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Congress demands petroleum products, real estate be brought under GST



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.



PM Narendra Modi speaks in Lok Sabha on No Confidence Motion




The opposition has brought a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi led NDA government in the Lok Sabha, the debate on which begins on Friday 20 July 2018. Prime Minister Modi speaking now

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BJP sinking ship, says NCP’s Tariq Anwar



tariq anwar

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and MP Tariq Anwar on Friday termed the BJP a sinking ship, saying no one was ready to sail in it.

The MP, who supported the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, said if the current situation, as the BJP claims, is like ‘Ram Raj’, then he wondered what the ‘Ravan Raj’ would be.

“The government had come to power with a slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’, but today the government is supporting no one, and vikas (development) is absent,” he said.

“In the last four years of the BJP government, unemployment has risen, farmers are unhappy, women are unsafe and minorities and weaker sections are being threatened. The prices of petrol-diesel are going up. The government has also failed to frame sound foreign policies,” he added.

The MP from Katihar in Bihar also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah spent most of the last four years attacking the Gandhi-Nehru family. The government is using investigating agencies for political gains, he added.

“Instead of attacking the Gandhi-Nehru family, they should have improved the situation in the country. All of Modi’s speech is about what the Congress has done wrong or has not done in 60 years,” he said.

Speaking about Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks on mob lynching, he said: “His clarification appeared like a silent support to it. If this government was serious about the issue, 200 deaths would not have taken place due to lynching,” he said.

The BJP leadership, he said, is limited to two people. “This is the reason why those who supported the BJP are nowhere to be seen,” he said, adding the Telugu Desam Party, which once supported the BJP, has driftd away from it.

“The Shiv Sena too is not seen anywhere around. Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U head Nitish Kumar has also shown his defiance.”

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SC reserves verdict on plea for larger bench to hear Babri Ayodhya title suit



Babri Demolition

New Delhi, July 20 : The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on a plea by Muslim litigants seeking that the hearing on the batch of petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict directing the splitting of the disputed site at Ayodhya be heard by a larger bench.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer reserved the verdict on the conclusion of arguments by senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan seeking the reconsideration of the part of 1994 top court judgment which said that a mosque was not essential to Islam for offering Namaz.

Dhavan appeared for the lead petitioner M. Siddiqui represented by his legal heir.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court by its September 30, 2010 verdict had ordered that the land around the disputed site would be divided into three parts — one for deity (Ramlala Virajmaan), another for Nirmohi Akhara — a Hindu sect and an original litigant in the case and third for the Muslims.

At the outset of the hearing in the apex court on Friday, the court witnessed commotion as some lawyers objected to Dhavan’s use of term Hindu Taliban and comparing the razing of Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992 to that of destruction of Buddha statues in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan by the Taliban.

Refusing to budge from his description of Hindu Taliban, Dhavan said that he stood by every word and destruction of Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992 was an act of terrorism.

As senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan appearing for one the Hindu litigants described arguments as “mockery”, Dhavan said: “It is an argument based on the destruction of the mosque.”

Dhavan said that the former Chief Justice, the late J.S.Verma had said that Hindus must wear the cross for the destruction of the Babri Mosque.

At this, reminding Dhavan that it was incumbent upon senior lawyers to maintain “decorum” in the court, the Chief Justice described as “inappropriate” the words used by the senior lawyer.

Taking exception to the “inappropriate adjectives” used by Dhavan, he said that “adjectives” that are used in the course of the arguments should be the ones that have the acceptance of the court.

“You may think what you may, but the court thinks it was completely inappropriate,” Chief Justice Misra said as Dhavan insisted that he did not think that the description of Hindu Taliban was inappropriate.

Dhavan said that he could differ with the bench and that will not amount to contempt.

The Chief Justice meanwhile one of the lawyers to leave the court room after he said that “thousands of temple were destroyed and you still call us Hindu Taliban”.

Things came to such a pass, that a lawyer complained that court has become a sort of parliament.

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