News Leak Centre

Amit Shah slams Congress leaders during Debut Speech in Upper house

 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, who recently entered the Rajya Sabha as a first-time Member of Parliament, on Monday delivered his maiden speech in the upper house.

Speaking in the House with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance, Shah said most of the NDA government’s time in power has got wasted in undoing the wrongs committed by the previous Congress-led UPA government.

“Sarkaar ne jab kaam-kaaj sambhala, tab sarkaar ke paas virasat me kya tha? Jis prakaar ka gaddha tha, wo gaddha bharne mein hi sarkaar ka bahut saara samay gaya hai aur gaddha bharne ke baad in uplabhdhiyon ko ek alag najariye se dekhein (When the government took charge, what did it get in legacy? The kind of ditch it was, most of the government’s time went in filling that ditch. So, government’s achievements should be looked at in that context),” Shah said in Rajya Sabha.

He also sought to reject the claim that the Modi government was arrogant. “For the first time after Independence, a non-Congress party was given mandate by the public and it was BJP government led by PM Modi. In spite of getting the absolute majority, we formed the government with NDA members,” the BJP president said.

Hitting out at Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram’s Pakoda jibe, Shah said: “Abhi mai Chidambaram sahab ka tweet padh raha tha ki ‘mudra bank ke saath kisi ne pakode ka thela laga diya, isko rozgari kehte hain?’ Haan main maanta hu ki bheekh maangne se to accha hai ki koi mazdoori kar raha hai. Uski dusri pidhi aage aayegi to udyogpati banegi (I was reading Chidambaram’s tweet in which he said ‘somebody put up a pakoda stall near Mudra bank, is this called employment?’ I agree it is better to run a stall than beg on the streets. Their coming generation will become industrialist).”

Lauding PM Modi’s achievements, Shah said, “Chai waale ka beta aaj Pradhan Mantri bankar is sadan me baitha hai (A tea-seller’s son is sitting in Parliament as prime minister).”

The BJP president further described the Modi government’s move to provide free health insurance to around 50 crore people as unprecedented and courageous.

“Nowhere in the world has any government shown the courage to provide Rs 5 lakh health insurance to 50 crore people free of cost. That is why, ‘Ayushman Bharat’ will be known by the name of ‘Namo healthcare’,” Shah said.

On Goods and Services Tax (GST), he refuted claims that the BJP had opposed it. “BJP never opposed GST, it had only opposed its implementation. UPA had conceptualised GST. States suffered due to lowering of cess. UPA was supposed to compensate but it was NDA which compensated Rs 37,000 crores,” Shah stated.

He also hit out at Rahul Gandhi for calling GST, Gabbar Singh Tax. “The decision to introduce GST was unanimous. And what was it called? Gabbar Singh Tax! Who is Gabbar Singh? He was a dacoit in ‘Sholay’ film. Does a tax brought in legally called dacoity?” he asked.

Counting surgical strikes in PoK as a “historic moment”, the BJP president said “the world started seeing India differently afterwards. They realised that after America and Israel, India is the only country which can protect its soldiers and Army.”

 

Inputs: TimesNow

Padman, The superhero! To Visit DU This Month

Apart from the women’s Marathon for tax-free sanitary napkins, DU students have planned something more to offer with a visit of Akshay Kumar to the University on 12th January. His upcoming movie Padman will also be a part of the run, organised by DUSU secretary for tax-free sanitary napkins.

Mahamedha also tweeted to Akshay, but then wrote a formal mail to the actor’s team a few days back, and guess what, got a confirmation on Saturday night.

“This marathon is a run for solidarity among girls. Through this, we are going to question the tax imposed on sanitary napkins by the government. Also, I will be preparing a charter for more demands, by going to the ground level class to class college campaign, where we will the ask the girl students about their real issues in the college. We have over three thousand registrations and hope that girls participate in huge numbers for this marathon”, Mahamedha added.

So, guys, if you are excited to see Akshay and wanna meet him in DU then do share your feelings on the same in the below comment box.

23rd GST Council meet: 150 items to get cheaper

After getting sharp criticism from the Opposition over the ‘hasty’ implementation of Goods and Service Tax, 23rd GST council has brought down the list of 200 items that fall in the highest tax slab of 28%.

GST Council, which consists of state Finance Ministers and headed by Central Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has brought down the commodities of daily use like washing powder, aftershave cream, detergent, chocolate is likely to get cheaper.

“Lower 18% GST will be levied on chewing gums, chocolates, aftershave, deodorant, washing powder, detergent, marble,” Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi, who has attended the meeting, said.

“The GST Council has decided to keep only 50 items, mostly demerit, sin and luxury goods in top 28% bracket,” Modi added.

PM Modi led NDA government has come under the sharp criticism after Congress-led Opposition questioned the implementation of GST. Congress Vice-Rahul Gandhi has been relentlessly targeting PM Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and described GST as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’.

“The Congress wanted to implement the Goods and Service Tax. But the PM Modi-led government at the Centre has imposed the Gabbar Singh Tax,” Rahul Gandhi said at an election rally in poll-bound Gujarat.

