QBullet: Govt Cut GST Rates on 27 Items; Modi to Visit Gujarat

Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories in national dailies across the country.

6 min read

The last date of selling pre-GST goods has been extended to 31 December 2017.

Govt Reduces GST Rates on 27 Items, Gives Relief to Small and Medium Businesses

Offering relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and exporters from the rigours of complying with the technology-oriented goods and services tax (GST), the federal indirect tax body, GST Council, on Friday announced a series of rule changes.

The Council also lowered tax rates on 27 products and a few services and asked a panel of state ministers to examine if the 18% GST on air-conditioned restaurants could be lowered, finance minister Arun Jaitley said after the meeting.

The Council, which is headed by Jaitley, decided to continue with two pre-GST era schemes that allow duty-free sourcing of materials for export production till March 2018, a move that will improve the liquidity of exporters by preventing their working capital from getting locked up in tax procedures.

(Source: Hindustan Times)


PM Modi to Kick-Start His Two-Day Gujarat Visit from Today

PM Narendra Modi.
PM Narendra Modi.
(Photo: Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay foundation stones and inaugurate a range of projects during a two-day visit to his home state Gujarat, starting Saturday.

He will kick-start the trip with a visit to Dwarkadhish Temple, followed by laying the foundation stone for four national highways projects worth Rs 5,825 crore at Dwarka and addressing a public meeting there.

Modi will also visit his birth place Vadnagar on Sunday for the first time since becoming Prime Minister in 2014. From Dwarka, he will go to Chotila in Surendranagar district where he will lay the foundation stone for a greenfield airport at Rajkot.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

No Food, No Shade: Why Ramlila Maidan Doesn’t Work for Jantar Mantar Protesters

For the last 845 days, ex-servicemen have made Jantar Mantar their battleground as they demand implementation of the One Rank-One Pension policy. On their daily agenda are invigorating speeches asking war widows and veterans not to give up the fight.

But on Friday afternoon, there was another issue on the list — to emphasise that they won’t leave the protest site for Ramlila Maidan, as ordered by the National Green Tribunal on Thursday.

One of them was Archana Soni, 30, an anganwadi worker from UP, who is in Delhi for a two-day protest. “We eat at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, one kilometre away, every time we protest at Jantar Mantar. There are trees here, and shade… none of that is available at Ramlila Maidan. How will we protest in peak summer or winter? Will the NGT provide us food there? If so, we will go to Ramlila Maidan. They are making it increasingly tough for us,” she said.

(Source: The Indian Express)


Curtain Parts on Judges

The Supreme Court collegium has decided to make public all its decisions on judges' appointments and transfers along with the reasons in a groundbreaking move that seeks to address the longstanding criticism of alleged opacity.

The collegium, which took the decision on Tuesday, announced it on Saturday and straightaway kick-started the new era of transparency by listing on the apex court website the names of nine judges cleared for appointment to the high courts of Kerala and Madras.

It recorded the reasons why these candidates were selected and also why certain others, who too were named, have been rejected.

The collegium's decision is expected to assuage the turf war with the government, which has been sitting on most of its recommendations over the past two years, leaving 400-odd judges' posts vacant in the high courts.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Vijay Mallya Bought Silence, Influence, with Freebies for Politicians, Officials, Directors: Fraud Office

An investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has alleged that “outside pressure and intervention” was used in the “sanction and disbursement of corporate loan of Rs 2,000 crore” to the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.

According to the SFIO report, it accessed emails — seized from computers obtained by CBI — which show that Ministry of Finance officials advised banks like State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India to sanction loans to Kingfisher Airlines.

The report says that an analysis of emails revealed cases of “corporate espionage,” freebies to politicians, officials and bureaucrats to buy influence and co-opting of independent directors using incentives and contracts.

(Source: The Indian Express)


Ryan Officials’ Custody Necessary to Ascertain Larger Conspiracy, Says CBI

Opposing the bail pleas of officials associated with the Ryan Group of Institutes, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Friday said the ongoing probe into the murder case of a seven-year-old student at the group’s Bhondsi branch is at a crucial stage and their custody is necessary to ascertain the “larger conspiracy” behind the murder.

During the resumed hearing of the regular bail pleas of Ryan International Group’s northern zone head Francis Thomas and another official, Jayesh Thomas, the counsel representing the investigating agency told the High Court that the accused cannot wash their hands off the criminal negligence in the murder and prayed for dismissal of the regular bail pleas.

(Source: The Indian Express)

SC Appoints Amicus to Consider Fresh Probe into Mahatma's Killing

Snow falls on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi on a winter morning in Geneva. (Photo: Reuters)
Snow falls on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi on a winter morning in Geneva. (Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Court appointed senior advocate Amarendra Saran as amicus curiae on Friday to examine documents related to Mahatma Gandhi's assassination after a petitioner claimed he was killed by a mysterious person who had fired “a fourth bullet“.

A bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara initially expressed reservations in entertaining the petition, saying that a fresh probe would help achieve nothing in the seven-decade-old case, but asked Saran to assist in deciding the case after the petitioner claimed to have documentary evidence to prove that Gandhi's real killer was never caught.

The bench was hearing a plea of Pankaj Phadnis, the founder of `Abhinav Bharat', who questioned the three-bullet theory in the father of the nation's assassination. Phadnis approached the SC after his plea was dismissed by the Bombay high court.

(Source: Times of India)


Honeypreet Paid Rs 1.25 cr to Spark Riot in Panchkula: Cops

Honeypreet Insan allegedly gave Rs 1.25 crore to Dera Sacha Sauda's Panchkula branch head, Chamkaur Singh, a couple of days ahead of dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's conviction in rape cases on August 25. This was revealed to cops by Rakesh Kumar, personal assistant-cum-driver of Gurmeet, during interrogation.

Police officials believe the money was used to pay supporters to spark a riot in Panchkula in the event of Gurmeet being convicted of rape by the CBI court.

(Source: Times of India)

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Spiritualism Helped Hindus Evade Conversion During Invasions, says RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief (Sarsanghchalak) Mohan Bhagwat on Friday said that it was the “determined spiritualism” of Hindus that enabled them to evade religious conversion during the long history of invasions in the country.

Bhagwat was in Vrindavan to inaugurate the ‘Mansi Dhyan Kendra’, a meditation centre, at preacher Kaushal Kishore Maharaj’s Nikunj Van ashram. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Baba Ramdev also addressed the gathering.

Addressing the gathering, the RSS chief said enough was being preached all around but the need of the hour was to implement what was being said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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