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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.


Shiv Sena to fight 2019 General Elections alone




Mumbai, Jan 23: The Shiv Sena, a long-time ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party will go it alone in the crucial 2019 national and assembly polls, party’s top leaders decided on Tuesday.

The resolution was moved by Sena leader MP Sanjay Raut, who said the BJP had been demoralising the party for the last three years news agency PTI reported.

The resolution was passed unanimously in the party’s National Executive meet here.

“I moved the resolution for the Shiv Sena to fight the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls on its own in 2019,” Raut asserted.

He also said the party will clinch  at least 25 Lok Sabha seats (out of a total 48 in Maharashtra) and 125 Assembly seats (out of a total 288) in the state.

“The BJP allied with the Sena in the name of Hindutva and the Sena kept patience for Hindutva. However, the BJP in the last three years has been demoralising the Sena and using power to do so,” Raut stated.


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Disqualified AAP MLAs move Delhi High Court



Delhi government kejriwal manish sisodia

New Delhi, Jan 23: A number of disqualified AAP MLAs on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging a notification disqualifying them on the ground of holding ‘office of profit’ as Parliamentary Secretaries.

The Aam Aadmi Party MLAs mentioned the matter before a Division Bench headed by Justice S. Ravinder Bhat seeking quashing of the notification and got it listed for hearing on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Election Commission had recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind to disqualify 20 AAP legislators for allegedly holding offices of profit.


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AAP withdraws petition in HC on disqualification of 20 MLAs



Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, Jan 22 : Aam Aadmi Partys (AAP) disqualified MLAs on Monday withdrew from the Delhi High Court their plea seeking a stay on the Election Commission’s recommendation to the President to disqualify 20 MLAs in an office of profit case.

Justice Rekha Palli said the plea moved by six AAP legislators had become infructuous as the President has already issued a circular to disqualify all 20 MLAs.

The court’s decision came after it was informed by the EC that it had already sent its opinion to President Ram Nath Kovind on January 19, before the MLAs had moved the court.

EC also informed the court that the President issued the notification on January 20.

The court said: “What remains with the writ now, the final order has been passed by the President. The plea is dismissed as withdrawn.”

On Friday, the Election Commission recommended to the President for disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.

Following the President’s approval, the Union Law and Justice Ministry had issued a notification saying that the President has held that the 20 members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly stand disqualified under 15 (1) (a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act.

These 20 MLAs are Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gehlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal Khufiya, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar, Nitin Tyagi and Jarnail Singh.

The counsels appearing for the disqualified MLAs said they wanted to withdraw the plea and will examine the EC’s order.

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