Maharashtra bandh hits rail, road traffic; turns violent
Protesters attacked buses, stopped suburban trains and blocked roads at various places in Mumbai as normal life was hit in the city and other parts of Maharashtra during a bandh called by Dalit groups to protest the violence on the anniversary of a battle fought 200 years ago. The bandh was called off later in the day. Dalits staged protests in suburban Chembur, Ghatkopar, Kamraj Nagar, Vikhroli, Dindoshi, Kandivali, Jogeshwari, Kalanagar and Mahim. Hundreds of protesters tried to block the Western Express Highway in the morning but were moved from the spot by police.
Government approves Rs 6,809-cr Zojila Pass tunnel project in J-K
The Union Cabinet today approved the construction of Asia’s longest bi-directional Zojila Pass tunnel at an estimated cost of Rs 6,089 crore, which will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh to 15 minutes from the current 3.5 hours. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today gave its go-ahead to the 14.2-km long tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir to provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh, which remains cut-off from the rest of India during winters due to heavy snowfall. “Zojila tunnel will be the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. (Its) construction period (will be) seven years because of a very difficult terrain where in some areas temperature dips to minus 45 degree celsius. The tunnel shall be a engineering marvel as first of its kind in such a geographical area,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
Two-slab GST: Why it still looks like a distant dream
The implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) has made India a common unified market with just ‘One Tax’ on broad level by scrapping the web of taxes. From its very inception, it has seen many tweaks, various provisions were deferred on account of practical frictions faced by the taxpayers with the objective to make GST compliance easy and user friendly. The body heading the roll-out of GST in the economy, GST Council, has announced several steps to ease the compliance burden for small- and medium-sized businesses. The Council has taken major decisions like deferring return filing deadlines for both small and large businesses. Thus, allowing small businesses having turnover below Rs 1.5 crore to file quarterly returns by removing the requirement to file the GSTR-2 and GSTR-3, etc, till a simple mechanism is devised by the Council. Notably, even after taking numerous steps to make the compliance easy, tax base has seen a dip in the last few months.
Koregaon Memorial: What does it really signify?
The so-called ‘new’ Dalit narrative celebrating the Koregaon memorial, erected for the soldiers of the 1818 Anglo-Maratha War, is a very old one. It is also not exactly an alternative or subaltern reading of history. It is only a rehashing of the colonial manipulation of Indian identities and memory. Let us assume that the Mahar community deliberately sided with the British to defeat the Peshwa regime of the Marathas because of the latter’s casteism. Then all one has to say in historical hindsight is that the Mahars made a blunder in making that decision. However, it was not a decision that had not been taken before in the history of India—communities or chieftains of the country have sided with the British so that they could settle scores with their domestic rivals. Every time an Indic community or chieftain sided with an alien invader, the results have not worked well for them.
Why Tirupur exporters are seeking IGST exemption on accessories import
India’s largest knitwear and readymade garment exporters organisation, Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA), has sought exemption of the IGST levy on imports of accessories, early clearance of accumulated input tax credits, permanent deletion of Reverse Charge Mechanism (under Section 9(4) of GST) and incentives for investments made in labour accommodation infrastructure.