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Fuel under GST to affect states’ revenue: Chief Ministers

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New Delhi, Oct 6: Opposing the idea of bringing fuel products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), three Chief Ministers from different political parties on Saturday said it would have a negative impact on their revenue collection.

Speaking at the Hindustan Time Leadership Summit 2018, Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of the C Fuel under GST to affect states’ revenue: Chief Ministersongress-ruled Punjab, said his state’s economy was not in a good shape and it had become dependent on the Centre after the implementation of the GST last year.

“We do not have money to run the state. After the GST, we have nothing left in the state. We are dependent on the Centre. We do not have industry. We have hostile neighbour who keeps us on our toes. We have only agriculture to go on,” Singh said in a discussion, which was attended by his counterparts from Maharashtra and Karnataka.

“We have only three sources of revenue. One is fuel, one is excise and one is stamp duty on transfer of properties… As far as the real estate is concerned, Punjab has not moved ahead as yet because economy is not in good shape. Where do I get my revenue from?”

Endorsing Singh’s views, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, who runs the Karnataka government with the support of the Congress, said the Centre must take measures to solve the issue.

“The founders of the Constitution allocated some powers to states. The Centre is gradually taking all powers from the states. State governments have no scope for tax collection. We have to be dependent on the Centre,” he said.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been demanding that petrol and diesel be brought under GST to reduce prices.

Responding to a question on Gandhi’s stand on the issue, Kumaraswamy said: “That is his opinion. According to my opinion, the Centre has to take some severe measures.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said he agreed with Singh’s views “to some extent” saying the GST had left states with little flexibility to have their own revenue.

However, he said he supported the idea of bringing fuel products under the GST saying “At some point of time, we have to do it.”

“At the same time, we should think of alternatives. If we go on importing, we are going to play into the hands of the countries manufacturing (producing oil),” he said.

Fadnavis asked for production of bio-fuel and ethanol using agriculture produce as an alternative to crude oil.

“There is so much of agriculture production today that we do not know where to keep. States are buying produce (from farmers) but we do not know how to sell. It is a huge mess,” he said.

“Now, we have sufficient foodgrains in our country, we can convert it into bio-fuel, ethanol. The second generation ethanol policy is there. We need to invest more into that. If in Brazil, 100 per cent ethanol can replace petrol and diesel, why can’t we?”

IANS

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New Delhi: Indian Youth Congress takes out torch rally to protest against Farm Bills 2020

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Youth Congress Farm Protest

New Delhi: Upping its ante against the government over the controversial farm Bills, the Youth Congress on Thursday took out a ‘Mashaal Juloos’ (torch rally) saying the party will always stand by the 60 crore farmers against the “black laws” and it will support all the organisations fighting for the farmers’ rights.

Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists led by its chief Srinivas B.V. and national incharge Krishna Allavaru started the torch rally from Raisina Road to India Gate. However, the Delhi Police stopped the torch rally before India Gate. Speaking to media, Allavaru said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi before coming to power in 2014 had promised two crore jobs to youths every year and double the income of the farmers. But now the government has brought the black laws to snatch the lands of the farmers.”

Accusing the government of being anti-farmer, Srinivas said that Youth Congress will stand with 60 crore farmers of the country and will fight the government to force it to withdraw the “anti-farmer” laws.

He also said that now the farmers will not be hoodwinked by the false promises of the Modi government and will fight for their rights on the streets of the country.

“The government talked about providing jobs and the upliftment of farmers, but with the anti-farmer black laws, the government is on the verge of making India farmer-free,” he said.

He also said that IYC will support all those organisation which will fight for the farmers’ rights.

On Wednesday also the IYC had taken out tractor rally from Panipat to New Delhi. The tractor rally, however, was stopped by the Haryana Police in Panipat’s Samalkha and hundreds of Youth Congress activits were detained.

The Congress has also planned nationwide agitations and programmes against the controversial farm Bills passed in Rajya Sabha on Sunday. The Congress has announced to collect two crore signatures of farmers from across the country by November 14 that it will submit to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to not give his assent to the Bills.

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Congress draws up detailed plan for protests against farm Bills

Addressing a press conference, he said: I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.

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Kisan Tractor Rally

New Delhi: The Congress, which is protesting against the farm Bills passed by the Parliament, has chalked out a detailed programme of agitation, which will begin on September 26 with an online “Speak up for Farmers” campaign.

The party has also set up a “Save Farmer and Labour” committee.

On September 28, the party will organise a march from the Rajghat to the Raj Bhavan, and on October 2, the party will burn the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in each assembly segment. A signature campaign will be held from October 2 to October 31, while a state-level farmers’ convention will be organised on October 10.

“BJP’s anti-farmer Bills ensure the profitability of a few in exchange of the prosperity of our farmers. These Bills are a direct attack on the backbone of our nation,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, he said: “I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.”

The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha amid an uproar by opposition members that led to eight of them being suspended from the House.

“There is no mention of MSP, no criteria for pricing… despite that you are tricking the nation by saying that we have not removed MSP,” Singhvi said.

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‘Govt Insecure of Voices of Dissent’: Cong Fumes After Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj Named in Delhi Riots Chargesheet

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Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: The Congress hit out at the Modi government Thursday after Delhi police named its leaders Salman Khurshid and Udit Raj in a charge sheet filed in the February riot cases, saying it will “neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism”. “The FIR against Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj and others reflects the mortal fear and cowardice of the Modi government. These are men and women of proven track record and of stellar service to the nation. Not surprising that a narcissist government gets insecure of voices of dissent,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

The Delhi police charge sheet has said Khurshid and Raj were among politicians who gave provocative speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Police have referred to former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan and a protected witness and said they told them about the speeches in their disclosure statements. The charge sheet said the protected witness stated in the statement, recorded under CrPC Section 161 (examination by police), that several big names such as Raj, Khurshid, CPM leader Brinda Karat had come to the Khureji protest site and gave “provocative speech”.

“Whether in the Parliament or the restless streets of India, the Modi government subjugates, suppresses and suffocates dialogue and discussion. PM Modi detests such democratic principles. Let it be remembered – we’ll neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism,” Surjewala added in a second tweet. Other Congress leaders too voiced their disapproval at their colleagues finding a mention in the charge sheet. Ahmed Patel said it is “shameful” that the BJP government is “falsely harassing” senior politicians like Khurshid, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechuri and others.

Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand were named in a supplementary charge sheet filed recently in the riot cases for “provoking and mobilizing” anti-CAA protesters. “These leaders have an impeccable record of fostering communal harmony, the Delhi police’s charges are not only wrong but also laughable,” Patel said in a tweet.

Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “A former Foreign Minister and Law Minister, Salman Khurshid is amongst the nicest, gentlest, learned, nationalistic, secular Indians I have known, and he figures in a chargesheet! It is a SHAME on the Delhi Police and its true and two masters.” Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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