MumbaiI don’t think demonetization has hit corruption. It was a useless exercise. Our tourism sector was badly hit. I remember the tourists who were staying in Kashmir that time had faced so many problems. Ninety per cent tourism industry runs on cash. In the far-flung areas there are neither ATMs nor POP machines. —Adil Khan, a hotelier in Jammu and KashmirNote-ban had only caused hardship to the common man. In no way it has reduced corruption. Anyone visiting the government offices will know it for sure. To curb corruption all the state government must first of all pass the right to Services Act to hold officials accountable for the inaction and computerise all the services to ensure transparency. The government must take steps to implement the Lokpal Bill.—V Gopalakrishnan, an RTI activist from ChennaiThe only change that demonetization seems to have brought in terms of corruption is the fact that earlier old notes were used and now new notes are taken as bribes. For a common man, nothing has changed post demonetization and I do not think that it has hit corruption in any way, except for the initial few months when every one was scared as the government kept talking about rooting out corruption. Ask anyone, they are still paying bribes to get any work done.—Tejas Shah, resident of Kandivali, Mumbaidemonetization had its effect on corruption for a very short period. As per reports, most of the black money circulating in the market has reached the banks or foreign shores. There is no visible reduction in corruption in any sector.—Shahina Khan, Patna-based-educationistWe have still not recovered from it’s effect, the business has suffered heavy losses. I don’t think this was the way to end corruption, as those who are corrupt have found new means to make money.—Ankush Dewesar, a photographer in New DelhiThe impact might have been at the big businesses, but no change can be seen at the ground level. There was a problem of currency during the first month. However, those who were taking Rs 1,000 as bribe earlier, are now taking Rs 2,000. However, people are less interested in cash now. The parallel economy is slowly contracting.—Surendra Shah, Chartered Accountant, JaipurBlack money was converted into white by depositing it in banks. Corruption has not stopped. In fact, in areas like Dharavi, people are paying as high as Rs 50,000 to get a new ration card, all in the vain hope that this will make them eligible for housing under the state government’s Dharavi makeover project—Gorakh Avhad, activist, MumbaiNote-ban has hit our market badly. It has hardly had any impact on corruption. I can say corruption has increased rather than decreasing. Corruption is everywhere in Kashmir. There is no department or section where corruption has stopped. It seems as if corruption has become legal. —Bashir Ahmad Bashir, fruit dealer in J&KPeople who are assigned to do the work legitimately do not want to work and still charge money for that. Corruption still exists. Corruption is a problem of the human mind and cannot be dealt with machines only. Human mind has to be changed but the whole system from top to bottom is still dependent on money gained through corrupt means. demonetization has failed to meet any of its objectives, especially recovery of black money. —Dr Sucha Singh Gill, former director, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Chandigarh

Arvind Kejriwal asks for setting up of committees to help traders hit by demonetisation, GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the first anniversary of Centre’s demonetisation move, the Delhi government on Tuesday announced it would extend relief to traders whose businesses were affected by it. The government also announced they would constitute committees to help it in taking decisions related to the newly introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST).Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that demonetisation, followed by introduction of the new tax regime GST, had adversely affected the interests of traders. “More than 40-50 per cent of small ventures/small industries have been shutdown in industrial areas of Delhi, which has shaken the economy as thousands of youth working there have become jobless,” he said in a statement.He suggested that Delhi government fix GST at 12 per cent on all commodities, with 6 per cent of the tax resting with the central government and 6 per cent given to state governments to carry out developmental activities.Kejriwal also directed the Trade and Tax Department to set up GST market support committees to make suggestions to the government on the new tax regime. “These committees can make WhatsApp groups of their respective market associations and collect their suggestions, which can later be put to the forum of GST council for broader decision-making,” he said.Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also said that regular interaction with traders is a must for better understanding of their issues. “The traders are on ventilators due to the ill-effects of the levy of GST,” he said.

Severely hit, hospitality sector yet to recover fully

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the Central government announced demonetization a year ago, among the several businesses that went into a tizzy was the food and beverage industry. Making matters worse for them was the double onslaught of government making service charge obligatory and introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST). A year later, the industry is still trying to recover the losses it incurred last year.Since November 8, the sales have dipped along with the number of customers and the cash in their hands. Talking to DNA, Kazem Samandari, Director of L’Opera French Bakery, said: “Demonetization affected our business in several ways — the ticket size, the number of customers, and finally the payment methods. Also, the mix of payment methods has changed. Whereas cash payments had declined to less than 25 per cent of all payments in the immediate aftermath of demonetization, they gradually increased to reach 50 per cent.”He added: “The medium and lower segments of our customers have been mostly affected. Affluent customers continue their purchases. We have, however, experienced a decline in the number of visitors to our shops. The market is definitely not the same.”For others such as Umang Tewari, owner of The Vault Café, survival has become the operative word while growth has taken a backseat after the note ban. “The market is just not the same. Two consecutive major decisions have taken a toll on business models. Earlier, our focus was growth. Now, we are thinking only about our survival. There was a severe cash crunch in the market. While we were still coping with that , another blow was dealt in the form of GST. All this brought down the business by 50 per cent.”

Ex-PM Manmohan Singh on a visit to Ahmedabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Ahmedabad on Tuesday, on the eve of the first anniversary of demonetization. In the short visit, Singh will speak on issues like the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the business in the country.Singh will address a gathering at Sardar Patel Memorial in Shahibaug area, said Manish Doshi, spokesman of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC). Earlier, he was to address a gathering at the auditorium of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), but the venue was shifted, said sources.Sources added that the former Prime Minister, who is also one of the key architects of liberalisation of Indian economy, will speak on demonetization and GST, which has again given a massive jolt the the economy, especially the informal sector, which employs masses in rural areas and in small cities in towns.

