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Nitish speaks to Rupani over attacks on migrants

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Nitish Kumar

Patna, Oct 8: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday spoke to his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani following violence against migrants from Bihar.

Violence against migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh was reported after the alleged rape of a toddler on September 28 in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district.

“For a crime of one person, others should not be attacked. The culprit should be punished, not everyone,” Nitish Kumar told the media here.

Hundreds of frightened migrant workers have returned to Bihar in the last few days.

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PM Narendra Modi asks United Nations to change with changing times

While recounting how India has been dealing with its challenges, the Prime Minister explained his vision for self-reliant India and how it would be a force multiplier for the global economy.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi/New York, Sep 26 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, at the United Nations General Assembly’s 75th session, advocated institutional reforms of the international organisation and inclusion of India in its Security Council.

In a 20-minute pre-recorded speech which was delivered virtually in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister recalled the historical context in which the UN was set up in 1945. Though he acknowledged that the UN had several accomplishments to its credit but he pointed to the failure of the world body to prevent dozens of wars, civil wars and terror attacks in the last seven decades.

The UN, he said, needs to seriously introspect. “Thousands of people like you and me, were humans too. Lakhs of children vanished, lakhs became homeless. Were the efforts of the UN at that time and even now, adequate?” Modi asked in an evocative address.

For the last eight months, the world is combating the coronavirus pandemic, he pointed out while asking emphatically, “Where is the United Nations in that battle? Where is the collective and effective response to this crisis?”

The Prime Minister argued that institutional and structural reforms of the UN are a necessity of our times. The UN commands huge respect in India, he said adding that it is equally true that Indians have been waiting for the completion of the reforms for long. “Indians are worried and wondering if these reforms would ever reach a logical end. They have been asking till how long will India be kept out of the UN’s decision making structure?” he said.

In a strong pitch for granting India a seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC), the Prime Minister highlighted the nation’s role in the world and global peace. “For how long will a country which is the world’s largest democracy, a country with more than 18 per cent of the world’s population, a country with hundreds of languages, hundreds of dialects, many creeds, many ideologies, have to wait?” he asked.

“When we were strong, we did not trouble the world; when we were oppressed, we did not burden the world either,” Prime Minister Modi said adding that India’s philosophical values were in alignment with the founding principles of the UN.

“India will always use its experience as a pluralistic culture and democracy for the benefit of the world, humanity, security, progress and prosperity. We will always raise our voice against the enemies of humanity, human race and human valuesa- terrorism, arms smuggling, drugs, money laundering,” he said.

The Prime Minister assured the world community that India will continue to help the world as it has even during the current coronavirus pandemic. He informed the Assembly that India is headed towards phase three of clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine. “India will provide help to everyone,” he said.

While recounting how India has been dealing with its challenges, the Prime Minister explained his vision for self-reliant India and how it would be a force multiplier for the global economy.

Interestingly, Modi completely ignored Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s diatribe against his government at the UN on Friday.

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Pakistan wants to flood Jammu and Kashmir with weapons before winter

On September 8, alert troops recovered a AK-47, an M-4 Rifle, two magazines, six pistols which was smuggled through International Border sector.

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terrorist

New Delhi, Sep 25 : Ahead of winter, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence has planned to flood Jammu and Kashmir with weapons to create unrest in the Valley, government sources said. To do so, ISI has procured a sizable number of Hexacopters from a Chinese firm associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the pretext of protecting China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) assets.

The sources said that due to the strong anti-infiltration grid established by India’s security forces, Pakistan is unable to push neither terrorists nor weapons to increase violence levels in the Valley.

“Pakistan’s ISI has been given an ultimatum to push in maximum infiltrators along with weapons into Kashmir before onset of winter, when the undergrowth/bushes in most infiltration prone areas will die down due to dew and snowfall,” the source said.

It was further stated that the ISI has reportedly analysed the rules of engagement followed by Indian Security forces that they do not fire when an intruder along the Line of Control is seen without a weapon.

“Therefore, this modus operandi to infiltrate terrorists without weapons and sending weapons separately by drones or other means has been instituted to reduce the risk of terrorists getting eliminated at the Line of Control itself,” the source said

ISI has procured Hexacopters from a Chinese firm associated with the CPEC.

Recently, security forces have recovered EMEI Type 97 NSR rifles manufactured by Norinco company of China, which is a standard issue to PLA soldiers and also gifted to Pakistan Frontier Force as part of CPEC cooperation.

On the intervening night of September 23 and September 24, two suspected persons travelling in a Mahindra Bolero from Jammu to South Kashmir were arrested while transporting one Chinese-made Norinco/EMEI Type 97 NSR rifle, four magazines with 190 rounds, one AK-47 rifle with four magazines with 218 rounds and three grenades. Reportedly this consignment was dropped through a drone at Samba.

On September 23, 2020, five AK-47 rifles, and two Pistols were recovered in Ferozpur Mamdot sector. Two AK assault rifles, one pistol, three AK magazines and 90 rounds which were airdropped by a Pakistani drone in a village in Akhnoor region were seized by Jammu and Kashmir Police on September 22.

