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Present GST structure may see spike in inflation says Kapil Sibal

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal today said the present GST structure may lead to a spike in inflation. He said that items such as petroleum products, real estate and liquor among others which are excluded from the GST leaves room for states to charge levies on these items at higher rates.

Speaking to NewsRise, Sibal said, “States will tax all those activities (that are excluded from GST) at higher rates. In short, GST will cause high inflation,”

Sibal said that it was the UPA government which had initiated the move towards GST and the Congress party didn’t wish to create hurdles in the way of such a major tax reform, but has its reservations.  He said,  “We didn’t want to sabotage the idea because we had initiated GST,”….. “Even it is not an ideal GST, we have supported it. We have our reservations.”

Commenting on the probability of tax rates going higher in certain cases and the ensuing effect on businesses, he said, “In current GST structure, rates can go up to over 50%. I think, they are now trying to create a regime which is going to make it very difficult for people to do business.”

 Sibal said, that small and medium enterprises aren’t yet fully equipped and ready to embrace the GST. He said that multiple registrations of businesses, including banks and insurance companies in different states are adding to the confusion.

Sibal’s comments came on a day when the GST council met in Srinagar to decide tax rates on some of the items after it had assigned tax rates for 1211 .items earlier.

Here is a quick review of ‘GST’ rates arrived at by the GST council in its meeting on May 18 and 19, 2017.

wefornews bureau

India

OP Rawat takes charge as new Chief Election Commissioner

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New Delhi, Jan 26: Om Prakash Rawat on Tuesday took charge as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), succeeding Achal Kumar Jyoti to the post.

Rawat will serve a tenure of almost a year till his retirement in December 2018.

He has previously held various key portfolios at the Central government and in the states. He was also deputed to South Africa in May 1994 as the United Nations’ election observer to chalk out the first post-apartheid elections there.

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Karni Sena threats force cancellation of ‘Padmaavat’ bookings in Bihar

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Patna, Jan 23: Shree Rajput Karni Sena activists have forced cinema halls to stop advance bookings for “Padmaavat”, officials on Tuesday said.

In Patna, online bookings for the movie were stopped following protest and threat by Karni Sena’s activists.

“Fear of Karni Sena is such that Cinepolis has not only stopped online booking of ‘Padmaavat’. It cancelled 50 bookings after a group of Karni Sena activists protested and threatened the staff members,” an official of district administration said.

Three other cinema halls, set to screen the controversial movie, have so far not informed people about advance booking for the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial.

In Gaya district, all cinema hall owners have decided not to show “Padmaavat” fearing violence by Karni Sena supporters.

In Bhagalpur and Purnea districts also cinema halls have decided not to screen the film.

Karni Sena’s state president Dhirender Singh said cinema halls should not to show “Padmaavat”, respecting the sentiments of the people.

In the last 10 day, activists of the Rajput organisation, which has been at the forefront of anti-“Padmaavat” protest, have staged demonstrations across the state.

Last week, some activists attacked a cinema hall in Muzaffarpur district, tore posters of “Padmaavat” and threatened to set ablaze the hall if the film is screened, police said.

The police is, however, yet to act against those who indulged in the vandalism.

According to district officials, the police would scan the CCTV footage.

The JD(U)-BJP government led by Nitish Kumar has so far not decided whether the movie will release in the state.

IANS

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No ban on ‘Padmaavat’, Supreme Court clears pan-India Jan 25 release

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New Delhi, Jan 23: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked all states to comply with its order not to stand in the way of the release of controversial film “Padmaavat” as it dismissed last ditch efforts by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments to block its January 25 release.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “People must understand that the Supreme Court has passed an order and it must be complied with.”

“Our order is to be complied with by one and all. A few hundred people come on the street and create a law and order situation demanding ban. That can’t be accepted,” Misra said.

“You can advise them not to watch the movie if they don’t like it. We will not modify our order,” the Chief Justice told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who tried to flag the law and order situation as a ground for blocking release of the film.

The court also dismissed a plea by Akhil Bharatiya Karni Mahasangh, saying: “We are not inclined to modify order” — clearing the decks for the release of the Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial.

Admitting that maintaining law and order was the state’s obligation, Mehta appearing for the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments urged the court to appreciate the ground situation and threat to breach of peace.

“You can’t make virtue of creating trouble. You can’t first create trouble and then make a virtue of it,” said Justice Chandrachud.

Seeking clarification, Mehta said a situation could arise where after the release of the film, there could be trouble in some parts.

“Let the state honour this order. Rest we will deal with when it comes to it,” Justice Khanwilkar said.

IANS

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