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GST and demonetisation’s to boost growth rate: Jaitley

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Gandhinagar, January 11: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), coupled with the impact of demonetisation can give a formidable push to India’s growth rate.

Incidentally, the statement by FM Jaitley comes on the day after World bank and Fitch reduced India’s growth outlook for the current year. Fitch Ratings downgraded India’s growth outlook to 6.9 percent for the year 2016-17 from last estimate of 7.4 % on grounds of “uncertain” benefits of demonetisation to Indian economy.

The digitisation of economy that happened following demonetisation, which, subsequently, will lead to expansion of formal economy, and GST — both these factors have the capacity to boost economy and increase the growth rate,” Jaitley said here.

Read More: SBI Chairman outlines paradox of demonetisation and digitalisation

“I hope we will be able to see their impact this year only,” he added at the conference on ‘GST: The Game Changer for Indian Economy’ organised as a part of the ongoing Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017.

The GST council is yet to get a consensus on critical issues of dual control and cross-empowerment and the FM hopes  that these issues get resolved over the next few weeks.

“GST Council is deliberative democracy in action. Most of the issues have been sorted. Some critical issues remain and I hope… they will be sorted out,” Jaitley said.

When GST merges all the taxes and makes India into one entity, it’s an advantage to the assessee as there will be no cascading effect of tax and will lead to larger revenues for states, he said.

The next meeting of GST Council is scheduled on January 16, to discuss the critical issues of dual control and cross empowerment which deal with the assessee jurisdiction.

Talking about the inconvenience caused to various sectors because of the current cash crunch, he said difficult decisions initially pass through difficult phases and the real impact of demonetisation would be felt after this transient inconvenience. “It can have temporary transient pain attacks, but in medium and long term, the roadmap on which the country is destined to move can change,” he said.

However the Finance Minister did not lay light on the lack of access of infrastructural support for digitalisation in the country.

Wefornews Bureau

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Railways studying dynamic pricing with discounts on tickets: Goyal

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Piyush Goel

New Delhi, Dec 16: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said that Indian Railways is studying a dynamic pricing model, with discounts on train tickets as offered in airlines.

“We are studying a model under dynamic pricing, where we would also give discounts on train tickets, just the way in which it is offered in airways,” Goyal told reporters during a day-long brain storming session of railways titled Sampark-Samanvay-Samvad (connection, coordination and conversation) here.

He also asked why flexi-fares should only be meant for price increase in rail tickets.

“Just like airlines and hotels, where a person gets discount while booking at last minute, it should also offer discounts on the routes with relatively low occupancy,” he stressed.

“We are exploring this possibility and as the Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani has come from Air India, he is studying the same,” Goyal said.

The Minister said that in 2018 railways will focus mainly on safety of passengers.

“We are committed to the security of our passengers and we are thinking of providing internet connectivity and CCTV on trains,” the Minister said.

He also said that discussions are on to provide CCTV on all trains across India.

To connect all the CCTVs he said that railways will provide WiFi connectivity at every station.

Stressing on “sweating” of rail assets to use it to its fullest capacity, Goyal said, “I have thought to sweat the assets of railways, the way in which it is carried out in airlines.

“In airlines we see the maintenance of an aircraft is completed within 30 minutes and it is made ready to go for another journey. In the same way I want the railway rakes to be utilised to full capacity,” he said.

“For example if a Rajdhani rake reaches Mumbai after a journey of 11 hours, then it can be maintained and cleaned by 22 teams in 30 minutes and again made fit to go on other journey of two or three hours, beside its original return journey,” he said.

The Minister was replying to a question on exploring the possibility of Rajdhani Express train making a round trip within 24 hours, with half-an-hour gap for inspection at either end, to maximise utilisation of such rakes.

The Minister said that railways will utilise the Nirbhaya fund for installing CCTVs at over 983 railway stations across the country.

“By December 2018 we are hopeful of installing them,” he said.

He also said that railways will take 2018 as a year where it will collectively fight against atrocities against women and children, especially human trafficking.

“We will do this across all the divisions of railways,” Goyal added.

The meeting is to also deliberate on how to improve punctuality, comfort, safety and aesthetics in railway operations.

IANS

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HC refuses to interfere in Sharad Yadav’s disqualification

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Sharad Yadav
Sharad Yadav, File Photo

New Delhi  : The Delhi High Court on Friday, in an interim order, refused to stay former JD-U President Sharad Yadav’s disqualification from the Rajya Sabha or allow him to attend the Winter Session of Parliament.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru however allowed him to draw allowances and perquisites including government bungalow for now.

Sharad Yadav, who has challenged his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha and also sought interim relief to attend the session, said that he was not given any chance to defend his case by the authorities before passing the order against him.

The court also asked Rajya Sabha Chairman and Janata Dal-United leader in the house Ram Chandra Prasad Singh to file their responses on Yadav’s plea and posted the matter for March 1, 2018.

On December 4, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is also Rajya Sabha Chairman, disqualified rebel JD-U leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari as members of the upper house of Parliament.

The JD-U, led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar which was declared the “real” JD-U by the Election Commission in November, had sought their disqualification on the grounds that they had attended a rally of opposition parties in Patna in violation of its direction.

Naidu had agreed with the JD-U’s contention that the two senior leaders had “voluntarily given up” their membership by defying their party’s directives.

Yadav and Ansari and a section of the JD-U fell out with Nitish Kumar after the latter broke away from the “Mahagathbandhan” (Grand Alliance) with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress to re-align with the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier in 2017.

Sharad Yadav was elected to the House in 2016 and his term was scheduled to end in 2022 and Ansari’s term was to expire in 2018.

IANS

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Celebs salute Indian Army on Vijay Diwas

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Vijay Diwas Indian Army

Mumbai, Dec 16: On the occasion of Vijay Diwas on Saturday, a string of Bollywood personalities like Anupam Kher and Amit Sadh salutes the valour and courage of the Indian Army.

Vijay Diwas is commemorated on December 16 every year in India as it marks the military victory over Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

Here’s what the celebrities tweeted:

Anupam Kher: My salute to Indian Army on Vijay Diwas. Jai Hind.

Amit Sadh: On Vijay Diwas, let us all remember the impeccable valour of our soldiers and salute the invincible spirit and sacrifice of the martyrs of 1971 War. They’re the ones who protect the borders to defend us every single day! Jai Hind.

Rakul Preet Singh: Saluting the real heroes of our nation and my dad who is my hero. Vijay Divas, proud army kid, Indian Army, Jai Hind. She also shared the poster of upcoming movie  ”Aiyaary”, on the occasion of Vijay Divas.

Ashoke Pandit: I salute our soldiers on this auspicious…Happy Vijay Divas. Jai Hind. Bharat Mata ki Jai.

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