Cess on luxury cars hiked; 30 daily-use items cheaper under GST
Mid-sized and luxury cars as also SUVs will cost more after the GST Council on Saturday decided to levy an additional 2 to 7 per cent cess on them but exempted small and hybrid cars from any hike. The council also lowered the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates for a number of daily-use products ranging from idli/dosa batter to kitchen gas lighter. A 2 per cent additional cess will be levied on mid-sized cars, 5 per cent on large cars and 7 per cent on SUVs, taking the total incidence of taxation to pre-GST levels, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after an 8-hour long meeting of the panel here.
The council, headed by Jaitley, however, decided not to levy any additional tax on small petrol and diesel cars of up to 1200 cc as well as on hybrid ones.
CBI books former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan in forest land clearance case
The CBI booked former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan for alleged abuse of her official position in diverting forest land for a steel plant in Jharkhand in violation of law, and carried out searches at her residence. The CBI registered an FIR against her in connection with the clearance given during her tenure in 2012 for diversion of forest land for mining in alleged violation of law and against the the advice of officials, sources in the investigative agency said. Sources said the searches were conducted at Natarajan’s residence in Chennai, besides premises of some other accused in New Delhi, Kolkata and the mining company’s office in Odisha’s Sundergarh.
JNUSU polls: Clean sweep by United-Left
The united-Left alliance has retained all four seats in the JNU students union election, defeating the RSS-backed ABVP with considerable margins. In a close fight, United Left candidate Geeta Kumari won the president’s post by defeating Nidhi Tripathi of ABVP by 464 votes. Shabana Ali of BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association) polled 935 votes, election panel officials said. Out of the total 4639 votes polled, 4620 were valid as 19 votes were discarded after voters put their slips in wrong ballots, they said. For vice president’s post, AISA’s Simone Zoya Khan got 1,876 votes out of total 4,620 votes. Khan defeated Durgesh Kumar of ABVP who got 1028 votes.
GST Council meet: Auto cess increased for SUVs, mid-size, large cars; here are major announcements
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday partly restored the tax liability on mid-segment and large cars and SUVs to the higher pre-GST level by increasing the cess on them by 2, 5 and 7 percentage points, respectively. Including the 28% GST and the cess that existed previously, the total tax on these vehicles will now be 45%, 48% and 50%, respectively — still lower than the level before GST was implemented. While the Council hasn’t used the entire 10 percentage points headroom for cess hike provided by the recent ordinance, it also retained the status quo in taxation of small and hybrid cars and 13-seater vehicles.
Maharashtra sugar sector in trouble, says Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar, chairman, Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) on Saturday said the sugar sector in Maharashtra is in trouble and has lost it’s place as the country’s top producer to Uttar Pradesh (UP). Therefore, a lot needs to be done for Maharashtra to regain the top slot. Speaking at a sugar meet, Pawar said Maharashtra has faced two consecutive years of droughts which has reduced the cane area from 10 lakh hectares to 6.33 lakh hectares in FY17 — a drop of 3.75 lakh hectares. Moreover, the crushing season in the state is only 76 days compared with 138 days in UP, he added. However, salary and fixed costs have risen causing financial difficulties in the sector, he said.
Coolpad launches Cool Play 6 smartphone in India
Chinese device-maker Coolpad has launched its Cool Play 6 smartphone in India. It is powered by 1.95 GHz Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor and packs 6 GB of RAM. There’s an innovative fingerprint sensor on the back. The phone offers 64 GB of internal storage and packs 13 MP + 13 MP dual primary camera and an 8 MP front shooter for selfies. It runs on Android 7.1.1 and has 4,000 mAh, non-removable Li-Po battery with a standby time of up to 300 hours, with support for USB Type-C reversible connector and dual SIM (nano). The phone is priced at Rs 14,999.