QBullet: GST Council Meet Today; Oppn Rejects Simultaneous Polls

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.

1. GST Council Set to Give Relief to SMEs and Exporters Today

The Centre will use Friday's GST Council to push through relief measures and calm jittery businesses complaining about the new tax regime.

The panel of state and Union finance ministers is expected to ease exporters' pain by allowing electronic payment of taxes through “virtual currency”, while announcing a series of steps for small and medium enterprises as it seeks to smoothen the implementation of GST.

Expectations of a raft of measures were triggered after PM Narendra Modi's strong defence of the health of the economy on Wednesday , which he backed up with a meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday.

Details of the meeting were sketchy , but sources said that addressing concerns related to GST are top priority for the government.

(Source: Times of India)

2. Five Linked to Sanatan Sanstha Key Suspects in Gauri Lankesh’s Murder

Five persons linked to the right-wing Sanatan Sanstha organisation, including four with Interpol red-corner notices against their names for their alleged involvement in a bomb blast in Madgaon in Goa in 2009, have emerged as key suspects in the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh outside her home in Bengaluru on 5 September.

The five missing persons are: Praveen Limkar, 34, from Kolhapur; Jayaprakash alias Anna, 45, from Mangalore; Sarang Akolkar, 38, from Pune; Rudra Patil, 37, from Sangli and Vinay Pawar, 32, from Satara.

They are among the key suspects being investigated by a Special Investigation Team of the Karnataka police as part of its probe into the murder of Lankesh.

They are among the key suspects being investigated by a Special Investigation Team of the Karnataka police as part of its probe into the murder of Lankesh.

3. Jantar Mantar Protest Ban

An environment court directed the Delhi government to stop people assembling at Jantar Mantar, the capital's protest hub, and provide an alternative agitation site 4km away at the Ramleela Maidan.

The National Green Tribunal bench, headed by Justice RS Rathore, told the civic authorities to remove all the temporary structures and public address systems from the Jantar Mantar site.

It said the congregations violated environmental and air pollution laws and denied residents their right to live peacefully. The ruling came on a two-year-old petition by a local man, Varun Seth, alleging noise pollution from the protests.

"The locality has completely changed, where one finds that men, women and children are bathing, washing their clothes under Delhi Jal Board tankers.... People are seen defecating in the open, on pavements," the bench said.

(Source: The Telegraph)

4. Prescription Post Section 66A: ‘Change Law to Punish Hate Speech Online’

An expert committee, constituted by the Centre after the Supreme Court struck down the controversial Section 66A of the Information Technology Act in 2015, has recommended that the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the IT Act be amended to introduce stringent provisions, specifying punishment, to deal with cases of hate speech and use of cyberspace to spread hatred and incitement.

Committee member Dr S Sivakumar, who is also a member of the Law Commission, told The Indian Express: “We decided there was no need to re-introduce Section 66A, but we need to strengthen the Indian Penal Code instead.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. BJP Warns Yashwant Sinha, Says Treacherous Activities Reaching Tolerance Point

The BJP on Thursday hit out at party leader Yashwant Sinha over his remarks concerning party leaders and about the government’s handling of the economy, saying his “treacherous activities are reaching the tolerance point”.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader GVL Narasimha Rao said Sinha was glossing over his own performance as a finance minister.

“While claiming to be a ‘know-all’ economist, Yashwant Sinha is conveniently glossing over his own disastrous performance as a finance minister when he pledged India’s gold overseas,” he said, referring to the time when Sinha was in the short-lived Chandra Shekhar government.

The party also accused Sinha of backing performance of Congress-led UPA and termed him “an ever job seeking Sinha”.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. CM vs CM: Khattar Blames Punjab for Delay in Honeypreet Arrest, Amarinder Says Look Within

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday afternoon blamed Punjab Police for delay in arrest of rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan, hours after Haryana’s Panchkula police took her to Bathinda and conducted raids to verify her alleged hideouts over the month that she remained on the run.

But Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh of the Congress later hit back at BJP leader Khattar’s statement , and said that they were not pursuing Honeypreet anyway since she was not wanted in any case in Punjab.

Khattar, speaking after a law and order review at the police headquarters in Sector 6, Panchkula, told reporters that Punjab Police knew about her location: “Daal mein kuchh kala hai (There is something fishy)” But Amarinder later said there was no question of shielding her.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. Opposition Rejects Simultaneous Polls

Election Commission officials demonstrating the handling of EVM. (Photo: PTI)
Election Commission officials demonstrating the handling of EVM. (Photo: PTI)

Most Opposition parties responded negatively to Election Commissioner OP Rawat’s assertion on Wednesday that the Election Commission would be ready to hold simultaneous elections by September 2018. They said it was neither feasible nor realistic, besides being anti-democratic. They pointed out that there had been no consensus among the parties.

Many of them said it would be impracticable as long as Article 356 — which allows the Centre to dismiss a State government if law and order fails — is on the statute book.

The Janata Dal (United) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), both allies of the BJP, back the idea, but the JD(U) has taken a more nuanced stand.

CM Ramesh of the TDP said his party backed the BJP’s idea of simultaneous elections, but senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said that while his party favoured simultaneous elections because they would lead to administrative efficiency, cut expenses and help smaller parties, an all party consensus was essential.

(Source: The Hindu)

8. India Can ‘Locate, Fix, Strike Targets’ Across Border, Says Air chief Dhanoa

Air force chief BS Dhanoa warned Pakistan on Thursday that India has the capability to “locate, fix and strike” targets across the border.

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa’s comments came in response to a question on the possibility of Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons against India.

He said India’s options were outlined in its nuclear doctrine.

“It is answered in that… what happens when the enemy decides to use nuclear weapons on us. As far as the IAF is concerned, it has the ability to locate, fix and strike and that is not only for tactical nuclear weapons but also for other targets across the border.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

9. SC Fights Pro-Govt Innuendo

The Supreme Court today sought to dispel allegations that most of its judges were "pro-government", citing how it hauled the Centre up every day over some or other matter.

"We have seen a TV interview where a president of the bar association has said that most judges of the Supreme Court are pro-government. People must come to the court to see every day how we haul up the government on various issues," Justice DY Chandrachud said, without going into specifics.

The three-judge bench was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and included Justice AM Khanwilkar.

Justice Chandrachud's allusion was to accusations of bias made by senior lawyer Dushyant Dave against the Chief Justice and the five-member collegium he heads following the resignation of a Karnataka High Court judge, Justice Jayant Patel.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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