Taxation
15 states ratified GST, a step away from presidential nod
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill ratified by 15 states, awaits the magical number of 16 before it is sent to the president for his assent.
 
After Goa became the 15th state to ratify the GST bill on Wednesday, decks would have already been cleared for presidential assent had the West Bengal government moved for its ratification earlier this week. 
 
It did not do so at a one-day special session on Monday, citing "time constraints".
 
Indications though suggest that the pan-India overhaul of India's indirect tax regime will get the mandatory support of more than half the states very soon.
 
It could well be much earlier than the Centre's targeted deadline of rolling out the GST bill by the start of the next fiscal on April 1, 2017.
 
Meanwhile, at a meeting here with the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST on Monday, India Inc pitched for an 18 per cent standard rate.
 
They said this rate would generate adequate tax buoyancy without fuelling inflation.
 
The opposition Congress party had earlier demanded an 18 per cent cap on the GST rate.
 
Industry chambers also told state finance ministers that the new tax be implemented after a minimum of 6 months from the date of adoption of the GST law by the GST Council.
 
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) suggested that to check inflation and the tendency to evade taxes "the merit rate should be lower and the standard rate should be reasonable."
 
"As per current indications and reports, goods will be categorised as being subject to merit rates (12 per cent), standard rates (18 per cent) and de-merit rates (40 per cent)," FICCI said in a release following a meeting here with the Empowered Committee.
 
"Certain goods will be exempted from GST while bullion and jewellery would be charged to one-two per cent," it said regarding classification of goods for applying GST rates.
 
On implementing GST, FICCI said that in order to provide adequate time to trade and industry to prepare "for a hassle-free roll out of the GST regime", a minimum of 6 months time should be permitted from the date of the adoption of the GST Law by the GST Council.
 
"Additional time would be required in case the GST Law as passed by parliament or state legislatures is significantly different from the one adopted by the GST Council," the statement added.
 
In a meeting here with Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia last month, industry chambers had raised concerns on the draft GST law, flagging issues like dual administrative control and wide discretionary powers for tax authorities.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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Reliance Jio to offer free voice calls, data, roaming till year-end
Burying all speculation, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Thursday the commercial operations of Reliance Jio will start from Dec 31. The company also offered several freebies to attract customers.
 
The chairman gave this information while addressing the 42nd annual general meeting of the company.
 
Amongst a whole host of offerings Ambani made:
 
*Starting from Sep 5 till Dec 31, Jio's bouquet of apps, all services will available for free
 
*By March 2017, Jio will cover 90 per cent of India's population
 
*New handsets (LYF) will start at Rs 2,999 
 
*Roaming charges will also be zero 
 
*Jio will offer data at Rs 50 per GB (base rate) against Rs 250 per GB charged on average by other operators.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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27 Indian journalists investigating corruption murdered over 24 years
As many as 27 journalists have been murdered in India in direct retaliation for their work since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a non-profit organisation based in New York.
 
The CPJ's latest report, 'Dangerous pursuit: In India, journalists who cover corruption may pay with their lives', tells the stories of Jagendra Singh in Uttar Pradesh, Umesh Rajput in Chhattisgarh and Akshay Singh in Madhya Pradesh.
 
"The challenges faced by India's press are highlighted by the cases of Jagendra Singh, Umesh Rajput, and Akshay Singh. Corruption was the impetus for all three journalists' final reports and in all three cases, there have been no convictions," Sumit Galhotra, CPJ's Asia Program senior research associate, wrote in the report.
 
Freelancer Jagendra Singh, who died after being set on fire allegedly by the police in June 2015, was investigating allegations that a local minister was involved in land grabs and a rape. Before he was shot dead in January 2011, Umesh Rajput was investigating allegations of medical negligence and claims that the son of a politician was involved illegal gambling. Investigative reporter Akshay Singh was working on a story linked to the US $1 billion Vyapam admissions scandal -- tests for professional jobs run by the Madhya Pradesh government -- "when he died unexpectedly in July 2015".
 
Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir are the most dangerous areas to report from (statistics do not put Chhattisgarh in the top three), given their "volatile" institutional structures and "complex" civil societies, the report said.
 
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a global advocacy, called India "Asia's deadliest country for media personnel, ahead of both Pakistan and Afghanistan", IndiaSpend reported in April 2016.
 
The CPJ report also shows how small-town journalists face greater risks than those from larger cities, and how India's culture of impunity is leaving the country's media vulnerable to threats and attacks. "They rarely get support from their employers if they are targeted," Sujata Madhok, general secretary of the Delhi Union of Journalists, told CPJ. "The gulf between journalists working in rural or remote areas and those working in big cities is huge".
 
"The language a reporter writes in and, most importantly, what they are writing about -- especially if it challenges the powerful -- increase the vulnerability," P. Sainath, co-founder of People's Archive of Rural India, wrote in the report.
 
"While rural and small-town journalists often have to cover multiple beats, those included in CPJ's list focused mainly on corruption, crime, and politics: three beats often closely intertwined," the report said. "This hasn't changed too much in the past three decades, but it has become worse with the retreat of the mainstream media from covering rural India in any depth."
 
Police are responsible for the first stages in any investigation, Geeta Sheshu, consulting editor of The Hoot, a media watchdog, told CPJ. "A faulty first information report, not applying the appropriate sections of the law, not clearly recording witness statements or protecting vulnerable witnesses, and not following up on preliminary investigations can be damaging."
 
The CPJ has made various recommendations to the central government, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the death of Akshay Singh and Umesh Rajput, the Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh state governments and the Indian media. These include:
 
Provide sufficient resources and political support to improve the capacity of authorities to conduct timely investigations and trials relating to crimes against journalists, including freelancers, bloggers, and those who publish news on social media;
 
Immediately transfer the investigation into the 2015 death of Jagendra Singh in Uttar Pradesh from state police to the CBI; and employers should establish clear mechanisms for staff and freelancers to report threats, harassment, or attacks, and offer appropriate support.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Mahesh S Bhatt

6 months ago

Indian CJI told common man shouldnot expect timely justice.In such situation justice is already denied so enjoy Law & Disorders Mahesh

Mahesh S Bhatt

6 months ago

Indian CJI told common man shouldnot expect timely justice.In such situation justice is already denied so enjoy Law & Disorders Mahesh

Bapoo Malcolm

6 months ago

This makes 'Sue the Messenger' by Ghosh and Thakurta look like child's play.

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