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Congress demands petroleum products, real estate be brought under GST

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Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat
Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat, Photo Tweeted by @INCIndia

New Delhi, Nov 11: Holding that persistent pressure by it and its Vice President Rahul Gandhi had forced the GST Council and the BJP government to reduce GST rates on several items from 28 per cent, the Congress on Saturday demanded that petroleum products, real estate and electricity be brought under the tax’s ambit.

The party also said that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Gabbar Singh Tax” (as Rahul Gandhi dubbed it) is shrewdly designed” to help his wealthy friends but hurts millions of small traders.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke “post-truths” after the GST Council meeting on Friday while the will of the people did partially prevail “over the arrogance of the Modi government.”

“Persistent pressure built by the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party forced the GST Council and the BJP Government to reduce taxes on items of daily usage being taxed under the 28 per cent bracket. The political turmoil and widespread protests have made Modi Government extremely nervous and partially backtrack,” he said.

“But people of India, particularly shopkeepers, traders, MSMEs, are distressed with the lopsided architecture, design and implementation mechanism of Modi ji’s ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’,” he added.

The Congress, which has been demanding to constitutionally cap the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at a maximum of 18 per cent, said the Modi government was resorting to high taxation on petroleum products.

“If you keep electricity, petroleum, real estate out of the ambit of GST, 50 per cent of total revenue stays out of GST ambit. This means that the Modi government can continue to fill its coffers with Rs 2,67,000 crore annually by its back-breaking dose of taxation on petrol and diesel,” Surjewala said.

Seeking to reduce GST’s “compliance burden”, he said that complex process of form filing has brought businesses, trades and MSMEs to a grinding halt, “while GSTN continues to crash repeatedly”.

Figuring out the challenges being faced by textiles sector and agriculture sector, Surjewala said that “adjournment, deferment, rather than decision, appear to be the ‘way forward’ for this government” and none of these challenges have been addressed by GST Council.

“This is owing to the sheer ineptitude and amateurish handling of the biggest tax reform by BJP government. As Finance Minister Jaitley and the Modi government pay lip service and create havoc, the Congress is determined to fight this battle for turning GST from flawed to flawless,” he said.

IANS

Election

Madhya Pradesh By-Polls: Set back to BJP, Congress bags 20 wards of 24 in Raghogarh

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Bhopal, Jan 20: The Congress party showcased an enthusiastic fight in the Madhya Pradesh civil polls by clinching nine president posts in 19 civic bodies on Saturday, tying the Bharatiya Janata Party, which too, won nine top posts. 

Meanwhile, giving a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress bagged 20 out of 24 wards in Raghogarh Nagar by-elections. Whereas the BJP won only four wards.

However , the Congress has been in control of the Raghogarh-Vijaypur Municipal Council for the last two decades.

The results are seen as a morale boost for the Congress as the party is planning to go all out against the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections , which slated to held later this year.

Municipal Council elections took place on January 17 in Five districts – Dhar, Barwani, Khandwa, Guna, and Anuppur.

The counting of votes begun at 9 am and ended in the afternoon.

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EVMs to have candidates’ pictures

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Jaipur, Jan 19: The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will carry pictures of candidates along with their names — when by-elections are held in Rajasthan on January 29.

According to Chief Election Officer Ashvini Bhagat, this has been done to ensure there was no confusion if there were two candidates with the same name.

According to the new arrangement, the EVMs will have the name of the candidate, his or her picture and the election symbol.

Bhagat said although this experiment was done in the Dholpur Assembly by-election, it hasn’t been done anywhere in a Lok Sabah election.

Lok Sabha by-polls are scheduled in Ajmer and Alwar on January 29 while Assembly elections will be held the same day in Mandalgarh.

IANS

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Assembly elections: Tripura to vote on Feb 18, Meghalaya, Nagaland on Feb 27; results on March 3

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New Delhi, Jan 18: The Election Commission on Thursday announced  the schedule for Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland assembly elections. 

While addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said Tripura will vote on February 18, 2017. While polling in Meghalaya and Nagaland will take place on February 27 (Tuesday).

Counting for all the three states will be conducted on March 3, 2018. The results will be declared on the same day.

A total strength of  the three assemblies is 60 members each.

Election to the three states to be held in two rounds.

The term of the Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura legislative assemblies will end on March 6, March 13 and March 14 respectively.

Announcing the poll schedule, Chief Election Commissioner informed  VVPATs and EVMs will be used in the three states for the very first time.

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