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Putin doesn’t rule out running for new presidential term

The Russian leader cautioned officials against searching for a successor to him now, saying that they should rather focus on their work.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Moscow, June 22 : Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out that he will run for a new presidential term if such a constitutional amendment is adopted, the media reported.

“I have not made any decision so far. I’m not ruling out that I will stand for (election) if this emerges in the Constitution. We”ll see,” TASS News Agency quoted the President as saying in a TV interview aired on Sunday.

The Russian leader cautioned officials against searching for a successor to him now, saying that they should rather focus on their work.

“They need to work rather than search for successors,” Putin said.

“You know, I”ll say absolutely frankly now: if this does not happen (passing a respective constitutional amendment) then in some two years, I know this from my own experience, instead of a normal rhythmical work at many levels of power they will start searching for potential successors.”

Putin”s remarks come ahead of a referendum in Russia on a set of constitutional amendments on July 1.

If passed, it will enable him to participate in the 2024 presidential race.

In January, Putin, who has served as President since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008, suggested to introduce a number of amendments to the basic law, reports TASS News Agency.

Following a discussion within the working group, the State Duma (lower house) and the Federation Council (upper house) adopted the final bill on March 11, followed by approval by all regions of Russia.

Putin then signed an order, scheduling the nationwide vote on the amendments for April 22, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The amendments will enter force only if approved in the nationwide vote.

India

‘Tax Terrorism’, ‘Raid Raj’ are hallmarks of Modi govt alleges Congress

Congress has alleged that ‘honouring the honest’ scheme is yet another ‘amnesty scheme’ to ‘honour the dishonest’ and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s legacy is amnesty schemes for tax evaders and converting black money to white.

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Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the new taxation scheme and launched the ‘Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest’ platform among other reforms.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday re-published the speech he delivered on February 14, 2020. Except for managed news headlines, PM’s announcements ended up being a ‘Zero-Sum Game’. Income Tax arrears under dispute have increased by 129 per cent in the last five years – and the stark reality of Modi government’s ‘Transparent Taxation’ is that income tax arrears have surged many fold.”

Citing the Budget 2020, the Congress said Rs 9,40,000 crore worth of ‘direct tax’ amount is under dispute. Of this, demands related to corporate tax amount to Rs 4,88,000 crore while taxes on income and other heads amount to Rs 4,50,000 crore. In contrast thereto, direct tax arrears as on March 2014 were only Rs 4,10,000 Crore, total increase of 129 percent in five years.

The party said the demands relating to “indirect taxes” of commodities/services amount to Rs 1,69,000 crore, taking total outstanding to Rs 11,09,000 cores. Is this “transparent taxation” or “insurmountable taxation”? asked Surjewala.

The party in a statement said “target based” tax collection is the new “tax terrorism”. Due to the target based tax collection system, Income Tax Receivables (ITR) that are under dispute have reached Rs 6,23,539 crore (according to the documents of the interim budget 2019-20). Of these, taxes due by companies or corporation tax, have touched nearly Rs 4,00,000 crore.

Questioning the government’s intention, Surjewala said, “Is announcing ‘three amnesty schemes’ back to back honouring the honest? Repeated voluntary disclosure schemes are only meant to serve the ‘dishonest’ at the cost of the ‘honest’. These are convert “black money into white” schemes.”

The Congress said for Government that came to power promising to bring back Rs 80,00,000 crore worth of ‘black money’ from abroad, these ‘amnesty schemes’ expose the jumlas sold to the people, he added.

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India

Where’s the Rs 20-lakh-crore package: MPYC to PM Modi

“My only question to the PM is – Modiji, who exactly got the Rs 20 lakh-crore?” Tambe demanded.

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Modi PM

Mumbai, Aug 14 : Attempting to corner the Centre on the eve of Independence Day on Saturday, the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress on Friday sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has actually benefited from the Rs 20-lakh-crore assistance package announced four months ago.

Leading a MPYC agitation, the party President Satyajeet Tambe said the PM insists that a Rs 20 lakh-crore economic package was given to farmers, entrepreneurs and jobless, but he claimed that MPYC has yet to find “a single individual” who has benefitted from it.

“My only question to the PM is – Modiji, who exactly got the Rs 20 lakh-crore?” Tambe demanded.

He said that fact-finding teams of the MPYC workers and activists have been trying to find out the intended stakeholders of the “astronomical figure”, not a single one has been found who has so far received the promised aid.

The teams found that no farmers, unemployed persons, traders, shopkeepers or factories and MSMEs who joined the survey have recorded their testimonies and express the same disillusionment across critical sectors of the economy.

“Because of the stark variance between the Prime Minister’s professions and the zero beneficiary reality on the ground, we at MPYC continue to apply to the Central Government for a breakdown of the COVID-19 assistance to Maharashtra,” said Tambe.

He said the “BJP’s silence and thuggery is symptomatic of the elite capture and the cronyism that is Modi’s Operandi” even as the economy is on the ventilator, threatening to flatten as unemployment takes a serious turn.

Tambe also asked BJP’s three Members of Parliament from Mumbai to account for the actual money received by socio-economically marginalised people in Maharashtra from the Centre’s Rs. 20 Lakh Crore COVID-19 Economic Assistance Package, even as the Opposition termed the MPYC agitation as “a total failure”.

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India

‘Apologise with folded hands on TV’: Shiv Sena to Arnab Goswami

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Arnab Goswami

Nagpur, Aug 14 : Taking umbrage at “insults and humiliations” meted out during its debates on the issue of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, a Shiv Sena leader on Friday demanded that Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami should apologise with folded hands on TV or face criminal proceedings.

The Sena is the second party in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, to act against Goswami after the Congress filed criminal proceedings against him a couple of months ago for linking party chief Sonia Gandhi to the Palghar mob-lynching case.

Slapping a legal notice on Goswami, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari, who is accorded Minister of State status, contended that the manner in which the debates are conducted on the channel were an attempt at “Contempt of the Supreme Court”.

The Sena leader – who is also a lawyer – said that despite his protests during the debate, Goswami continued his “wilful disobedience and contempt of court” and attempted to influence and interfere with the court proceedings, on the Sushant case.

“Once during the programme, you had gone one step more to term (Chief Minister) Uddhavji Thackeray as ‘prime accused’ of the (Sushant) case in your prejudged, perverse, biased and pre-determined style towards the Thackeray family,” said Tiwari.

He added that the entire style and approach of debates was “based on false, concocted stories and a prejudiced mindset in a predetermined way”, which, he held, is also contempt of the Supreme Court.

“These acts of yours and your team are highly unlawful and nothing but a case of criminal defamation, insult, public humiliation….” he said, citing the institution of a civil suit for infringement of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution “caused in programmes on your channels – Republic TV and Republic Bharat”.

Tiwari also alleged Republic TV had targeted former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, linking her with the Lalit Modi case, and she could not bear the shock, leading to the collapse of her immune system and finally, she succumbed to cancer in August last year.

In a similar manner, he alleged that Republic TV is targeting the Thackeray family to tarnish their image which is tantamount to sheer misuse of freedom of expression and media.

In the legal notice, Tiwari called upon Goswami to “apologise with folded hands” on his television during prime time and also publish the same apology in leading print publications.

Failing this, he has warned the Republic TV chief and his team of criminal and civil proceedings besides launching a separate case requesting the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings as Goswami has “wilfully and mischievously” tried to influence the matter which is before the apex court.

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