Under (GST) regime implemented from July, over 1,200 products and services have been fitted into one of the 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent tax slabs based on the principle of keeping the total tax incidence at almost the same level as previously as well as keeping revenue collections neutral.

Jaitley said some of the items should never have been in the 28 per cent slab and the GST Council in the last 3-4 meetings has slashed rates on over 100 items, thereby bringing them down either from 28 per cent to 18 per cent or from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.

“The whole idea is, as your revenue collections neutralise we must prune it and that’s the pattern in which the Council has so far been functioning. I see that as a future guide as far as the Council is concerned,” Jaitley said at event in New Delhi last week.

Ahead of Gujarat polls, GST cut on Khakhara raises question on BJP’s desperate attempt to win elections

Taking the cognizance of the matter over growing disharmony among the small traders and enterprises, the government of India and the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, held the GST meet and helped bring down the strife among them.

The government was facing sharp criticism over the poor implementation of GST and announced the slew of measures of which the reducing the tax on Khakhra, famous dish in Gujarat, from current 12 percent to 5 percent remains the hot topic of discussion among the masses. The tax, many on the internet went to rename it to ‘Gujarat and Service Tax’, was implemented in the wake of the Gujarat Assembly Election.

The step sharply critcised by the online netizens and garnered a lot of traction and became a hot topic of meme on twitter:

Other than these products, a group of ministers will also relook the current GST rate of 18 percent on air-conditioned restaurants to bring it down to 12 percent. They will present their recommendations in two weeks.

GST Affects Meat Sellers Party; Kerala Government Orders Traders Not To Sell Chicken Not More Than Rs 87/Kg

The government of Kerala has notified poultry traders to commence selling chicken at a price of Rs. 87/kg or prepare for consequences. This warning came from state finance minister Dr TM Thomas Isaac as a result of the new Goods and Services tax reform applicable on Indian markets from July 1, which put the chicken in the slab of tax-exempted goods. The government had to intervene when the price of poultry sky-rocketed after the GST rolled out.

Kerala was the only state in which the tax levied on the chicken was 14.5%, priced at Rs. 103 as the GST was implemented. Dr Isaac pegs the current price of chicken at Rs. 87 – something the traders strongly disagree with.

The suppliers informed the government for them to sell their product at such low prices, and maintain that the government took a one-sided decision in their pricing policy. The state secretary of the farmers and traders association Abdul-Jabbar rationalises, “We get chicken from the farm for Rs 115, we sell it to retailers for Rs 125 and they sell for Rs 142”.

The water supply from Tamil Nadu has also been sparse recently, which directly impacts the production of chicken, as one chicken requires one litre of water per day.

With the oncoming monsoon, the production of chicken will probably go back to normal. The government is set to meet the traders association soon, to discuss the final numbers, and will hopefully resolve the matter.

By: Tarun Rao

GST And Cattle Ban Effect: Cricket Balls And Leather Items To Get Costlier

The government of India had introduced the GST with a great show by calling in the special Parliament late at night. GST which has been under the firing line for hard to understand the new tax reform.

In another decision of the Union Government of imposing 5% Goods and Service Tax (GST) on raw hides is adding to the worries of the leather and sports industry.

The leather industry which is in constraints of steep hike of 15 to 20% in the cost of raw material after the government’s decision of banning slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh followed by the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter across the country.

After imposing GST on the raw material in the leather industry and other goods used for manufacturing cricket balls, the price of the cricket balls is expected to double in the next two months, traders claimed.

“Currently, traders have leather stock for one month. So, prices of cricket balls may be stable or may only witness a marginal hike of 5% to 10% in prices. But, if the cattle ban remains intact for over one month, the cost of cricket balls will see a hike of over 40%,” said Ravinder Dhir, president, Sports Forum,

Leather Prices:

Further, he added that volleyballs, cricket balls and baseballs are all made of leather, for which the leather is imported mostly from Western UP, but due to slaughterhouses there have already been shut down. “A sheet of leather which earlier cost us Rs 1300 in March is now available for over Rs 1,700,” Dhir said

Rajinder Prasad, a leading sports trader here, said that superior quality cricket ball price has gone up to Rs 600 now against Rs 350 to Rs 400 six months ago.

There were at least 60 tanneries (factories) in the district. Five years ago, the figure rose to more than 100.

Jobs Are At Stake:

“Generally, traders prefer to buy the skin from slaughterhouses as it produces high-quality leather products as compared to the skin of dead animals for a cricket ball and sports goods,” said Col Jagjit Singh Paul, president of the Punjab Leather Federation

He further added that jobs of over 10,000 employees in the leather industry here are at stake after the ban of the slaughter of animals and GST on raw hides.

“There was no tax on the purchase of raw material within the state and only 2% Central Sales Tax (CST) was imposed on the imported material. “But after implementation of the GST, the government has imposed 5% tax on the purchase of material within the state and 5% IGST on the import of raw material,” Col Jagjit said.

Similarly, the government is charging 12% GST on the import of finished leather against the current 6.05% VAT charged by the state government, which would increase the cost of all leather goods.

Meanwhile, leather traders are on strike for the past one week against the government’s decision of 5% GST on raw material.