Demonetization hit the poor hard: Manmohan Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The impact of demonetisation “on the weaker sections of our society and business is far more damaging than any economic indicator can reveal,” said former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh in an interview to a news agency on the first anniversary of the Narendra Modi government’s move to declare all five-hundred and thousand rupee currency notes invalid.Singh termed demonetisation “an attack on the independence and credibility of the RBI as an institution” and expressed fears regarding a “creeping culture of erosion of institutions in other spheres” as well. He called on his successor and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work towards consensual policy solutions to rebuild the Indian economy.The former PM expressed concerns regarding the loss of jobs in the small and medium enterprises sector and also emphasised the exacerbating impact that may have on inequality. He, however, described effort to reduce cash-based transactions nudging the economy towards digital payments as “laudable pursuits”.However, he also said, “We also need to get our economic priorities right. It is unclear that these goals of cashless economy will indeed help small enterprises become larger and achieve scale efficiencies. That should be our priority”. Commenting on whether efforts to bring the country’s vast informal economy, by some estimates at 40 percent of gross domestic product, into the tax net via demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax, Singh said “the means is as important as the ends” and the ends cannot be achieved “through coercion or threats or raids which can be counter-productive”.

Why no 3rd gender option in aviation hiring forms, asks SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging discrimination, a transgender filed a petition in the Supreme Court after her dream of being a cabin crew with an airline was cut short. Acting on the petition, the top court issued a notice to the Civil Aviation Ministry and Air India — who denied her the job.The bench, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, sought a response from the aviation ministry on why there is no “Third Gender” category in recruitment forms.To gain experience and bolster her resume, Shanavi Ponnusamy, an engineering graduate, worked with Sutherland Global Services and the Air India Customer Support in Chennai.Earlier this year, Ponnuswamy applied for the position of a cabin crew advertised by Air India. The Chennai resident, who was born a male, believed she fit the eligibility criteria since by then she had already undergone successful sexual reassignment surgery from Bangkok.“The petitioner pursuant thereto, applied for the said post, as she fulfilled the eligibility criteria. She applied in the female category. The petitioner received the call letter for the GD and PAT and also appeared for the said tests. The petitioner has taken four attempts so far but unfortunately she has not been shortlisted for the post in question even though she fared well in the tests conducted,” her petition read.Despite all attempts, Ponnuswamy was rejected. In response to a representation the petitioner sent to the PMO, the Ministry of Civil Aviation informed the petitioner that there was no transgender category at the time of application in the recruitment policy and as such her case is closed.“That the petitioner has learnt that she has not been able to make the cut on account of the fact that she is a transgender and the vacancies in the cabin crew are earmarked only for women,” the petition said.“The main problems being faced by the transgender community are of discrimination, unemployment, lack of educational facilities, homelessness, and lack of medical facilities. Transgenders have very limited employment opportunities,” she alleged in her petition.

Mamata Banerjee: Use ‘black DPs’ to protest GST, note ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to protest against the Centre’s twin policies of demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked everyone to change their Twitter display picture to black. She set an example by changing hers on Monday, two days ahead of November 8, the first anniversary of demonetization.She dubbed GST as Great Selfish Tax. ‘Great Selfish Tax to harass people. To take away jobs. To hurt businesses. To finish the economy. GoI failed to tackle #GST’, she tweeted.Inviting people for the protest, she tweeted, ‘#Noteban is a disaster. On #Nov8BlackDay to protest against this scam that destroyed the economy. Let us also change our Twitter DP to black’.Quick to respond was TMC MP and party spokesperson Derek O’Brien who followed suit. ‘Responding to @MamataOfficial to make DP black as form of protest for Demo scam. Appeal to all to do the same. Go black #Nov8BlackDay’, he tweeted.Party sources said GST, demonetization and linking Aadhaar with phone and bank accounts would be some of the biggest issues at the winter session of Parliament. Mamata, on October 25, during the meeting of the extended core committee meeting had said, “We were never against GST. What we objected to was the improper, unplanned implementation of GST which resulted in the misery of many.”

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia designated as new Finance Secretary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has been designated as the new Finance Secretary, an official order said today.Adhia is a 1981 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre.The vacancy was caused following the superannuation of Ashok Lavasa last month.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Adhia as the Finance Secretary, the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.As per the convention, the senior most Secretary in the Finance Ministry is designated as the Finance Secretary.There are five departments under the Finance Ministry– Expenditure, Economic Affairs, Financial Services, Revenue and Department of Investment and Public Asset management (DIPAM).IAS officer Rajiv Kumar of 1984 batch is the Financial Services Secretary. Ajay Narayan Jha is Expenditure Secretary and Neeraj Kumar Gupta Secretary, DIPAM. Both are 1982 batch IAS officers.Subhash Chandra Garg, a 1983 batch IAS officer, is Economic Affairs Secretary.

Quit throne, if you can’t control inflation: Rahul Gandhi tells PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another day, another innovative way of hitting out at Narendra Modi government by Congress VP Rahul Gandhi. This time, Rahul posted a small poem to attack the Modi government on Twitter. He tweeted, ” “Mehngi gas, mehnga ration, band karo khokhla bhashan, daam bandho, kaam do, varna khali karo singhasan.” It roughly translates to, ” Gas and ration have become costly. Stop your hollow speeches, get a control on prices, provide job or vacate the throne’. Along with the tweet, he attached a news report on rising prices of liquefied petroleum gas and other items. During his Gujarat tour, Gandhi caught the attention of people, especially social media users, with his attack on the Modi government over rising prices, unemployment, demonetization, poor economy and the Goods and Services Tax. He also called GST as the Gabbar Singh Tax, which became an instant hit on social media. With agency inputs

