Nation
Bihar assembly passes GST Bill
The Bihar assembly on Tuesday ratified the Goods and Services Tax Constitution Amendment Bill which found support from the ruling coalition of JD-U, RJD and Congress as well as the BJP-led opposition.
 
The CPI(ML), however, opposed the GST Bill -- its three members walked out of the assembly which convened for a special day-long session to consider the legislation, officials said.
 
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told the assembly that the GST Bill will benefit the state as well as the Centre. 
 
"Bihar has been supporting GST Bill for the past decade. We are supporting it for simplification of tax system to help the people," he said.
 
According to experts, the government, led by Nitish Kumar, has taken special interest in passing the GST Bill because Bihar is likely to get an additional revenue of about Rs 8,000-9,000 crore depending on the rate to be fixed once the legislation becomes law.
 
The state government's revenues have declined after it imposed total liquor ban in Bihar in April. 
 
Bihar has become the second state in the country after Assam to ratify the GST Bill. 
 
The Bill has been passed by the two chambers of parliament and now needs to be passed by at least 15 of the 29 state assemblies to become law. 
 
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

Ramesh Poapt

4 months ago

what rate did Bihar quoted?

Space war between India, Devas Multimedia takes another turn
Five years on, a raging battle between the Government of India, the privately-owned Devas Multimedia, and former senior officials of the Department of Space (DOS), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Antrix Corp refuses to die down.
 
While Devas seems have won cases filed overseas against the Indian government for cancelling its transponder leasing contract, the latter is also adopting legal recourse in India against the alleged corruption in the deal.
 
The latest development is a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a few days ago, placing the loss to the exchequer on account of the deal at Rs 578 crore. Those named are former ISRO Chairman and DOS Secretary G. Madhavan Nair, then Executive Director of Antrix K.R. Sridhara Murthi, and others.
 
Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, had entered into an agreement with Devas in 2005 for the long-term lease of two ISRO satellites operating in the S-band. With the leased transponders, Devas planned to offer digital multimedia services using the S-band wavelength (spectrum), reserved for strategic purpose.
 
The deal was cancelled in 2011 following the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) estimate of Rs 2 trillion crore loss to the government and the subsequent uproar.
 
The then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government invoked sovereignty for cancelling the deal and decided to use the advanced satellite for the country's strategic use.
 
However the CAG's loss estimates were contested by a two-member high powered review committee which also ruled out cheap selling of spectrum to Devas. The panel comprised former Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi and noted aerospace scientist Roddam Narasimha.
 
But a five-member team, chaired by former Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Pratyush Sinha, concluded that there have been serious lapses of judgment on part of various officials, and in some cases the actions verged on the point of breach of public trust in the deal.
 
Reacting to the chargesheet, Nair said that there was nothing wrong in the deal. The CBI action comes after India lost an arbitration case in an international tribunal against Devas for cancelling the contract.
 
Last month, Devas said: "A Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal has found that the government of India's actions in annulling a contract between Devas and Antrix Corporation Ltd. and denying Devas commercial use of S-band spectrum constituted an expropriation."
 
Devas said the unanimous decision included the arbitrator appointed by India.
 
However, the Department of Space said that in the award -- issued on "jurisdiction and merits on July 25, 2016" -- the tribunal has said the Indian government's essential security interest provisions "do apply in this case to an extent" and the "limited liability of compensation shall be limited to 40 per cent of the value of the investment", but the precise quantum has not been determined as yet.
 
In an earlier decision, an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) tribunal in 2015 found unanimously that Antrix's repudiation of the contract was unlawful, and awarded Devas damages and pre-award interest of approximately $672 million, plus post-award annual interest accruing at 18 per cent until the award is paid in full.
 
According to Devas, a mutually agreeable resolution of this matter is preferred and until that occurs, the company and its investors will continue to press their claims before international tribunals and in courts around the world.
 
In June this year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued a notice to Devas for alleged violation of foreign exchange laws.
 
According to a government statement, Devas is suspected to have received FDI of Rs 578.54 crore between May 2006 and June 2010 from various overseas investors, but the share subscription agreements it entered with them contained clauses contrary to the conditions specified in the approvals granted by Foreign Investment Promotion Board.
 
Devas was also charged with contravening the FDI regulations under FEMA for assuring foreign investors an annual eight per cent priority dividend in addition to other dividends on cumulative basis, and for one tranche of receipt of funds, issuing a security akin to an External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) promising higher returns than the ceiling fixed by the Reserve Bank of India.
 
The Antrix-Devas deal is the second major controversy in which senior ISRO officials were figuring.
 
The first one was popularly known as the ISRO Spy Scandal in which S. Nambi Narayanan, a senior space scientist was wrongly implicated and arrested on espionage charges along with another top official, two Maldivian women and a businessman.
 
In 1996, a year later after the case surfaced, things changed drastically with the CBI and the apex court clearing Narayanan and gave him a clean chit. He got back his job.
 
Narayanan has approached the Supreme Court seeking criminal and disciplinary action against the senior police officers for implicating him in the espionage case in which he was discharged.
 
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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Modi criticises Pakistan, its 15-year terror bill Is USD 118 bn
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised Pakistan -- without naming the country -- for supporting terror groups, 671 infiltration incidents and 738 terrorist attacks were reported in Jammu and Kashmir over the last three years, according to a government reply to parliament during its just-concluded monsoon session.
 
As many as 141 terrorists and 64 civilians were killed across the state between 2013 and July 10, 2016, the reply said.
 
A staggering 23,061 terrorists, 1,431 civilians and 6,220 security personnel have died in J&K over 28 years to August 7, 2016, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.
 
About 34,000 AK-47 rifles, 5,000 grenade launchers, 90 light machine guns, 12,000 revolvers, three anti-tank guns, four anti-aircraft guns, 350 missile launchers and 63,000 kg of explosives, including RDX, and more than 100,000 grenades were seized by security forces from terrorists in J&K over the last 25 years, Modi said on August 12, 2016 at an all-party meeting on J&K.
 
"During this period, more than 5,000 foreign terrorists were killed, which is almost equal to the strength of five battalions (of the Indian Army)," said Modi.
 
Terrorism has cost Pakistan $118 billion over the last 15 years in direct and indirect costs, according to Pakistan's Economic Survey 2015-16.
 
“Pakistan forgets that it bombs its own citizens using fighter planes. The time has come when Pakistan shall have to answer to the world for the atrocities committed by it against people in Baluchistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” Modi said on August 12.
 
As many as 351 incidents of violence were reported against minorities in Pakistan between 2012 and 2015, according to the 2016 report State Of Religious Freedom In Pakistan by Jinnah Institute, a public policy advocacy in Pakistan.
 
“Sindh and Balochistan, in particular, witnessed persistent targeted killings and bomb attacks against members of the Shia community. In Balochistan, anti-Shia messaging in public spaces and in the press continued with impunity,” the report said.
 
People in Balochistan had thanked him for standing by them, according to Modi.
 
In 2015, 247 civilians were killed in Balochistan, of which 114 were attributed to militant outfits and 143 were considered the work of the state apparatus and its surrogates, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal.
 
Since 2004, till April 17, 2016, at least 922 civilian killings were reported by militant outfits. In addition, 463 people went missing and 157 bodies were found mutilated in Balochistan in 2015.
 
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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