Government On Backfoot; Defends Decision Tax On Sanitary Pads

Amidst the hue and cry which the recent Goods and Sales Tax reform has attracted, some issues such as the tax levied on female hygiene products have become a regular point of contention with economists, politicians and citizens. A total tax of 12% has been placed on sanitary napkins, drawing a lot of outrage – calling it ‘patriarchal’ and ‘sexist’; appearing to focus more on birth control than women’s hygiene(condoms have been exempted from tax altogether)
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The Shetty Women Welfare Foundation has filed a Public Interest Litigation in favour of putting sanitary pads in the same tax exempted category as condoms, sindoor and bangles. The PIL was filed in the Bombay High Court, urging the judiciary to take over the matter, since, at this rate, only 12% of menstruating Indian women can afford to purchase feminine hygiene products. “Steps need to be taken by the government to increase the access of women to basic menstrual hygiene products in order to improve their health and protect their rights under Article 21 (Right to Life)”, the foundation stated. The hearing date for the PIL has been set for the 24th of July.

The court’s decision is awaited.

By: Tarun Rao

Bengali Rasogulla And Sandesh Are No Longer That Sweet

With the enforcement of the GST regime, the Bengali sweet and dessert industry is in disarray. The prices of popular sweets like Rosogulla, Sandesh, Misti Doi and Pantua are on the rise, making it difficult for the lovers of such sweets and desserts. The Goods and Services Tax came into effect from 1st of July which sets taxes at 5% on such products making it dearer for the consumers. But the real problem does not end here.

In fact, the proprietors of sweet shops are as much in a state of confusion as the customers, given the complexity of the different ingredients present in these sweet variants, and how the GST interacts with these condiments. The fact that some shops have over 200 variants of sweets and all of these falls into one of the four different tax slabs doesn’t ease the confusion either.

Sudip Mallick, the owner of Balaram Mallick and Radharam Malick, one of the most prominent sweet chains in Kolkata, addresses these very problems, “Currently we are calculating 5% GST on all sorts of sweets, except the chocolate-flavoured ones, where the rate is fixed at 28%. We will continue to do so unless there is further notification from the government differentiating between ordinary sweets, packaged suits and dry fruit- flavoured sweets” he voices.

A culmination of these factors has led to Bengali sweet shops becoming mayhem-infused centers, where customers and proprietors have prolonged arguments about what the correct pricing (inclusive of GST) of a certain savoury would be; each one taking a minimum 10 minutes to calculate how much money they would have to shell out for their purchase.

These problems arise even when a proprietor has enough of an investment to afford machines and accompanying software that can calculate the tax. This nightmare magnifies tenfold in the cases of those small-scale businesses which can’t afford a computer to begin with. Although in most of these cases official communication hasn’t reached them.

Regional bias could also be a factor in the rate-fixing process, seeing how Lassi and Mishti Doi, which contain the same essential ingredients, are in different tax slabs; Lassi being exempted completely from any tax. Hopefully, these problems will iron themselves out over time as standard rates start applying to products.

By: Tarun Rao

For India It Was On The 1st Of July, For This Couple GST Was Born On 2nd

India, famous for it’s incredible and out of the box thinking, has once again come under the same spotlight. Just a few days ago, on July 1, GST, the most awaited, revolutionary and uniform tax system was introduced in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and coincidently the day is also celebrated as CA(Chartered Accountancy) day as well.

As history repeats, this was the first time in 70 years that a special midnight session was held in the Parliament to officially roll out the tax reform.

When people of the country were awake to witness the history that was being made in the country; at the same time the couple was excitedly waiting for the night. As for them, it does mark the new beginning, not by the tax reform, but by the new life they were about to witness. The parents go through sleepless nights post the birth of a child, with the mind occupied to decide the name to be given to the baby, GST came out as a solution to the problem for this couple for obvious reasons.

The twins born in Bangad Hospital at 12.06 AM, didn’t know what was coming their way but their father did. The father of the twins, Jasraj Sen, was so excited by the GST proceedings on TV that he chose to name one of his twins GST.

What else can be the best way to celebrate the major tax reform in the country.

For those unaware, GST will replace the previous tax regime and will bring uniformity in the state in the tax.

By: Drishti Gupta

GST On Gods? 171 Temples In Andhra Pradesh To Be Tax Under GST

After the introduction of GST on the midnight of 1st July 2017, there is much upheaval in all the sectors. For some, GST is a boon while for others, it is a bane. It seems like the government is not even sparing any thoughts to put taxes on the religious sentiments of its people.

A hundred and seventy-one temples in Andhra Pradesh with an income of above Rs 20 lakh have come under the clutches of GST. The temple’s income, in the form of donations from ardent devotees, has come under the horizon of the latest tax regime.

Out of the 23,834 temples in the state, 45 temples come under the income girder of Rs 1 crore, 63 temples under the income of up to Rs 25 crore and seven temples with more than Rs 25 crore annual income, including the country’s richest Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams.

This comes under much scrutiny as temples are the only religious institutions that are taxed, and many devotees hoped that GST would cut out our temples just like any other religious institution. However, that does not seem like the case.

By: Anamika Bhaumik