Gujarat Elections 2017 | Congress taking after LeT in using anti-national tactics: Arun Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday accused the Congress Party of indulging in anti-national tactics and caste-based politics to garner support in poll-bound Gujarat.Addressing a party press conference here, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader further lashed out at the grand old party and its frontrunners and said they were making a ‘suicidal’ and ‘dangerous’ move by dividing the state on the basis of caste.’The Congress party is adopting wrong methods to fight the election and taking after Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in using anti-national tactics which are harmful for the progress of the nation. Their corrupt approach to winning the elections is very dangerous for the progress of the state and the nation in general,’ said Jaitley.’The scenario has always been of BJP versus the rest, and we are used to this majestic isolation since 2002. Development is our foremost agenda in Gujarat, and we aim to make it socially and economically prosperous. While we have a galaxy of leadership to support this, the Congress is solely focused on one member of its family,’ he added.Responding to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of economic reforms like demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jaitley re-iterated that the former ‘does not understand GST’.’In the ten years of Congress leadership, they have done nothing to curb black money or corruption, apart from a few minor policies here and there. Everyone knows that under their governance, there was rampant corruption and policy paralysis in India. The economic reforms taken are to curb the black money menace and squeeze funding to terrorists, and also to promote digitisation,’ he said.Jaitley also assured that any transitional changes or issues faced under the GST will be taken up for deliberation in the forthcoming meetings of the GST Council. (ANI)

Morbi’s ceramic tile sector affected by GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 28% has severely hit nearly 650 manufacturers of ceramic tiles in Morbi. Prior to GST, ceramic products had 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise duty of 12.5%. Players claim that high GST has made their products lose competitive edge over imports from China, which have risen over 25% since July, when GST was rolled out. On the other hand, export shipments from Morbi have halved in the same period.”Since July this year, the Chinese imports in the country have risen by about 25-30% and our exports have halved,” said KG Kundariya, president of Morbi Ceramics Association.He blamed high logistics cost within India for blunting the competitive edge of domestic players. “Shipment cost from China to southern India is lower than transport cost from Morbi to remote places of the country. This makes local products relatively costlier,” he said.It is to be noted that betting high on adaptation of technology, ceramic players have created a competitive edge in production, both in the domestic and export marketd, giving their Chinese competitors a run for money. But the introduction of GST that too at such a high rate has come as a jolt for them, just when they were strengthening their position.

7th pay panel bonanza for 12 lakh state employees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The notification of the new pay scales as per recommendations of the 7th pay commission was issued on Monday. The new rules have come into force from October 1 this year and is now called Rajasthan Civil Services (Revised pay) Rules,2017. Also, the nomenclature has been changed from pay band to pay matrix.Under this,the pay in applicable level in the pay matrix shall be the pay obtained by multiplying the existing basic pay by a factor of 2.57.The figure that will be arrived at will be listed in a particular level in the pay matrix.The same shall be the pay.For example, in case of existing running pay band of PB-1, if the existing grade pay of 2,400 is considered and existing pay in running pay band is 8,160,then the existing basic pay was 10,560 (8160+ 2400). This will be multiplied by 2.57 as per the new calculation and 27,139.20 is obtained. This is being rounded off to 27,139. The level corresponding to this comes in L7 cell which is 27,600. The revised pay therefore in pay matrix is 27,600, as it should either be equal to or should be next higher to 27,139. In general, the new pay scale will give an average rise of 14% in general, across various pay.While the new payment rules will benefit more than 12 lakh state government employees of the state, state government has given yet another relief to the employees coming under grade pay of 2,400 and had got benefit of a previous notification issued by department of finance in June, 2013. The government has decided not to make any recovery of over payment made to the employees who got benefit of this notification as per which the entry pay in running pay band and grade pays for direct recruits was revised erroneously, and in many cases excess payment was therefore given.However, there is a catch in this, the difference of sum of pay plus dearness allowance allowed under the said notification will be treated as personal pay and will be absorbed in future pay increase. The new rules will be applicable from October this year,this means that no decision on arrears has been taken yet by the government.The state government had declared acceptance of the 7th pay recommendations on the day of Dhanteras this year. However, as the notification was issued, sources informed that department of finance was awaiting any clarity on the payment of arrears.

WATCH: Raj Kapoor’s popularity in 2017 strong indication of Indo-Russia ties: MEA in Periscope interaction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One rarely expects a discussion on the weighty issue of Indo-Russia ties to feature iconic Bollywood actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor in the staid world of diplomacy.But the Ministry of External Affairs wants to break the mould, as part of which it launched a social media interactive session, ‘Ask the Spokesperson’, today.MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar held a nearly 20-minute-long session on ‘Periscope’ where he fielded a volley of questions thrown up by viewers, ranging from ‘Is SAARC dead?’ to recruitment in the Indian Foreign Services.On the stalled SAARC process, Kumar said a meaningful progress will happen only when there is an atmosphere of trust and security and an environment “free of terror”.Asked about India’s ties with Russia, he underlined how Raj Kapoor continues to be popular there, which is reflective of the “time-tested relationship” between the two countries.His somewhat unconventional take on the issue was in line with the stated objective of the initiative, which is essentially making people aware of the “nuances” of foreign policy.”The idea is to explain to the common people the nuances of foreign policy. To give replies in very simple terms. For example, when someone asks a question on Russia, I will try to give them an answer which is very simple and try to connect it at their level,” Kumar told reporters during a briefing earlier in the day.Such sessions will be held once in two months, he said.

Indian Army court-martials soldier who strayed across LoC during surgical strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chandu Babulal Chavan, the Indian Army soldier who crossed the Line of Control during the surgical strikes, was court-martialed on Wednesday.According to reports, the Army found him guilty and sentenced Chavan to two months imprisonment. The soldier’s pension for two years has also been forfeited. However, the Army said that the sentence has not been confirmed by the competent authority.Though the soldier maintained that he inadvertently crossed the LoC, there were reports that Chavan had deserted his post during the surgical strikes carried out in September last year.Pakistan had handed over Chavan in January this year. The soldier had returned through the land transit route of Attari-Wagah border. The BSF handed him over to the Army which took him to an undisclosed location. The 22-year-old, who was posted with 37 Rashtriya Rifles, had surrendered to Pakistani forces, the Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan Army’s media wing had said in a statement.They, in fact, alleged that the Sepoy crossed over willfully over ‘his grievances of maltreatment against his commanders’.Chavan belongs to Borvihir village in Dhule district of Maharashtra. His grandmother suffered a cardiac arrest and died after the family was informed that he was captured by the Pakistan Army.

