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Government trivialising Parliament with self-promotional spectacle on GST: Congress



New Delhi, June 30 : The Congress, which is boycotting the midnight GST roll-out event, on Friday said Parliament cannot be trivialised through festivities for the imposition of a “half baked” taxation proposal, being implemented by an “incompetent and insensitive government”.

Criticism of the GST was unleashed by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala through a series of tweets and by senior party leader Anand Sharma, who spoke to newspersons – ahead of the GST roll-out event in Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi termed the midnight launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) “a self-promotional spectacle” of the Modi government.

“A reform that holds great potential is being rushed through in a half-baked way with a self-promotional spectacle #GSTTamasha,” said Gandhi on Twitter.

“India deserves a GST rollout that does not put crores of its ordinary citizens, small businesses and traders through tremendous pain and anxiety,” he added.

Gandhi also said: “Unlike demonetisation, GST is a reform that Congress has championed and backed from the beginning.

“But like demonetisation, GST is being executed by an incompetent and insensitive government without planning foresight and institutional readiness,” he said.

Anand Sharma said the party is mindful of the sanctity of Parliament. “We cannot trivialise midnight sessions. The glorious tradition, history, the freedom struggle and nation’s Independence should not be mixed up with festivities for the imposition of a taxation proposal,” said Sharma.

“It will take a long time for tax to be perfected. There are four slabs and effectively five slabs, it is one of the most complicated GST,” he added.

“The transactional cost and the burden will be very high on the small trade and on the small retailers. By excluding 45 per cent of the revenue base, we have made it one of the highest GST rates in the world. Those are the concerns which have not been addressed by the government,” said Sharma.

Sharma also said the Centre should do its home work and listen to the states. “It is still half-baked. They should have at least had a trial run of GST network for minimum two months. The deadline is September 1,” said Sharma.

“In a country where 300 crore returns have to be filed for GST every month, whatever samples or trial runs have been done are not adequate looking at the complicated filling up of forms,” he added.

Surjewala said the BJP’s cumbersome GST with five-tier tax structure (5 to 43 per cent) would hit at the livelihood of shopkeepers, traders and small business.

“BJP government has imposed ‘highest ever GST rate in the world’, unlike UPA’s GST which put a cap of 18 per cent. No country has such high rates,” said Surjewala on Twitter.

“Complicated and compliance cost burden defines BJP’s GST. Each taxpayer to file 37 returns per year. In 36 states, it will be 1,224 returns,” he added.

Surjewala also said the “spirit of GST bill of Congress was – ‘single, simple, transparent, uncomplicated tax and reducing inflation’. Present GST is just the opposite.”

“BJP’s GST marred by IT unpreparedness. Tender for GST Network floated on June 15 with test period of August 2017-July 2018. PM remembers?” asked Surjewala.

“Roti, Kapda and Makaan will be hit by BJP’s GST. GST on goods of mass consumption will hit the poor and middle class. It will be one more body blow to India’s farmers and agricultural sector by excessive taxation,” he added.

“BJP imposes GST of 18 per cent on manmade fibre. It hits textiles sector – micro and small manufacturers, traders, shopkeepers and helps big businesses,” he added.


Congress spreading lies by hiring foreign agencies: Modi



PM Modi, Photo Tweeted by ANI

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused the Congress of spreading lies by hiring foreign agencies and dividing societies on caste lines. He said political purity cannot come unless the Congress culture ends.

In an interactive session with BJP candidates, state office bearers and leaders of Karnataka via the Narendra Modi app, the Prime Minister urged them not to fall for the Congress’s lie and focus on people-to-people contact till the voting.

“If you analyse last few elections, you will realise how a few political parties have indulged only in dividing societies on religious lines. They give lollipops to a community before elections and then forget them,” he said.

Modi said that this is the working style of the Congress in which they exploit emotions of some community before elections and forget them after the elections.

“They will never give account of their works. They keep indulging in dividing the society. The political purity can not be established in the country till the Congress culture is finished from the mainstream,” he added.

Hitting out at the Congress for spreading “rampant” lies, Modi asked the party workers not to fall for the opposition’s trap of falsehoods.

“Congress has resorted to rampant lying after a series of defeats in elections. Earlier, the Congress used to spread lies over five to 10 issues they raised. Now out of 50 issues, 40-45 are based on lies,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi said, in such circumstances, karyakartas must stand their ground, expose their lies and also fight their means of deceiving people by “hiring foreign agencies”.

The Prime Minister said that the other political parties hesitate to talk on development because development can be quantified.

“This was unacceptable to those parties which only concentrated on division. We govern and also fight elections based only on development model,” he said.


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Vasundhara to meet Amit Shah to discuss new Rajasthan BJP chief



New Delhi, April 26: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is likely to meet BJP President Amit Shah here on Thursday to sort out the differences over appointment of the new state BJP chief.

According to sources in BJP, Shah wants Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to be appointed as state BJP chief while Raje is not in his favour.

The new state BJP chief will replace Ashok Parnami, who resigned from his post on last Wednesday.

Sources said that Raje is throwing her weight behind her colleagues in state council of ministers Arun Chaturvedi although the central leadership was in favour of Shekhawat. Chaturvedi is considered close to RSS.

The development comes in wake of Shah’s meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Nagpur.

The BJP government in Rajasthan has been facing the ire of the Rajput community and its attept to appoint Shekhawat, a Rajput, is seen as an attempt to pacify the community.

The decision to appoint a new party chief has been made keeping in mind the assembly polls slated for later in 2018.

In recent bypolls in Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha constituencies and the Mandalgarh Assembly segment, the BJP had suffered a jolt as the voters of these constituencies elected Congress candidates.


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Karnataka Election: 3,374 candidates have filed nomination



Karnataka Election

Bengaluru, April 25 : A whopping 3,374 candidates have filed nominations for the May 12 Karnataka assembly elections, as per the revised figures from the Election Commission released on Wednesday.

According to the ECs data, of the total nominees, 250 were from the ruling Congress, 282 from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 231 from Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), 1,673 from Independents and 938 from regional parties and fringe outfits.

Nominations, which began on April 17 after the elections in a single phase across the state was notified, ended on Tuesday.

Congress has fielded a total of 16 women, BJP 17 and JD-S 14. In addition, 90 women have filed their nominations as Independents from various constituencies.

Among the nominees, five belong to the age group of 81-90, the EC said.

Congress leaders Kagodu Thimmappa, 87, who filed his nomination from Sagar in Shivamogga district, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, 86, from Davanagere South assembly segment, A.B. Malakareddy, 82, from Yadgir, JD-S leader Mallappa Channaveerappa M., 82, from Sindgi constituency in Vijayapura district and BJP’s nominee from Hangal in Haveri district C.M. Udasi, 82, are the oldest among the nominees.

As more than 224 candidates have filed from the Congress, BJP and JD-S, their spokesmen told IANS earlier that the additional 26 from the Congress, 58 from the BJP and seven from JD-S would have filed without the mandatory B-Form from their respective parties and hence were likely to be rejected after the EC’s scrutiny on Wednesday or if they pullout by the last date of withdrawal on April 27.

The EC is yet to release the list of accepted nominations after its scrutiny on Wednesday.

Polling will be held in a single phase for all the 224 seats, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 15 for Scheduled Tribes (STs). Votes will be counted on May 15.

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