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GST a tribute to maturity, wisdom of India’s democracy: President

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President mukherjee

New Delhi, July 1: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that introduction of GST was a “momentous event” for the nation and “a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India’s democracy” while pointing out that the success of major changes always depends on their effective implementation.

Mukherjee also said in coming months, based on the experience of actual implementation, the GST Council and the central and state governments should continuously review the design and make improvements, in the same constructive spirit.

“Introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a momentous event for the nation. This historic moment is the culmination of a 14-year-long journey which began in December 2002, when the Kelkar Task Force on indirect taxation suggested a comprehensive Goods and Services Tax (GST) based on the Value Added Tax principle,” said Mukherjee while delivering his speech in the Central Hall of Parliament at the GST launch ceremony.

“I was closely involved in the design and implementation of GST as the then Finance Minister. I also had the privilege of giving assent to the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016 (the GST Act),” he added.

Mukherjee said: “It is also a moment of some satisfaction for me personally because, as the Finance Minister, I had introduced the Constitution Amendment Bill on March 22, 2011.”

“I was closely involved in the design and implementation and had the occasion to meet the Empowered Committee of state Finance Ministers, formally and informally, as many as 16 times. I also met the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra a number of times,” he added.

Mukherjee also said the new era in indirect taxation was the result of a broad consensus arrived at between the Centre and the states.

“It (GST) is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of India’s democracy. The GST will make exports more competitive and also provide a level playing field to domestic industry to compete with imports,” said Mukherjee.

“Under the GST, the tax incidence will be transparent, enabling full removal of tax burden on exports. The GST will be administered through a modern world-class information technology (IT) system,” he added.

“A key feature of the system is that buyers will get credit for tax paid on inputs only when the seller has actually paid taxes to the government. It (GST) will create a strong incentive for buyers to deal with honest and compliant sellers who pay their dues promptly. Success of major changes always depends on their effective implementation,” he pointed out.

Mukherjee also said: “GST is a disruptive change. It is similar to the introduction of VAT when there was initial resistance. When a change of this magnitude is undertaken, there are bound to be some teething troubles and difficulties in the initial stages.

“We will have to solve these with understanding and speed to ensure that it does not impact the growth momentum of the economy,” he added.

IANS

India

Jammu and Kashmir: 3 killed in Pulwama Encounter

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Pulwama, April 24: Three persons, including two security personnel and a militant, were killed in an encounter in Lam village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral on Tuesday.

“The security personnel killed included an Indian Army soldier and a state policeman” news agency IANS reported citing police sources.

A joint operation was launched by the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Lam forest area of Tral following information about the presence of terrorists.

Sepoy Ajay Kumar of 42 RR, who was injured in the initial firing exchange, succumbed to his injuries at Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Badami Bagh Cantonment area here.

Latif Gujar of Jammu and Kashmir Police also succumbed to injuries, while the only militant killed in the gun battle has not been identified so far.

Reports claimed two-to-three militants were engaged in the gunfight with the security forces in the densely forested area.

The encounter comes a day after Pakistan Army violated ceasefire at Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district.

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Govt stays action against Maharashtra BJP MLC’s firm alleged tax evasion, human trafficking

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New Delhi, April 24: The central government has stayed Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) order denying security clearance to aviation services company promoted by a Maharashtra BJP MLC and his wife for its alleged involvement in tax evasion and human trafficking.

According to The Indian Express report, the order was passed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to BCAS (its own security wing) on April 4, which had denied clearance to Lad’s firm in connection with alleged involvement in evasion of tax and human trafficking.

The report claimed that Aviation Ministry’s order was signed by Under Secretary Staish Chander. The BCAS had alleged that Krystal Aviation Services Pvt Ltd had created ‘ghost employees’ to evade taxes. The BCAS said that the employees were shown in the payrolls of associate forms and cited a security report that accused Krystal Aviation Services of sending people to Dubai for jobs.

On April 9, the Maharashtra BJP MLC approached the Ministry seeking an intervention in the matter.

Following this, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on April 18 put a stay on the BCAS’s order and directed it to give a personal hearing to Lad’s company.

Besides, the Ministry asked its security wing to obtain a detailed report from the central security agencies and deliver a final order within two months.

As per BCAS order, their verdict was on the basis of central security agency’s findings that had carried out the background check of Lad’s firm.

“The central security agency had in its report dated 09/02/2018 mentioned that Lad’s aviation company had recruited people and sent them to Dubai for jobs in security, housekeeping and maintenance activities. It also raised fears that documents collected by Krystal Aviation Services for sending people abroad are being misused, particularly to create ghost employees to evade taxes. The group, it said, is involved in human trafficking”, the India Express reported citing BCAS order.

The BCAS further stated that since the central security agency’s report is ‘seriously adverse in nature’, it can be seen as allegations levelled against Krystal Aviation Services Pvt Ltd.

Apart from Kyrstal Aviation Service, Lad has six more companies, which include: Krystal Integrated Services Pvt Ltd, Krystal Techno-Engineering Services Pvt Ltd, Krystal Family Holdings Pvt Ltd, Ayushmati Infra Tech Pvt Ltd and Shoubham Cine Vision Pvt Ltd, Krystal Gourmet Pvt Ltd, Flame Facilities Pvt Ltd and Singapore-based Krystal Global Pte. Ltd.

The Indian Express report also said that Krystal Aviation Services was given security clearance by BCAS from 2010 to 2015. At present, it is involved in providing ground handling services to firms across five international airports in India.

In an interview to the daily, Lad described the charges levelled against him as ‘baseless and rubbish’. He stated that “the BCAS has not shown any single complaint against his companies. “So far, there is not a single complaint or FIR against any of my companies”.

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Supreme Court adjourns hearing in Tarun Tejpal rape case

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Tarun Tejpal

New Delhi, April 24: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing in connection with a rape case involving former Tehelka magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.

The apex court fixed May 9 for next hearing.

Earlier, on April 9, the court had refused to stay proceedings pending against Tejpal.

The court was hearing Tejpal’s petition seeking suppressing of rape and other charges levelled against him.

In 2013, a female employee accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in coastal state Goa.

Tejpal has been charged under section 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe), 341 and 342 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

He was also framed with the allegation of rape and was held in November 2013. He was later released on a bail after six months of imprisonment.

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