L-G, govt fight over guest teachers turns ugly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ongoing fight between Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took an ugly turn on Wednesday, with none of them ready to back down over the issue of the Bill to regularise guest teachers. The two even sent letters to each other, explaining their stand regarding the Bill.In his letter, Baijal rejected Sisodia’s claim that a Bill on regularisation of guest teachers was pending with his office, saying a solution could be found within the relevant laws rather than “public posturing”.”The Bill has not yet been presented to him (L-G) along with the requisite reports, as required under the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules. Thus, it would not be correct to say that the Bill is pending for his consideration,” the L-G office stated, quoting Baijal’s letter to Sisodia.The L-G further said that the Bill was passed by the Delhi Assembly despite his advice to reconsider the decision as the Bill was not in accordance with the constitutional scheme of governance. “A solution to this problem could be found within relevant laws rather than public posturing,” he said.At the same time, in his letter to Baijal, Sisodia said that he had come to know that the L-G ordered the Education Department to advertise vacancies for teachers, without giving guest teachers a path to regularisation. He also urged Baijal to not destroy all that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) dispensation had built so far, asking him to not “override” the decisions of the elected government.Sisodia also said that he had come to know that the Chief Secretary had sent a file on the Bill, without showing it to either the law minister or the education minister.”When I ask the officers why this file was not shown to me or the teacher recruitment issue was not discussed with me, I’m told that your office (L-G’s) has given them clear instructions that no files regarding the issue need to be shown to the elected government,” he alleged.Earlier this month, the Delhi Assembly had passed the Regularisation of Services of Guest Teachers and Teachers Engaged Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Bill, 2017.High Court surprised at govt pleaThe Delhi High Court has expressed surprise on an application moved by the Delhi government, seeking to vacate the stay on appointment of guest teachers to fill vacancies in schools. Justice AK Chawla sought the response of Social Jurist on the plea and fixed the matter for November 9. Appearing for the government, standing counsel Ramesh Singh said the order to stay the appointments was prejudiced against students, who were suffering due to shortage of teachers.He added that guest teachers were a stop gap arrangement.

Mersal row: BJP’s H Raja questions Vijay’s religion; advocate files complaint against actor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>H Raja, the National Secretary of the BJP on Monday lashed out at South Indian actor Vijay for his statements criticising the Goods and Service Tax in the 2017 film Mersal.Questioning Vijay’s religion, Raja shared a picture of Vijay’s college identity card that speaks of his Christian heritage with the tweet ‘Truth is bitter’.Earlier, a complaint was filed against tue actor by advocate Muthu Kumar for showing ‘temples and Central Government schemes in bad light’The movie criticised the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that did not go down well with the BJP. Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and the party’s national secretary H Raja strongly opposed it, claiming that some dialogues were “highly inappropriate”. The film production house today said that if needed, it would delete scenes that have caused “misunderstanding”.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to “interfere” and saying that cinema was a “deep expression” of Tamil culture.

Mersal row: Important topic addressed. Well done, tweets Rajinikanth

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday lauded the crew of actor Vijay’s starrer ‘Mersal’, saying the film has addressed an important issue.However in a terse Twitter message, he did not explicitly refer to any specific issue, although the film has courted controversy over Goods and Services Tax, with BJP claiming that there have been incorrect references to the central taxation.”Important topic addressed….. well done!!! congratulations team#mersal’ Rajinikanth said in a brief tweet.Diwali release “Mersal” has kicked up a row with the BJP taking exception to references on GST in the movie.BJP leaders, including Raja, a national secretary in the party, state president Tamilisai Soundarajan and Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, have been demanding that the “incorrect” references be deleted from the big-budget flick.However, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, his senior colleague P Chidambaram, DMK working president M K Stalin, veteran star Kamal Haasan and a host of Tamil cinema industry representatives had supported the film crew on the issue.The BJP had on October 20 objected to what it termed as “untruths” regarding the GST in just-released “Mersal”, and wanted dialogues on the central taxation to be deleted.Actor Vishal had earlier accused Raja of advocating piracy by watching the movie online, a charge rejected by latter.

In Pics: Nirmala Sitharaman celebrates Diwali with security personnel in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman celebrated Diwali today with military personnel at the strategically important tri-services command on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Sitharaman, who arrived at the command yesterday, also reviewed its security preparedness and other operational matters.The defence minister also paid homage to the Indian Air Force personnel and their families who were killed during the Tsunami in the Car Nicobar islands.She also visited a naval facility and the Coast Guard base under the Andaman and Nicobar command here.”RM @DefenceMinIndia Smt @nsitharaman celebrates Diwali with troops&their families at Tri-Services Command A&N (sic),” the defence ministry tweeted.This is her first visit to the strategically important command after assuming charge as the defence minister.On her arrival yesterday, she was accorded a joint services guard of honour.Later, she was given a comprehensive brief on the security environment and thrust areas of the command at its headquarters, officials had said yesterday. PTI MPB TIR

Share broker Ketan Parekh absconding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The director of Panther Fincap and Management Services Limited, who was convicted in 2008 for his role in circular trading (manipulation) in the stock exchange in the late 90s, has now been declared absconding by a Special SEBI Court. A public notice regarding the same was issued on October 12 signed by Special Judge SEBI Special Court.The notice reads that Ketan Parekh is suspected to have committed the offense punishable under section 24(2) of the Securities Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, and a warrant of arrest to his addresses have returned.The notice signed by Special Judge, reads, “Ketan Parekh cannot be found and whereas it has been shown to my satisfaction that the said accused Ketan Parekh has absconded or is concealing himself to avoid the service of the said warrant.”