Again on September 18, two AK-56 rifles, two pistols and four grenades were recovered along the Line of Control in Rajouri Sector.

Intelligence inputs suggest that the weapons were likely to have been dropped by Pakistani drones.

On September 14, in the Gurez sector of North Kashmir when a group of terrorists attempting to infiltrate from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir were challenged, they abandoned their rucksacks before jumping into the Kishenganga river. One Chinese-made Norinco QBZ 95 rifle was recovered along with other weapons and bodies of two terrorists who drowned in the river recovered. The Chinese-made QBZ 95 is used by soldiers of Pakistan Frontier Corps.

Border Security Force troops on September 12 recovered a AK-47 rifle, a M16 Rifle and two pistols which were smuggled across the International Border fence in Ferozpur Kudian.

On September 8, alert troops recovered a AK-47, an M-4 Rifle, two magazines, six pistols which was smuggled through International Border sector.

Security forces have stated that they think before winters Pakistan would push in more weapons in the Valley through temporary underground tunnels across the LoC.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])

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Temporary retention, not diversion: FinMin on CAG audit of GST cess

Time taken in reconciliation of compensation receipts can’t be termed as diversion of GST cess fund when the dues to states were fully released by the central government, they said

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Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance ministry sources have countered CAG audit finding of central government wrongly retaining Rs 47,272 crore of GST compensation cess meant for states, saying temporary retention cannot be termed as diversion.

Days after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) flagged that the Centre in first two years of the GST implementation wrongly retained GST compensation cess that was meant to be used specifically to compensate states for loss of revenue, ministry sources said compensation due for the year 2017-18 and 2018-19 was fully paid to states.

Time taken in reconciliation of compensation receipts can’t be termed as diversion of GST cess fund when the dues to states were fully released by the central government, they said.

Sources said that in 2017-18, Rs 62,611 crore was collected, out of which the government released full compensation dues of Rs 41,146 crore to the states and union territories (UTs).

In 2018-19, an amount of Rs 95,081 crore was collected, out of which Rs 69,275 crore was paid as full compensation dues to states and UTs.

They said an amount of Rs 47,271 crore collected in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 had remained unutilised for reconciliation post full payment of GST compensation dues.

For the year 2019-20, the central government released Rs 1,65,302 crore as GST compensation against a cess collection of Rs 95,444 crore which it could do so with the unutilised cess of Rs 47,271 crore.

The GST (Compensation to States) Act guarantees all states an annual growth rate of 14 per cent in their GST revenue in the first five years of implementation of GST beginning July 2017. It was introduced as a relief for states for the loss of revenues arising from the implementation of GST.

If a state’s revenue grows slower than 14 per cent, it is supposed to be compensated by the Centre using the funds specifically collected as compensation cess. To provide these grants, a GST compensation cess is levied on certain luxury and sin goods.

The collected compensation cess flows into the consolidated fund of India (CFI), and is then transferred to the Public Account of India, where a GST compensation cess account has been created. States are compensated bi-monthly from the accumulated funds in this account.

However, instead of transferring the entire GST cess amount to the GST compensation fund during 2017-18 and 2018-19, the CAG found that the Centre retained these funds in the CFI and used it for other purposes.

The finance ministry sources said the compensation receipt in the CFI was subject to reconciliation in the coming months, as usual, in the forthcoming financial year.

If for that reason the amount remained in the CFI, how can that be treated as diversion, they asked adding even the CAG in its report has not said so.

The amount collected under compensation cess fund has been regularly and fully distributed to states as per their dues and budgetary provisions and by the end of July 2020, everything has been accounted for and released, source added.

The CAG in its report tabled in Parliament earlier this week said out of the Rs 62,612 crore GST Compensation Cess collected in 2017-18, Rs 56,146 crore was transferred to the non-lapsable fund.

In the following year (2018-19), Rs 54,275 crore out of Rs 95,081 crore collected was transferred to the fund.

The short transfer in 2017-18 was Rs 6,466 crore and in 2018-19 it was Rs 40,806 crore, the CAG said adding the Centre used this money for “other purposes” which “led to an overstatement of revenue receipts and understatement of fiscal deficit for the year”.

Sources explained that all amounts including taxes and cess that are collected by the Centre should, under the Article 266 of the Constitution, get credited first to the CFI and then only it could be transferred to any other fund through a budget head in Union Budget.

The government makes all efforts to transfer all amounts collected by the end of every financial year into the fund by making necessary budget provisions, they said.

In case of compensation cess, since the final accounts of amounts collected are known only after the end of financial year, any amount collected over and above the estimate will remain in the CFI temporarily, they said adding after reconciliation, the amount is transferred to Compensation Fund and from that fund to states as per their compensation formula.

Therefore, such temporary retention of GST cess in CFI pending reconciliation cannot be treated as diversion by any stretch of imagination, sources said.

Since the cess collected by the Government has been used for full payment of due compensation, then it cannot be alleged that unutilizedcess amount has been diverted for other purposes, they insisted.

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