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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

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Former minister Shahnawaz Hussain is BJP’s MLC candidate in Bihar

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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shahnawaz hussain

New Delhi, Jan 16 : The BJP on Friday announced the names of six candidates for the member of legislative council (MLC) elections for Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar.

For the only MLC seat in Bihar, the party has given the ticket to former Union minister and present-day spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

According to the official list issued by the BJP on Saturday, Kunwar Manvendra Singh, Govind Narayan Shukla, Salil Bishnoi, Ashwini Tyagi, Dr Dharamvir Prajapati and Surendra Chaudhary have received the ticket from Uttar Pradesh.

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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West Bengal Will Drown In Ganga If BJP Comes To Power: TMC

West Bengal, Drown In Ganga, BJP, BJP Comes To Power, TMC, Politics, Election,

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Mamata Banerjee

Taking the dig at BJP, the Trinamool Congress on Friday said if the BJP manages to come to power in West Bengal, the state will drown in river Ganga just like all the other projects which were powered under the central government, but were unsuccessful.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy recalled the promises made by the saffron party and said that none of them were fulfilled. He also mocked BJP’s remarks to turn West Bengal into ‘Sonar Bangla’ (golden Bengal) if it emerges triumphant in the assembly elections.

“If this party (BJP) comes to power, then surely Bengal will drown in the Ganga, as all programmes and projects of the Centre have typically flopped, bearing no results,” he alleged.

Attacking the Centre for the demonetisation decision, he said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2016 promised that black money will be brought back to the country and that each person will receive Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts.

“What happened to these promises? GDP growth rate has consistently fallen, unemployment increased and more than 100 people died while standing in queues to withdraw money from ATMs,” he said.

Even Home Minister Amit Shah had said the assurance of depositing Rs 15 lakh into bank accounts of people was a “jumla (rhetoric)”, Roy said.

“Similarly, all promises of the Modi government are jumlas,” he said.

Roy alleged that the law and order condition in BJP- ruled states is “horrible”, as was evident during the recent incidents in Hathras and Balarampur.

The TMC leader also said deposit bases of public sector banks are gradually weakening, while those of the private lenders are “growing incrementally”.

After the BJP-led government came to power in 2014, bad loans have swelled, profitability has gone down and write-offs increased.

“I think there is a need for a probe by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), as all government and RBI guidelines are being sidelined,” he claimed.

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Sonia Gandhi calls meet of Kerala leaders after local polls debacle

The Congress allies, including the IUML, had asked it to examine why it did not do well in the polls.

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

New Delhi, Jan 16: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of party leaders from Kerala next week to discuss the upcoming Assembly polls in wake of the setback the party received in the recent local body polls, sources said.

The leaders called include former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, state President M. Ramchandran and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala. The Congress in the state is pitted against the ruling Left Democratic Front, but not making headway despite the anti-incumbency factor, due to its internal rifts with factions led by Chandy and Chennithala scrambling for supremacy, party insiders say.

The divisions in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) came out in the open in December after it faced a rout in the local body polls despite performing well in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

After the poll debacle, Ramachandran, Chennithala and Chandy had said that party will introspect. Congress MP K. Sudhakaran and other state leaders had lashed out at the state Congress leadership and said democracy needs to be reinstated in the party. “We need to reinstate democracy inside the party. The party should bring in leaders who can instill confidence in the minds of party workers and the civil society. Then we can save the party,” Sudhakaran had told the media.

The Congress allies, including the IUML, had asked it to examine why it did not do well in the polls.

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