Thursday, March 30, 2017
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Debate on Finance Bill in Rajya Sabha
FM Jaitley defends electoral bonds, says new donation norms will cleanse political funding
NEW DELHI, May 29 (Agencies): During the debate on Finance Bill in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the new bill will cleanse political funding in a scenario where donors are reluctant to reveal identity. He added that Finance Bill protects the source of information for tax evasion and will share information for calling a tax raid only with the courts. Jaitley informed the upper house that political funding is allowed by cheque. However, the main opposition party Congress alleged that the current system helps the ruling party. Jaitley, nevertheless, refuted the claims completely. Following are the highlights of the Finance Bill 2017: CASH TRANSACTIONS The bill lowers the maximum size of cash transactions to 200,000 rupees from 300,000 rupees, propose...
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Demonetisation: Old currency worth Rs 8,000-cr lying with district Co-Op Banks: Sharad
NEW DELHI, Mar 29 (Agencies): Around Rs 8,000 crore in junked Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is piled up with 371 district central cooperative banks after RBI barred Currency Chest Banks from accepting them, veteran NCP leader Sharad Pawar said today. Making a zero hour submission in the Rajya Sabha, Pawar made a passionate plea to the government for allowing the old currency lying with district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) to be deposited with currency chests. The presence of such huge quantity of demonetised currency is restricting the ability of DCCBs to lend, impacting agricultural credit in the rabi season, he said. After the demonetisation on November 8, 2016, the government had barred DCCBs from accepting deposits of the junked currency or exchange them for new ones. However, t...
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Maternity Bill Gets President's Nod
NEW DELHI, Mar 29 (Agencies): Women employees will now be able to get paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks, as per a new law. President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 that has made changes in some of the provisions of over 55-year-old law entitling certain benefit to women employees. The new law makes it mandatory for every establishment with fifty or more employees to have the facility of creche within a prescribed distance. The employer is also bound to allow four visits a day to the creche by a woman. Every establishment shall intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment regarding every benefit available under the new law, the statute says. An employer can also permit a wo...
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Indian airline Vistara inaugurates service to Leh
NEW DELHI, Mar 28 (Agencies): India’s full service carrier Vistara inaugurated service from Delhi to Leh (Ladakh). The airline is operating direct flights between Delhi and Leh on Saturdays and Sundays from March 25, 2017, and will increase the frequency to daily flights during the summer peak season, starting from May 10, 2017. Vistara celebrated the launch of this service with a traditional Ladakhi folk performance by a Ladakhi troupe in the departures area of Delhi T3, as well as with a similar performance in the arrivals area of Leh airport. Vistara also presented gifts to all passengers on the inaugural flights. Situated at a height of 10,682 feet, Leh’s picturesque Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is one of the highest altitude airports in the world and requires specially equipped...
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Idea Cellular launches 4G services in Jammu
JAMMU, Mar 28: Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla group company, has launched 4G services in Jammu & Kashmir circle today, with it flagging off services from Jammu. The company will expand 4G network to cover 10 towns by month end. Idea 4G services will cover 20 towns including the major cities of Jammu, Udhampur, Rajauri, Punch, Reasi, Kathua and Samba by June, it said in a statement. The operator has also unveiled Digital Idea, a suite of digital applications for the on-the-move consumers of J&K circle. As part of the Digital Idea offerings, the company will offer a suite of three entertainment apps – Idea Music Lounge, Idea Movie Club and Idea Game Spark - for its more than 8.9 lakh customers in J&K circle. ''Idea has consistently invested in expansion of the network to become a pan-Ind...
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J&K will have to pass special laws to make GST applicable
NEW DELHI, Mar 28 (Agencies): Jammu & Kashmir will have to pass special laws to be able to implement the Goods and Services Tax as its current Constitutional status does not mandate the applicability of the new indirect tax reform in the state. The Central-GST (CGST) and Integrated-GST (IGST) Bills, introduced in the Lok Sabha yesterday as part of last legislative exercise in Parliament before the tax regime is rolled out from July 1, extend to the whole of India expect J&K. While service tax is levied all over the country since 1994, it is not applicable in J&K. The state levies its own taxes for services provided in the state. This is because Article 370 of the Constitution grants special autonomous status to the state and Parliament of India has power to make laws only on defence, e...
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No 'high quality' fake currency seized post-demonetisation: Govt
NEW DELHI, Mar 28 (Agencies): No 'high quality' fake currency notes have been recovered post demonetisation, although some scanned/photocopied notes were seized by BSF and NIA at the Indo-Bangladesh border, Parliament was informed today. Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said the government has been taking a host of steps, including setting up of a special cell in the Home Ministry, to deal with the menace of FICN (Fake Indian Currency Notes). In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Meghwal said: "No high quality FICN has been recovered post demonetisation." The government had scrapped old currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on November 8 and replaced them with new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. As regards seizure of FICN of 2,000 denomination by BSF and NIA on the Indo-Bangladesh...
