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RBI has enough cash, 30% tax advantage for digital transactions: Jaitley

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New Delhi, Dec 20: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday assured that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has enough new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes to last even beyond December 30.

His comments comes after RBI announced new regulations on currency deposits earlier on Monday.

The new regulations announced yesterday said that people can now only deposit Rs 5,000 in scrapped notes and even that, they can do only once until December 30.

The new rules state that people can now only deposit Rs 5000 in demonetized currency and that too only once until December 30. Moreover, the RBI said that those depositing more than Rs 5,000 in scrapped currency notes will be scrutinised and questioned.

However, Jaitley clarified the same and said anyone going more than once “raises suspicion”.

“Whoever has old currency must go and deposit it in one go, if somebody goes everyday it raises suspicion, since exemptions have been lifted, whoever has old currency must deposit it in one go,” was all Jaitley said. The exemption he’s referring to is the centre allowing old notes to be used for certain public utilities.

“The RBI was adequately prepared for demonetisation. There has been no day when RBI did not dispense adequate cash to banks has enough currency stocks that will last beyond December 30. Even today, RBI has more than adequate cash to last not just till December 30 but even more,” Jaitley added.

Also, Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said rail commuters must pay for the service they receive.

He said year after year, the success of Railway Budget was measured by subsidising consumers and making populist announcements regarding trains.

“Railways got caught in a battle where populism prevailed over performance and the basic principle on which any commercial establishment is to be run, the first essential principle is that consumers must pay for the services that they receive,” he said.

“The core competence of railways is really to drive trains, to provide those services. Hospitality may not be the core competence of the railways and therefore, what is not within its core competence, the principle of outsourcing — which is accepted world over — can be a logical addition to those activities of railways,” Jaitley added.

Jaitley also said that small traders and businesses will get a tax advantage of more than 30 per cent for digital transactions.

“There will be a significant tax benefit for small traders if you turn digital. It is a tax incentive to support digitisation of economy,” Jaitley told the media.

“If we calculate, many traders will get a tax advantage of more than 30 per cent for transactions in digital mode,” he added.

Wefornews Bureau

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BS-IV vehicles needed for public utility services & purchased up to March 31 be registered: SC

The issue of pollution from vehicles had cropped up before the apex court which is hearing a matter related to air pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR).

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New Delhi, Sep 18 : The Supreme Court Friday said BS-IV vehicles, which were purchased on or before March 31 this year and are necessary for municipal corporation in Delhi to carry out essential public utility services, should be registered.

The apex court had in October 2018 said that no BS-IV compliant vehicle would be sold or registered in India from April 1, 2020.

In 2016, the Centre had also announced that India would skip the BS-V norms and adopt BS-VI by 2020.

BS emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.

The matter came up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde which dealt with applications related to registration of three types of vehicles — CNG , BS-IV and BS-VI compliant — for being used for essential public utility services.

“Insofar as CNG vehicles are concerned, there cannot be any valid rejection to the vehicles, as the emission from these vehicles is within the limits. Therefore, we direct that these vehicles may be registered,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

It noted that BS-VI norms came into force on April 1, 2020 and vehicles purchased up to March 31 this year were BS-IV compliant.

“Admittedly the emission from BS-VI compliant vehicles is within the norms and hence the vehicles purchased on or after April 1, 2020 and which are BS-VI compliant, should also liable to be registered,” it said.

The top court noted in its order that BS-IV compliant vehicles purchased up to March 31 this year must have been registered with the E-Vahan portal of the government before the cut-off date to establish the date of purchase.

“If the purchase had been made on or before March 31, 2020 and these vehicles are BS-IV compliant, such vehicles necessary for the municipal corporation to carry essential public utility services should also be registered. But such cases shall be scrutinized by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA),” the bench said.

The bench said to avoid repeated applications being filed before the court just for the purpose of getting registration, “we direct that the EPCA shall scrutiny the pending cases and submit a report to this court so that a common order could be passed without the necessity for several interlocutory applications.”

The issue of pollution from vehicles had cropped up before the apex court which is hearing a matter related to air pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR).

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Coronavirus: Karnataka’s Covid tally crosses 5 lakh

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Coronavirus in India

Bengaluru, Sep 19 : With 8,626 fresh cases across the state on Friday, Karnataka’s Covid-19 tally crossed the 5 lakh mark, while 10,949 people were discharged after treatment in the last 24 hours.

“The number of positive cases across the state is 5,02,982, including 1,01,129 active cases, while 3,94,026 cases were discharged since March 8,” said the health bulletin.

With 179 patients succumbing to the infection during the day, the state’s toll has gone up to 7,808.

Bengaluru, which is the epicentre of the disease in the state, registered 3,623 cases during the day, taking its tally to 1,87,705, including 41,914 active cases, while 1,43,198 patients were discharged till date, with 2,725 in the last 24 hours.

With 37 deaths during the day, the city’s toll has increased to 2,592.

“The number of patients in the intensive care units (ICU) across the state is 814, including 271 in Bengaluru Urban district, Dharwad 74, Ballari 67 and Hassan 62,” the bulletin said.

Mysuru saw 600 new cases, Udupi 493, Dakshina Kannada 456, Ballari 296, Shivamogga 257 and Belagavi 221.

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Anil Dhasmana is new chief of NTRO, spy agency that keeps an eye from the sky

Anil Dhasmana is the former chief of India’s external spy agency, R&AW

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Anil Dhasmana with Amit Shah

Former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief Anil Dhasmana has been appointed as National Technical Research Organisation, India’s technical body that is responsible for geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared the appointment and the decision was formally conveyed to the retired Indian Police Service officer on Friday.

Dhasmana succeeds former Intelligence Bureau officer Satish Jha who demitted office on Thursday.

Dhasmana, a 1981 batch Indian Police Service officer, is a Pakistan expert and was the lead planner of the Balakot air strikes in February 2019 after Pakistan-backed terrorists killed 40 CRPF soldiers in the Pulwama car bombing.

Dhasmana had stepped down a few months later when his extended term due to the general elections ended in June 2019.

The top police officer returns to the center of action 14 months later at a time the NTRO is playing a crucial role, tracking movements of the China’s People’s Liberation Army near the many friction points along the Line of Actual Control that have seen heavy deployment of soldiers and support elements from both sides. The two countries have been speaking to each other at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the stand-off but there are some indications that the stand-off would continue for some time.

Dhasmana had joined R&AW, India’s external spy agency in 1993 from his parent cadre Madhya Pradesh and had worked extensively with the agency’s Pakistan desk.

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