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Govt set to settle with Congress to pass GST bill in RS, orders full attendance

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It seems like the fate of long-pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is going to decide soon as the government is likely to come up with fresh proposals over pending Congress demands on the passage to get the opposition party’s support in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Government sources said that while a prime Congress demand to drop the proposed one per cent additional tax on interstate sale had been met last week as the Union Cabinet decided to amend the bill, the government is willing to walk some distance on its other two demands — a cap of 18 per cent on the GST rate and an independent dispute redress mechanism.

The government lacks majority in the Rajya Sabha, where the Congress is the single-largest party.

The sources said the dispute redress mechanism will be structured in a way that the states will have a greater say in the matter and also added  that the GST rate will also be based on a principle that is fair to both the states and the consumers.

The mechanism to compensate states for the loss of revenue for five years has already been incorporated in the amended bill.

However on Monday, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued a whip to all its Rajya Sabha members to be present in the house for the next three days to get the GST Bill passed.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told media that “The GST Bill is listed for Wednesday. We hope it will be passed through consensus.”

“The mood is in favour of passing the bill,” he said, adding that parleys are being held with different political parties as the bill concerns all the states.

The government had initially planned to take up the Goods and Services Tax Bill on Tuesday but opted to delay it by a day apparently because of Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s scheduled programme in Varanasi on Tuesday, which is likely to be attended by many party leaders as well Rajya Sabha members.

Read More: Sonia Gandhi to lead mega roadshow in Modi’s constituency Varanasi today

The Congress said on Monday that it was prepared to accept every reasonable solution on the GST Bill but added that the consultations are still on.

“We are prepared to accept every reasonable solution which does not adversely affect business and industry, and does not adversely affect the federal structure and the consumer at large,” Congress spokesman P.L. Punia told reporters.

Noting that the GST is very important for the economy, industry, business and also for the consumers, he said: “We agree with that objective in mind. It is the Congress party which mooted the idea of GST, which was opposed by the BJP and especially the present Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.”

“We had raised certain valid issues and the negotiations are still on.”

The GST Bill, first mooted by the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, envisions a pan-India GST to thoroughly overhaul India’s indirect tax regime. It has been already passed by the Lok Sabha.

The states will draft their own State GST (SGST) bills based on the draft model law with minor variations, incorporating state-specific exemptions.

The Centre and the states will also have to approve the integrated GST law or iGST, which will deal with inter-state movement of goods.

The constitution amendment bill needs to be ratified by more than half of the states.

Wefornews Bureau

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Muzaffarnagar-Saharanpur highway toll plaza painted saffron

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Muzaffarnagar , June 17 : A  toll plaza on the Muzaffarnagar-Saharanpur highway in Uttar Pradesh has been painted saffron on Sunday.

 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power in Uttar Pradesh and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given a makeover to secretariat building, dividers, statues, and even toll plazas with a saffron colour.

 From the Chief Minister’s office to various other spots, the colour has become a defining feature of the state.

Earlier this year, Gomti Nagar police station, Qaiser Bagh police station, Haj committee office’s boundary walls in Lucknow were coated saffron.
The saffronisation, however, did not go down well with the Opposition, who termed it a political ploy of the party.

Earlier, in December, around 100 government primary schools were painted saffron. Later the DM got them white washed again.

The towels in the office of the chief minister on the fifth floor of the building are of a saffron hue and the curtains, though not saffron in colour are close to it, the sources said.

Even the fleet of 50 buses were saffron coloured .

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AAP to hold protest march to PM’s house on Sunday

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AAP Protest
AAP leader Sanjay Singh with party leaders and workers during a protest as they marched towards the Lt Governor’s residence, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi, June 16: AAP leaders and workers will march to the Prime Minister’s residence on Sunday to protest against the lack of response by the Lt Governor and the Centre to the sit-in by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers at the Lt Governor’s house, a party leader said.

“Delhi is all set to launch a mass protest like the one we did which changed its political picture,” Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Pankaj Gupta told the media here on Saturday.

“We have tried all we can, but they are not ready to listen,” he added.

Gupta said not only the party workers, but the common people will also take part in the march that will begin from the Mandi House metro station at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Kejriwal, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, has been camping in the Raj Niwas — the official accommodation-cum-office of the Lt Governor — since Monday evening.

They have demanded a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike, action against officers who have struck work for “four months” and approval to his government’s proposal for doorstep delivery of ration to the poor.

Sisodia and Jain are on an indefinite hunger strike.

IANS

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IAS officers’ ‘strike’ being instigated by BJP: Kejriwal

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ARVIND KEJRIWAL

New Delhi, June 16: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that IAS officers were under pressure and their “strike” was being instigated by the BJP.

Kejriwal, who has garnered support from opposition parties including the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Telugu Desam Party, CPI and CPI-M, also attacked the Congress and said: “Rahul Gandhi should clear his stand if he is with the BJP or the people of Delhi.”

In an interview to CNN News, he also claimed that his government does not enjoy as much power as former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit did.

“I do not even have the power to transfer a peon, but Dikshit had the power to transfer the officers and even to arrest them on corruption charges,” he said.

Accusing the BJP of “instigating” the IAS strike, he said: “BJP is forcing the officers to continue the strike. The party is under pressure as the AAP government in Delhi is working hard. I am here for the people of Delhi and will ensure that things will change.”

Kejriwal, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, has been camping in the Raj Niwas — the official accommodation-cum-office of Lt Governor — since Monday evening.

“We are here for past six days. We are sitting here in helplessness. The IAS officers in Delhi are on a strike for past three months. They are coming to the office to clear files. There are not taking part in any official meetings. They don’t pick up phones, reply to our texts even in emergency situations. They don’t come for field inspections with the ministers. A government cannot function like this. We are sitting here to end that strike,” he added.

On the accusation that his strike has paralyzed the governance, he said: “The government is not functioning due to the IAS strike and not due to our sit-in. We are compelled to take this step.”

IANS

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