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GST cess hikes on cigarettes

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New Delhi, July 18: The GST Council raised the cess rates on cigarettes in view of the reduction in tax on the demerit good. Additional revenue of Rs 5,000 crore will be generated with the decision.

“In the first 15 days of GST implementation, it was noted that 28 per cent tax plus compensation cess on cigarettes, when translated, had not factored in the impact of cascading effect, resulting in windfall gains for cigarette companies,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

“The total tax incidence on cigarettes in the GST regime has come down, compared with total tax in pre-GST regime. While any reduction in tax incidence on items of mass consumption would be welcome, the same would be unacceptable in case of demerit goods like cigarettes,” the Finance Ministry said.

Highest rate of GST on cigarettes ie. 28 per cent, earlier it was VAT rate of 28.7 per cent.

The compensation cess on cigarettes consists of two components – an ad valorem tax of 5 per cent and a numerical amount on cigarettes.

Only the numerical amount was increased from Monday by the Council.

For non-filter 65 mm cigarettes, the numerical cess has been raised to Rs 2,076 per 1,000 units and for 65-70 mm cigarettes it is Rs 3,668 per 1,000 units.

For filter category, 65 mm cigarettes will be charged Rs 2,076 per 1,000 units, 65-70 mm will be charged Rs 2,747 per 1,000 units and 70-75 mm will be charged Rs 3,668 per 1,000 units.

For other filter cigarettes the ad valorem has been increased to 36 per cent plus Rs 4,170 per 1,000 units.

“The anomaly was noticed within 15 days of GST implementation. The lower incidence would have reflected either in companies reducing the prices of cigarettes, which is not advisable, or transfer of the profit to their balance sheets,” he added.

This decision was taken unanimously by all states.

“This figure will comfortably exceed the original number of taxpayers. It is evident that there has been an increase in the taxpayer base,” Jaitley said.

Wefornews Bureau

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Mukesh Ambani world”s 7th richest, overtakes Warren Buffet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds the first rank with a net worth of $186.8 billion, followed by Bill Gates in the second position with a net worth of $110.5 billion.

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Mukesh Ambani Picture

New Delhi, July 10 : Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani has become the seventh richest person in the world overtaking Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors globally, according to the Forbes Real Time Billionaires Index.

As per the latest Forbes data, Ambani”s net worth rose $2 billion on Friday and currently stands at $70.1 billion.

His rise among the world”s richest individuals has been boosted by the recent continuous surge in the share price of Reliance Industries (RIL).

On Friday, RIL shares on the BSE hit a fresh all-time high of Rs 1,884.40. Following the surge in share prices, the oil-to-telecom major”s market capitalisation crossed Rs 11.90 lakh crore.

The shares have risen largely due to the investments coming into its technology and telecom arm Jio Platforms from global marquee investors. Jio Platforms has raised Rs 1.17 lakh crore so far in just over two months.

The net worth of Warren Buffet, who runs Berkshire Hathaway and is popularly known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, stands at $68.1 billion and is at the eight spot.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds the first rank with a net worth of $186.8 billion, followed by Bill Gates in the second position with a net worth of $110.5 billion.

Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires ranking tracks the daily ups and downs of the world”s richest people. Individuals whose fortunes are significantly tied to private companies will have their net worths updated once a day.

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Unholy nexus of BJP govt and MNCs stands exposed: Congress

“If on June 16, hand sanitisers were essential commodities up till 30th December, 2020; what changed in 15 days? Why does the government want the people to be charged high prices? Why no price limit on these essentials to fight Covid-19? Is the war on Covid over?” Surjewala questioned.

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Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, July 10 : The Congress on Friday criticised the Narendra Modi government over its decision to remove face masks and hand sanitisers from the essential commodities list. It said that an “unholy nexus” between the BJP government and the MNCs stands exposed.

In a series of tweets, Congress national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Opportunity in Adversity said the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). The unholy nexus of BJP government with MNCs/Companies of profiteering at the cost of people stands exposed. Government has removed face masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities. Now, masks/hand sanitisers can be sold at any MRP.”

He further said, “On June 16, the BJP government had said — As lockdown has been relaxed, demand for hand sanitisers may increase & it should continue to be covered under EC Act till Dec 31, 2020.. ”its continued availability is of paramount importance” & “to ensure its availability at affordable rates.” Surjewala also attached a copy of the June 16 order in his tweet.

“If on June 16, hand sanitisers were essential commodities up till 30th December, 2020; what changed in 15 days? Why does the government want the people to be charged high prices? Why no price limit on these essentials to fight Covid-19? Is the war on Covid over?” Surjewala questioned.

His remarks came after the government”s decision to remove hand sanitisers and face masks from the essential commodities list. On Friday, India recorded 26,502 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 7,93,802 cases with 21,604 fatalities due to the pandemic.

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Closed Markaz, no foreigners dims hopes for Nizamuddin shopkeepers

In comparison to the adjoining Bhogal market, Nizamuddin market is primarily focused on the needs of the visitors to the Markaz. Now since the markaz has been closed, the usual flow of customers is missing.

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Nizamuddin Markaz

New Delhi, July 10 : A group of five men in white kurta pyjamas wait outside the Nizamuddin Markaz for the local policeman to arrive. After some anxious moments, the policeman arrives on a motorcycle with the building”s key. It is time for afternoon prayers and only five people are permitted to offer prayers inside the Markaz five times a day. As he unlocks the gate, the five men walk in to offer Zohar Namaz.

Khaleeq, who has his small shop, selling skull caps, beads and other religious items, exactly opposite the Markaz entrance, feels that with foreigners gone from the area, the market will have a hard time to pick up.

“With the uncertainty on when foreigners would be allowed in Markaz now, the business at Nizamuddin market is badly hit. Most of the shops here are based on the foreigners” needs and demands. With no foreign customers, we are facing heavy losses,” he said.

The worst affected are money exchange shops which were mostly dependent on foreigners” visit to Markaz.

Ahmed Uzair, a banker who resides in Nizamuddin, believes that the market might now pay the price of being too much dependent on foreign customers attending the jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz.

“Many shopkeepers are vacating their shops as they are unable to pay the rent. Many have packed up and went to their native places as they see a bleak future of what was once a flourishing market,” Uzair said.

After de-containment of Nizamuddin, the barricades present at the main road leading to Nizamuddin Markaz has been removed now but there are little or no customers in the market.

In comparison to the adjoining Bhogal market, Nizamuddin market is primarily focused on the needs of the visitors to the Markaz. Now since the markaz has been closed, the usual flow of customers is missing.

“Not just foreigners but visitors from other states in India formed the backbone for the survival of this market. It”s facing a tough time now and it seems it will continue for some time,” said Shamshad Ahmed, another shopkeeper in the area.

The Markaz was closed since the lockdown and on the night of March 29, police and health authorities started bringing people out from the Markaz and sent them to hospitals and quarantine facilities.

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