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Congress open-minded on GST bill

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New Delhi, Nov 25 : The Congress on Wednesday said it was open to discussions with the government on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill that parliament needs to pass.

“We are open-minded on the issue,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on the sidelines of a press briefing.

He was asked if the Congress would be remain rigid on its opposition to certain aspects of the proposed legislation.

Asked if Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had already rejected the concerns raised by the opposition on the GST bill, Azad said: “I raised this issue with the minister at the all-party meeting.

“Two newspapers reported differently on his statement on GST bill. One said it would reach out to the opposition and the other said he had said that the suggestions given by the opposition were preposterous.

“When I asked him which statement of his was correct, he assured me there will be a discussion on the bill,” Azad said.

“For us, each bill or legislation is important. With regard to GST, we have made it clear that the GST was our bill and it was drafted by the Congress. We are ready for discussion. We have genuine concerns and that should be taken on board.

“Our stand on the GST bill is that it should be pro-industry, pro-trade and pro-consumer. It should help all the three sections.

“That’s why we are pressing for a cap of 18 percent tax. In other countries, it is 14 percent. But keeping in mind the resource mobilization in our country, we said it should be 18 percent.

“That’s why we said that there should be amendment in the bill. We cannot afford to burden the people with more than 18 percent GST,” he added.

The Congress said there will be discussions on other issues as well during the winter session of parliament.

“There will be discussions on intolerance, price rise, farmers’ plight, flood situation, all the recent incidents of communal disharmony in the country, draught.

“We will also discuss issues of women safety, Prevention of Corruption Act, child labour, and extradition of Lalit Modi,” said Azad.

“The opposition will be cooperating with the government but it is for the government to accommodate the viewpoints of the opposition.

“It is for the government to decide whether they are interested in running the government or not,” added Azad.

India

Credit to armed forces for Chinese army retreat behind LAC: Congress

“The Prime Minister should himself come forward and tell what is the truth though in the all-party meeting, he had said that no Indian territory has been occupied,” he said

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India China Ladakh Border

New Delhi, July 6 : In wake of reports that Chinese Army has retreated two km behind the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Congress, which has been questioning the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Chinese transgressions, on Monday credited the armed forces for the development.

“We know that the PLA can”t withstand the Indian forces, so they have retreated but the Prime Minister has to reply to tough questions,” part spokesperson Pawan Khera said at a press conference here on Monday.

The Prime Minister should himself come forward and tell what is the truth though in the all-party meeting, he had said that no Indian territory has been occupied, he said.

“We demand that Prime Minister should tell the facts to the nation,” Khera said, assuring that his party will not raise questions if Modi says that his earlier statement in the all-party meeting was not correct.

On reports that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi after which Chinese forces withdrew, Khera said that this government has to decide that it needs ministers who should do their jobs.

“What is the Foreign Minister doing?” he asked.

Taking potshots at the Modi government, Khera said there is no system in the government as sometimes businessmen talk (in case of Pakistan) and sometimes foundations talk (in case of China).

“Why did the Prime Minister visit China without agenda?” asked Khera.

Indian and Chinese troops have retreated two kilometres behind the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian and unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in a violent face-off on June 15.

Top official sources told IANS that both sides retreated two km simultaneously on Sunday, following several rounds of talks which had begun after the clash on June 15. The disengagement between Indian and the People”s Liberation Army (PLA) happened as per the agreed terms in the Corps Commander”s meeting.

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India

JP Nadda a poorer version of malicious BJP spokespersons: Congress

Attacking the BJP president, Surjewala raised question about deduction of Rs 11,000 crore ”dearness pay” of the armed forces.

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J P Nadda

New Delhi, July 6 : After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief J.P. Nadda attacked former Congress president Rahul Gandhi for not attending the parliamentary committee on defence’s meeting, the Congress, here on Monday, launched a counter-attack and said the BJP chief had become a “poorer version” of malicious BJP spokespersons.

Hitting out Nadda, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Daily insidious comments are making you look like a poorer version of malicious BJP spokespersons.”

“Had the BJP and the Narendra Modi government spent its energy in fighting China and supporting our armed forces, you wouldn”t need to lie on the Chinese transgressions to mislead the nation,” he said.

Attacking the BJP president, Surjewala raised question about deduction of Rs 11,000 crore ”dearness pay” of the armed forces.

“Didn”t the estimates committee of Parliament, headed by former BJP chief M.M. Joshi, submit a report saying the defence expenditure was the lowest in 56 years — since 1962,” Surjewala remarked.

“Didn”t the standing committee on defence, headed by Gen B.C. Khanduri, say 68 per cent of our equipment is vintage and there are insufficient resources for construction of strategic roads on the China border,” he said.

When it sought the Prime Minister”s Office”s intervention for adequate allocation in the defence budget, the PMO chose not to act, Surjewala added.

The Congress also raised the issue of shelving of the plan to carve out 90,000-strong “Mountain Strike Corps” to counter the Chinese build-up on borders.

Surjewala said China had committed 2,264 transgressions on our territory since 2015 under the Modi government and asked why didn”t the BJP government act upon this Chinese design.

“There are reports that Chinese troops are retreating, but the Prime Minister said no one ever occupied our territory. Did he then mislead the nation,” the Congress leader said.

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Delhi’s remote teaching-learning initiative receives overwhelming response

Around 23,000 students watched the live lessons on YouTube. Till the writing of this report, the videos have been accessed by more than 1.35 lakh people on YouTube.

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Manish Sisodia

New Delhi, July 6 : Delhis Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday congratulated the teachers and parents on the successful launch of Delhi governments remote teaching-learning initiative.

On July 2, the initiative was announced in the wake of the closure of schools till July 31. The Directorate of Education has devised an alternate plan to reduce the academic loss of students in classes KG to XII of all government and aided schools of Delhi.

On the first day of the programme, students from KG to Class XIII received their first worksheet. It contains engaging and syllabus agnostic activities to promote reading, writing, basic numeracy and happiness among children.

Similarly, students in Class IX and X received worksheets for Hindi, Science and Mathematics. Henceforth, they will receive 2-3 worksheets daily.

Around 4.15 lakh students have accessed the worksheets on the first day, said the government in a statement. All the worksheets were shared with the students by the class teachers through a WhatsApp group created at the class level.

The students will now be working on the worksheets and share them with their teachers in the respective groups.

“For those students who do not have access to WhatsApp, the teachers will get the printouts of the worksheets and hand them over to their parents on a weekly basis,” the city government stated.

Sisodia said, “Our teachers have worked very hard in creating and distributing the worksheets so that the learning does not stop for the school students.”

For the Class XII students, shortlisted teachers of Delhi government schools took online classes in English and History.

The classes were streamed live on YouTube and students were asking their doubts through comments, which were solved by the teachers.

Around 23,000 students watched the live lessons on YouTube. Till the writing of this report, the videos have been accessed by more than 1.35 lakh people on YouTube.

Sisodia said that it is very important to engage creatively with the students on digital platforms and the teachers have created a very engaging content.

“This has raised the confidence of the teachers who are working hard to reach out to every child,” he said.

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