QAhmedabad: Gujarat Public Debt Breaches Rs 2 Lakh Cr Mark & More

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1. Gujarat’s Public Debt Breaches Rs 2 Lakh Crore Mark

With a steep rise of Rs 18,000 crore in one year, Gujarat's public debt stands at Rs 2,17,338 crore as per the revised estimates of 2017-18, the legislative assembly was informed on Wednesday, 20 February.

Responding to a written query raised by Congress MLA Kanti Parmar during the Question Hour, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who handles finance portfolio, said as per the revised estimates for 2017-18, Gujarat owes Rs 2,17,338 crore as public debt, a rise of Rs 18,000 crore from 2016-17.

Patel had informed the House that Gujarat's debt was Rs 1,99,338 as on March 2017. In 2016-17, the state government paid Rs 16,087 crore as interest and Rs 9,073 crore towards principal against the borrowings by the state, Patel said in his written response.

As per the revised estimated of 2017-18, the state paid Rs 17,178 crore towards interest and Rs 13,701 crore as principal, it said.

(Source: PTI)


2. Gujarat Opposition Leader Suspended From House For Patel Statue Remark

Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani was suspended from the House for the rest of the day on Wednesday, 20 February, by Speaker Rajendra Trivedi over his remark that the ruling BJP tried to “politically encash” the “pratibha (personality)” of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by making his statue using “bhangar no bhuko (iron scrap).”

Strongly objecting to the remarks of the senior Congress leader, BJP members demanded an apology from him, and urged the Speaker to suspend him. Acting on the treasury bench’s request, the Speaker suspended Dhanani for the rest of the day, after putting the motion into vote.

(Source: The Indian Express)


3. Centre Gave Nearly Rs 2,000 Cr Less to Gujarat Govt for Narmada Project

The central government allocated Rs 1,991.5 crore less to Gujarat government for Narmada Yojana against the demands the state had made for the last three years.

The Centre gave grants of Rs 4,699.50 crore against the state government's demand of Rs 6,691 crore for the project during the period of fiscal years of 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The Gujarat government provided the details in answers to a questionnaire that was tabled on Wednesday, 20 February, in the Gujarat Assembly. Opposition MLAs had asked different questions to the minister for Narmada Project department and deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, to which, a reply was given in writing.

The question, however, could not be discussed in house as the proceedings were adjourned by the speaker after ruckus during the first question.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)


4. Mevani Slams BJP Govt in Gujarat Over Untouchability

Dalit leader and Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday, 20 February, slammed the BJP government in Gujarat over the practice of untouchability, alleging that no concrete steps had been taken to eliminate the social evil.

Countering Mevani's charge, made in the assembly, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said the MLA was making baseless allegations.

Mevani made the accusations while taking part in the motion to thank Governor OP Kohli for his address to the House.

He started his address saying the while the Governor has mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's name almost 6 times in his address, there was no mention of Dalit icon Dr B R Ambedkar. The Independent MLA then accused the BJP government of showing laxity in removing the practice of untouchability in the state.

(Source: PTI)


5. Gujarat Bought Rs 14,400 Crore Power From Private Players in Two Years

The state government bought electricity for over Rs 14,000 crore from private power producers in the last two years. State Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said in a written reply in the House that the government had purchased power from five companies as per long term power purchase agreements signed with them.

The minister's reply showed that the government purchased 27,884 million units of electricity from Essar Power, CLP India, Adani Power, ACB (India), and Coastal Gujarat Power (Tata Power) in 2017, and 20,532 MUs in 2018. The sharp dip in power purchase was due to Adani and other private players stopping power supplying to government units for some time during 2018.

The government spent Rs 7,975 crore for buying power from these companies in 2017, and Rs 5,724 crore in 2018.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)


6. Taxpayers Raise Refund, TDS Issues With Income-Tax Department

Tax payers and tax practitioners raised issues related to tax refunds and Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) with the Income-Tax Department during an Open House organised by Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, 20 February.

Ajay Das Mehrotra, principal chief commissioner of income tax (PCCIT), said that a week-long statewide drive will be conducted in the first week of March to resolve the pending issues related to Rectifications, Appeal Effects and Consequential Refunds.

"This will be a win-win situation. Tax payers will get their refunds and the department will be able to dispose many of its pending issues," said Mukesh Patel, an Ahmedabad-based expert, while talking about direct taxes. Patel is also a member of a Task Force constituted to draft a new Income Tax Law.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)


7. Gujarat: Metro Train Will Ply at 30 Minute Intervals

Gujarat’s first Metro Rail will finally see the light of the day after a delay of four-and-a-half years. In the first priority reach, the train will ply at an interval of 30 minutes in the East-West corridor in the first phase of Ahmedabad Metro, which includes six stations. Each station will have a stop of two minutes.

According to Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) Limited sources, only two trains will ply between the six stations for first few months.

Proposed in 2005, a special purpose vehicle was formed in 2010. The project came to a standstill after a scam of Rs 500 crore surfaced in 2014. Later, a new team was formed and work on the project was resumed.

(Source: DNA Ahmedabad)

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Topics:  Statue of Unity   Narmada   TDS 

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