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‘NABARD estimates credit potential of `21922 cr for priority sectors in J&K’
JAMMU, Mar 27: Dr Haseeb A. Drabu, Minister of Finance, Labour & Employment Government of Jammu and Kashmir inaugurated the State Credit Seminar organised by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) today. He also released the “State Focus Paper 2017-18” prepared by it for the state of Jammu and Kashmir projecting a credit potential of ` 21922 crore for 2017-18 under priority sector. Addressing the gathering attended by the senior officials from various State Government Departments, RBI, NABARD, SLBC, Banks, etc., Dr Drabu applauded NABARD for assessing the credit potential on a realistic basis and suggested that regulators like NABARD and RBI should partner with Govt. of J&K for its rapid economic transformation and development. He advised the banks to make ...
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Rising prices affecting common man badly
Govt lacks seriousness , practical efforts regarding unemployment in state: Bhalla
JAMMU, Mar 27: “Since BJP came to power at the Centre, prices of essentials have been going up with every passing day. It has completely failed to check the price rise of essentials”. This was stated by several women while interacting with former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla who is on door to door campaign after successfully conducting mass contact programmes to listen to grievances of people of Gandhi Nagar constituency including Shantingar, Lower Gadigarh ,Old Satwari and Ekta Vihar Kunjwani. Speaking on the occasion, Bhalla said that it is unfortunate that Wheat and rice, the main staple food of people Jammu and Kashmir, provided by state Food and Civil Supplies Department was earlier available at Rs 8 per kilogram and Rs 10 per kilogram for Above Poverty Line (A...
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Airlines ban: Shiv Sena MP, govt says law doesn't permit it
NEW DELHI, Mar 25 (Agencies): On a day domestic airlines decided to unitedly "ban" Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad from flying on their aircraft for assaulting an Air India officer, the government said there was no law under which such proscription can be made. Minister of State for Law, PP Chaudhary told a private television news channel that if a person commits a crime he can be punished but he cannot be prevented from flying. "There is no such law that restricts a person from flying. If somebody has committed a crime, then you can punish him. But refusing a ticket is no punishment when there is no such law. And, to my knowledge, there is no such law," Chaudhary said. Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha reportedly said the legality of the ban needed t...
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Lucknow meat sellers go on strike
LUCKNOW, Mar 25 (Agencies): Protesting against the crackdown on illegal and mechanised slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh, meat sellers here have gone on an indefinite strike . The mutton and chicken sellers who have pulled down their shutters have threatened to intensify their stir from Monday, said Mubeen Qureshi of the Lucknow Bakra Gosht Vypar Mandal. As a result, non veg food outlet, including the famous Tunday and Rahim's, who had shifted to mutton and chicken dishes after buffalo meat became scarce, too kept their shops shut. The meat sellers are piqued over the crackdown on slaughter houses which has adversely hit the livelihood of lakhs of people, Qureshi said. He added that fish sellers too may join the protest. After coming to power, the Aditya Nath Yogi government has orde...
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J&K Bank branches open for collection of Electricity Fee
JAMMU, Mar 24: With a view to facilitate deposit of electricity tariff by consumers of Power Development Department (PDD) J&K, all the designated Business Units of the bank in J&K State shall remain open on March 25 and 26 exclusively for collection of electricity fee....
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Drabu to head Empowered Committee of Finance Ministers
NEW DELHI, Mar 23: Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu has been appointed Chairman of the Empowered Committee of the Finance Ministers of the North Zone. According to a communiqué issued by the Inter-State Council Secretariat here, Dr Drabu will be heading the Empowered Committee of the Finance Ministers of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir. A professional economist with a doctorate in Economics, Dr Drabu is credited with initiating radical reforms to bring systemic changes in the fiscal management of J&K. Before joining politics, Dr Drabu has been involved with national economic policy making in India for seven years at the highest level, including in the Planning Commission, Finance Commission and the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Mini...
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PAN to become the only I-Card in future: Jaitley
NEW DELHI, Mar 23 (Agencies): Aadhaar may become the only card required to identify a person, replacing Voter ID and PAN, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha today. Jaitley was replying to a debate on the Finance Bill and the accompanying 40 amendments to different laws including one making Aadhaar mandatory for filing of income tax return from July as well as for applying for permanent account number. The unique identification number Aadhaar may become the single identify card in future, he said. "A stage may come when unique identity card (aadhaar) may become the sole card. There are many countries where such a situation exists. There is a social security number in America and in India it (Aadhaar) could be the counterpart," he said. Explaining the rationale behind m...
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Govt sanctions Rs 5,021 cr to 10 states hit by disasters
NEW DELHI, Mar 23 (Agencies): The Centre has approved Rs 5,021 crore as assistance to 10 states hit by calamities, including flood and drought. The High Level Committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the central assistance to Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. The Committee examined the proposal based on the reports of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team, which visited the states affected by flood, landslides, cloudburst, hailstorm, cyclones and drought, a Home Ministry spokesperson said. The assistance of Rs 5,020.64 crore has been approved, including Rs 4,979.97 crore from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and Rs 40.67 crore from the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP...
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