3-year-old Indian girl goes ‘missing’ in US after bizarre late-night punishment by father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One week since a three-year-old Indian girl vanished during an alleged incident of bizarre late-night punishment meted out by her Indian foster father, police in Richardson are yet to find a clue as to what happened to her, US media reports said today.Sherin Mathews vanished last Saturday after her father Wesley Mathews told police he left her outside at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk.Mathews claimed that when he went to check on her around 3:15 am she was gone. Police said he waited five hours before reporting Sherin missing.During an interview with detectives, Wesley Mathews said he checked around his home for Sherin and then went back inside to do laundry. He was released from jail last Sunday after posting his USD 250,000 bond.Neighbours of the Indian-American couple have turned the tree across the backyard alley from Sherin s home in Richardson in Dallas, Texas into a memorial to the little girl. People have left teddy bears, balloons, angel figurines, a box of written prayers, and even a single gallon of milk, WFFA TV reported.It is the tree where her father Wesley claims he left the girl as punishment. He claims that when he came back to get her she was gone.Wesley has since been arrested, and bonded out, on a charge of child endangerment and ordered to wear an ankle monitor as the investigation continues. But after a week, with searches that included the help of the FBI, Richardson police tell News 8 on this 8th day of her disappearance that they have no new information to report.US Child Protective Services has taken custody of the couple’s older 4-year-old daughter and neither Wesley Mathews nor his wife have talked publicly about what happened.Police are still looking for any surveillance video or information that will help show them where the family s SUV went when it disappeared for an hour that morning.So far, tips from the public have not led to any definitive clues that could lead police to Sherin.”I pray every night, but I more pray the mama say the truth because this baby need to be in peace, and the people feeling bad need to be in peace too, said a local resident Silvia Johnson.Police are asking people to check surveillance footage for a maroon Acura SUV they say left the home an hour after Sherin disappeared.”We would like to thank those who have provided tips and video up to this point. We are diligently working our way through all of the material. We continue to request businesses and residents within a 30-minute drive of the 900 block of Sunningdale to check your video systems to see if there is any footage that may have captured a 2013 maroon Acura MDX SUV on Saturday, October 7th, between 4AM and 5AM, Richardson Police Department said recently in a Facebook post.Police have not said how they know the car was missing or who was driving. Investigators removed three of the family’s cars, including the Acura SUV, from the home earlier last week for analysis.Detectives have not said whether Wesley Mathews is a suspect, but they have cleared his wife Sini Mathews. Police previously said she was asleep and unaware her husband had made their daughter stand outside as punishment.”She is distraught. As you are all aware, they adopted Sherin, and they love Sherin,” Sini’s attorney Kent Starr said. “All she wants is for her daughter to be returned.” ​

Fire breaks out at Ghazipur landfill

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major fire was reported on Saturday at the Ghazipur landfill site in east Delhi. However, no casualties were reported, said officials of Delhi Fire Services (DFS). The fire took place a little over a month after a portion of the Ghazipur landfill collapsed killing two people on September 1.“We received a call around 5.48 pm regarding the fire. Five to six fire tenders were rushed to the spot,” said DFS officials. “There is a permanent fire at the landfill. This time it spread to a wider area. The tenders doused the fire within an hour,” officials said.

Don’t post us in field areas as we are ‘non-combatants’, says members of Indian Army Service Corps

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a move that has led to some degree of consternation in India’s defence establishment, some personnel from the Army Service Corps (ASC) have said that since they are “non-combatants” they should should not be considered for posting in field areas. In response, the Indian Army has stated that it was never in dispute that all arms and services are “combatants” and at no stage has the Army referred to Service Units being non-combatant units.“Army performs its role in war and peace as a whole and not in isolated compartments. Each Arm and Service has designated role and function,” the Army has said after the matter cropped up during the recently held Army Commanders Conference.The roots of this controversy lie in a bitter career progression battle that has been ranging on between the various entitites that function under the Combat Arms, Combat Support Arms and Services categories.Several personnel working with Services like the Armed Service Corps, Ordnance, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers have now started complaining that their career progression is not at par with their counterparts in Combat Arms like Infantry, Armoured and Mechanized.And to take argument further, the aggrieved personnel have stated that since they are being treated as “non-combatants”, they should be not posted in combat duties in field postings.The Army, on its part, has maintained that Combat Arms, Combat Support Arms and Services are “operational entities” of Army having “clear and defined roles with charter of duties”.The Army has also maintained consistently that without diluting the role played by Services in maintaining logistic support to Combat Arms during operations, Commanding Officers of ASC, Ordnance and Electronics and Mechanical Engineers are not required to largely remain in contact with frontline forces where major combat may take place during operations.“Therefore, ages of Command of Services could be higher than those of arms, where COs are expected to move forward in the combat zone, where their physical efficiency becomes relevant,” the Army has said.The Army also says that a number of Officers, JCOs and Other Ranks from Combat Support Arms and logistic units are posted on tenure basis in infantry units dealing with counter insurgency and counter terrorism in a bid to boost the strength essential in “Line of Control, Low Intensity Conflict, Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment”.“This also provides much necessary operational experience to these Officers, JCOs and Other Ranks,” the Army has stated adding that performance of personnel from Services has been “noteworthy”.Army sources say that around 20 years back, the career progression of personnel working in Services was far better than those working in Combat Arms and that the cream of the personnel used to opt to Services and not Combat Arms.“This had led to a situation where it became difficult to keep the motivational levels high for infantry personnel who are supposed to go to the battle zone and take bullets for you,” a source explained. “It was then that the system realized that the handle of the axe had got converted to iron while the bladed head had become of wood. A force needs to keep the sharpness of the weapon intact. That’s why policies were made to ensure that personnel who were fighting the country’s battles continue to be motivated,” the source added.The Army maintains that in correcting an earlier anomalous situation, some new issues may have got created but Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat has already said that he would “consider all arms and services at par and they would get their dues that they deserve”. The Army has also assured of all necessary corrections to put to rest all anguish amongst some personnel regarding discrimination in their status.

Truckers strike enters Day 2

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The transportation services of goods remained affected on Monday in the Delhi-NCR region due to the ongoing strike of truck drivers. The strike, called by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), affected business worth nearly Rs 4,000 crore.”Around 1.5 lakh goods transport vehicles, including trucks, leave and enter Delhi-NCR daily. The operations were fully shut, hitting business worth around Rs 4,000 crore,” AIMTC Chairman Kultaran Singh said.The two-day strike may cause problems in the supply of perishables, such as milk and vegetables, among others, but no major disruption in the supply is expected, according to the operators. The truck operators across the country are on a token strike against the Goods and Services Tax (GST), high diesel prices, and harassment on roads. “If the government fails to take any steps to redress the grievances of the truck operators, an indefinite strike may be called after Diwali,” Singh said.The trucks were completely off-road in the Delhi-NCR region and surrounding areas. However, routine work at offices and godowns went on, Delhi Goods Transport Organisation President Rajender Kapoor said.”We will hold a meeting of goods transporters across the country in Delhi after Diwali and take a decision on the future course of action. If we go on a strike, it will be an indefinite one,” Singh added.Truck operators have been demanding concessions on the GST and bringing down prices of diesel, besides raising their voice against the “oppression and corruption” among road transport officers in different states.”Over 90 per cent truck operators are small ones, having less than five vehicles. They cannot comply with the GST. So, we are demanding no-registration, no-compliance,” Singh said.”Despite the falling international prices, diesel prices have only gone up here. The government should provide us relief by bringing down the prices. A major problem faced by the truck operators is corruption and extortion by road transport officers during inter-state operations and that needs to be sorted out,” he said.

In Sivakasi, SC ban casts long shadow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court’s ban on the sale of firecrackers within the National Capital Region threatens to affect the livelihood of lakhs of people in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi, the fireworks hub of India that is now staring at a loss of up to Rs 600 crore this Diwali season. Sivakasi generates about Rs 4,000 crore in sales annually.Already hit by demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax, fireworks manufacturers are worried the ban might spread to other cities if non-profits push take up the issue in those courts.Diwali is the main season for the crackers business, when 90 percent of all fireworks sale happen, said PC Asaithambi, President of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (Tanfama), said. The NCR region, which includes Delhi, is a major market, accounting for 15-20 per cent of Diwali sales.Asaithambi said that by this time, orders from the NCR region have likely been dispatched after paying advance tax under GST regime.”The dealers purchase the crackers paying an advance or on credit from the manufacturers, and pay the dues after the Diwali sale. (The ban) will be a huge loss for dealers and manufacturers,” he told DNA.Under new GST rules, goods (crackers) dispatched to a particular person or company in one state cannot be diverted to another, he noted. However, he ruled out any move to appeal as Diwali is a mere 10 days away.

Changes announced by GST Council not ‘Diwali gift’: Uddhav Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray continued to attack the BJP government on the state of the economy and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Saturday.”People are still not happy. Petrol prices are still high, inflation is still up,” Thackeray pointed out.”I thank Central govt for reducing tax slabs under GST, but will it refund the tax collected so far? I’m not an economist to comment on yesterday’s announcements but I must say that the previous govt stood firm on its decisions. Now decisions are being changed following opposition and dissatisfaction among people.”He also lashed out at PM Modi referring to the GST Council’s decisions as an early “Diwali gift”. “The changes announced by the GST Council are not Diwali gifts. Several more changes are required. These changes were only announced in light of the forthcoming Gujarat election.”Striking a warning tone, the Shiv Sena chief said, “The time of final decision has come. We’re here to to serve people and will continue doing that.”On questions of whether Shiv Sena is taking a decision on its alliance with NDA, he said, “We don’t give ultimatum to anyone.We take decision whenever we think so.” Three months after the roll-out of the new indirect tax regime, the GST Council yesterday made sweeping changes to give relief to small and medium businesses on filing and payment of taxes, eased rules for exporters and cut tax rates on more than two dozen items.(With Agency Inputs)

Employee who resigned cannot ask for pension: Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court rejected the plea of a CRPF constable and stated that a resigned employee cannot ask for pension. The court called it, “a voluntary act of the employee,” that “leads to termination of the employer-employee relationship.”The employee, constable Raj Kumar, moved the court 17 years after he resigned from his service as a cook after working for more than 10 years.”Resignation is a voluntary act of the employee. Once accepted, it leads to termination of the employer-employee relationship. Resignation, therefore, has its own consequences and cannot be equated to and is not similar to punishments imposed on the government servant,” the court said in its order.Kumar challenged Rule 26 of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 stating that it violates the articles of Indian Constitution granting equality.According to the rule, resignation from service or post entails forfeiture of past service. However, the plea contended that the forfeiture stipulation violates Articles 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the Constitution which grants equality to citizens.Kumar had joined the services on May 22, 1989, but resigned from his services and was discharged on March 31, 2000. According to him, he was entitled to a grant of pension gratuity or both at the rate not less than two-thirds and not more than a full pension.”Compulsory retirement is a penalty and therefore, a government servant who is penalised does not lose and cannot be denied pension or gratuity and the same have to be paid at least not two-thirds (of the full pension)” the plea said.The court held that there are distinctions between the terms resignation, retirement on superannuation, voluntary retirement etc.”Resignations are entirely distinct and separate. The government neither compels nor forces the employee to leave…We do not think the petitioner can claim the discrimination or violation of Articles 14, 16, 19, 21 of the Constitution asserting that where punishment of compulsory retirement is imposed, the employee is entitled to pension which would be no less than two-thirds,” the court said.A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Navin Chawla noted that “in cases of dismissal or removal unless otherwise stipulated, an employee would lose his right to pension and retirement benefits”.The court also said the petitioner had himself terminated the relationship between the employee and employer.”The representation made by the petitioner was rejected which records and also notices the periods of unauthorised absence from duty. The penalty of confinement for 20 days to Quarter Guard and forfeiture of pay and allowances of a certain period was imposed,” the court said.

GST Council meet: Exporters get tax relief for 6 months, threshold for composition scheme hiked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of the festive season, the GST council on Friday announced relief for traders. Exporters have got tax relief for six months. Returns for the month of July and August will be refunded through cheques from October 10 and October 18 respectively, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. Finance Minister mentioned that there has been a blockage in credit of exporters which affects their cash liquidity.Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore will be allowed to file quarterly returns.The finance minister said that the GST Council has agreed to allow SMEs with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore to file quarterly returns instead of monthly filings. About 90 per cent of the taxpayers will be benefited by this change, Arun Jaitley added. E-wallet gateway will be developed and introduced after six months. In-principle it has been agreed upon to bring down the rate for AC restaurants to 12 percent. The threshold for composition scheme in Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been hiked from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore, PTI reported. The decision was taken during the 22nd GST Council meeting, which was chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi. Finance Minister said that Pattern of collection (of GST) is not clear after two months because it was a period of transition. Jaitley also announced that GST rates on 27 items have been reduced. Jaitley said the Council also decided to cut GST rate on 27 common use items. GST on unbranded namkeen, unbranded ayurvedic medicine, sliced dried mango and khakra has been cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, while the same on man-made yarn used in textile sector has been reduced to 12 per cent from 18 per cent.Tax on stationery items, stones used for flooring (other than marble and granite), diesel engine parts and pump parts has been cut to 18 per cent from 28 per cent. GST on e-waste has been slashed to 5 per cent from 28 per cent. Food packets given to school kids under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) will attract 5 per cent tax instead of 12 per cent. Job works like zari, imitation, food items and printing items would attract 5 per cent tax instead of 12 per cent.Government contracts involving high amount of labour will be levied 5 per cent GST instead of 12 per cent in order to contain cost of those programmes, he said.

GST Council, Yashwant Sinha, Udit Narayan and FIFA U-17 World Cup: DNA morning must reads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>GST Council to extend major relief to SMEs, exporters todayThe Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, the decision-making body for the new unified indirect tax, is likely to announce a slew of reliefs including quarterly return filing for small businesses and sops to exporters in its meeting today. It may enable exporters to utilise benefits and incentives derived from foreign trade policy to pay Integrated GST (IGST), push-back of reverse charge mechanism (RCM) among relaxations to ward off growing resentment among indirect taxpayers. dnai.in/f6h9Yashwant Sinha attacks govt, BJP hits back with ‘apologist’ jabStriking a defiant note, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who has been attacking the NDA government on its handling of economy, on Thursday said it will be the best day of his life when asked about possible disciplinary action from the party over his comment. Sharing dias with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Manish Tewari at a function to release Tewari’s book ‘Tidings of Troubled Times’, Sinha said when he first wrote a newspaper article on the state of economy, an attempt was made to portray it as him sulking after failing to get some favour and a result of a dispute between him and his son Jayant Sinha. dnai.in/f6hG’Halal Dasta’: Pakistan’s ISI launches new terror outfit to target IndiaPakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has allegedly launched another militant outfit named “Halal Dasta” which consists of members of the banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The new terror outfit literally means “Killer Squad”. Halal Dasta is operating along with Pakistan Army’s Border Action team or BAT, reports Zee News based on inputs from top Indian intelligence sources. dnai.in/f6fIFIFA Under-17 World Cup | India v/s USA, Preview: Hosts set to make debut as history beckonsFootball minnows India stand on the cusp of history as the hosts are set to make their debut in a FIFA event against a formidable USA in a group match of the U-17 World Cup, which begins in New Delhi on Friday. India qualified automatically for the event as hosts. They have prepared well with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) sending the players for training tours in Europe and a tournament in Mexico but the home side are the clear underdogs. dnai.in/f6f5Udit Narayan breaks down: ‘My son made a mistake, he will issue a public apology’Singer Udit Narayan was in Haryana when all hell broke loose regarding his only son Aditya Narayan’s misconduct with an airline personnel at Raipur airport. Udit woke up in shock to read about his son’s misadventure. Says the mortified father, “I was unaware of the developments until someone told me about it. I couldn’t believe it. Aditya is not like that at all. Though he’s our only child, my wife Deepa and I have brought him up with the correct values. So, I was sceptical about the truth of the incident until someone showed me the video. What can I say? We’ve all lost our cool at the airport at some point or another. Aditya was unfortunate enough to have been caught on video.” dnai.in/f6gx

Mamata slams Centre: West Bengal CM calls demonetization ‘biggest disaster’, GST ‘great stunt’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday raked up the issues of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax, dubbing the note ban as the “biggest disaster” and the new tax regime a “great stunt”.”As I had said earlier, demonetisation is the biggest disaster. It has completely ruined the country’s economy.””Also, the GST is a great stunt,” she wrote on her Twitter handle.Banerjee had earlier called the GST roll-out as another “epic blunder” of the Centre after the demonetization.Claiming that the government had “hurriedly” introduced the GST, the chief minister demanded an investigation into the new tax regime.”Why Govt started it hurriedly without making proper plans? The commoners & all traders are the worst sufferers. Thorough investigation is needed,” she said.​

Pak can have strong economic benefits from India if it stops being terror haven: US Def Sec Jim Mattis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan can have strong economic benefits from India if it realises that the “tide has shifted” and stop providing safe havens to terrorists on its soil, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said.Mattis told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that the Trump administration is being very clear and firm in what it expects from Pakistan and is using all aspects of the government to bring about the change, working internationally.His statement comes weeks after President Donald Trump announced his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in which he adopted a tough policy against Pakistan. It also came ahead of Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s talks with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other top officials of the Trump Administration.”There are a number of lines of effort being put together now in Secretary of Treasury’s office, Secretary of State’s office, my own office, the intel agencies. We are also working with Secretary General Stoltenberg to ensure that NATO’s equities are brought to bear,” Mattis said responding to a question on why would Pakistan change its mind on terrorist safe havens this time.Certainly, India has a role to play as a neighbour, and potentially a very strong economic benefit to Pakistan, if Pakistan can find a way to carry out its international responsibilities and end any kind of safe haven inside their country, he noted.”There’s a great deal that Pakistan can benefit economically, diplomatically, financially for its government; economically for its people; by finally sensing that the tide has shifted against this,” Mattis said.He said that the Trump administration believes that it would be highly difficult to sustain any stabilisation in South Asia, not just in Afghanistan, but certainly anywhere around Pakistan and India unless safe havens are removed.Mattis was responding to questions from lawmakers who wanted to know why the administration believes that Pakistan will change its behaviour this time.Trump has said that he would change the US approach to Pakistan, which continues to harbour militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials, said Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.”But we still do not know what specific steps the United States will take to convince or compel Pakistan to change its behaviour, or what costs we will impose if Pakistan fails to do so,” McCain said.Indeed, McCain said it is unclear to him if the administration believes any step or series of steps the United States might take will lead Pakistan to cease its support and sanctuary for certain terrorist groups, which has been a “feature of” its national security policy for decades.Ranking Member Senator Jack Reed said if the mission in Afghanistan is to be successful, it is imperative to disrupt the external sanctuaries in Pakistan, which continue to provide the Taliban, the Haqqani network and other associated groups the ability to train, recruit, rest, refit and stage attacks without significant fear of interference.”We have heard that the administration intends to change the relationship with Pakistan in order to compel action that supports our efforts in Afghanistan,” Reed said as he sought details of tools available to press Pakistan to make more progress on these issues.Pakistan, Mattis said has a “convoluted history” with terrorism. There can be little doubt that there have been terrorist groups that have used Pakistan as a haven for attacks outwardly, and not just towards Afghanistan.”We’ve seen the attacks on India, as well. At the same time, probably few nations, perhaps none, have lost as many troops fighting terrorists as they have,” he said. P

Office space supply in A’bad falls 86% in 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Office space supply in Ahmedabad declined by a staggering 86% in the ongoing year, an industry report said on Monday. Along with lower demand on account of economic uncertainty, regulatory changes such as GST and RERA have also contributed to the sharp fall.Real estate consultant Cushman and Wakefield said in its latest report that office space supply in Ahmedabad declined to 4.54 lakh sq ft between January and September 2017, as against 33.16 lakh sq ft in the same period of 2016.Office space absorption in the city also fell sharply in the first nine months of the year. Cushman and Wakefield said that from 5.84 lakh sq ft, office space absorption declined 37% to 3.48 lakh sq ft.Developers said that a number of factors such as demonetisation, and introduction of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) have contributed to lower supply as well as lower demand for office space.”For other sectors, GST was the only regulatory change that took place this year. However, for real estate sector, GST was preceded by RERA from May 1. Developers were in wait-and-watch mode before announcing new projects ahead of the twin changes,” Ashish Patel, president of industry body GIHED CREDAI, had said recently.Another developer said that inquiries for office space have picked up in the last month or so, and that demand is expected to improve soon.”Lower supply in the past few months will be good for the market as it will enable developers clear existing inventory,” he said.

Fewer GST slabs possible, says FM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday hinted that the number of slabs under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) can be reduced once there is revenue buoyancy. He also said that people who demand development of the nation need to pay their taxes honestly, in remarks that come amid a debate over the state of India’s economy.”We are in the first 2-3 months of GST implementation. We have almost by the day, space and scope for improvement to reduce compliance burden as far as small taxpayers are concerned,” he said at an event in Faridabad.Since July 1, GST has replaced around a dozen central and state taxes to be a single national tax. At present, there are four tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent, plus a levy of cesses on luxury items like cars, aerated drinks and tobacco products to compensate states for any revenue losses in the first five years.”In a society which did not conventionally mind being a non-tax complaint one, people are realising the virtues of compliance which comes with passage of time. We have space for improvement, eventually once we become revenue neutral, to think in terms of bigger reforms such as lesser slabs, but for that we have to become revenue neutral…,” he said.The slab reduction, as and when it happens, will address a major concern. GST is meant to unify India’s economy as “one nation one tax”, and make it easier for companies to do business, but there have been complaints that too many slabs have made transactions complicated. However, an overwhelming 81 per cent of items under the GST regime attract tax of 18 per cent or below and only about 19 per cent of items are taxed at the highest rate of 28 per cent.Jaitley was addressing officers of the Indian Revenue Services (IRS) at the foundation day event of the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN).He said that “revenue is the lifeline of governance”, and would help in taking India from being a developing to a developed economy. He said that tax officers need to be firm and fair to ensure that those liable to pay are complying, and those not falling within the bracket are not unnecessarily burdened.He emphasised that indirect tax burden is borne by all sections of the society, and said it is always the endeavour of the government to bring down tax rates on mass consumption commodities.”Direct tax is paid by more by the more affluent, somewhat by the others and certainly not by the weaker section but the impact of indirect tax places burden on all. Therefore, an effort is always as part of the fiscal policy … to ensure that the commodities which are consumed more by the common people are least taxed compared to others,” he said.(With agency inputs)Current tax slabs under gstThere are four tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28%, plus cesses on luxury items to compensate states for any revenue lossesAn overwhelming 81% of items under the GST regime attract tax of 18% or below and only about 19% of items are taxed at the highest rate of 28% Slab reduction, as and when it happens, will address a concern that too many slabs have made transactions complicated

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