GST implementation enabled increased Household Savings as tax rates came down

(Image Courtesy: News18)

As per finance ministry reports, the implementation of Good and Services Tax (GST) has brought down the tax rates and enabled increased Household Savings for the customers. According to the analysis, an average consumer is now saving about Rs 320 monthly on the purchase of commonly used goods including cereals, edible oil and cosmetics post-GST implementation on an expenditure of Rs 8400.

According to the analysis, If a household spends Rs 8,400 a month post GST on 10 goods — cereals, edible oil, sugar, chocolates, namkeen and sweets, cosmetics and toiletries, washing powder, tiles, furniture and coir products and other household products — its monthly savings would be close to Rs 320, the finance ministry source claimed referring to the expenditure analysis. An analysis of the pre and post-GST implementation shows that the tax rates have come down on at least 83 consumer products such as hair oil, toothpaste, soap, washing powder and footwear.

Earlier, before GST, when a consumer spent Rs 8,400 on the daily use items, he/she had to pay Rs 830 taxes but after GST the tax charges have been reduced to Rs 510. The consumer saves effectively Rs 320 on consumption of daily needs goods worth Rs 8,400, as per finance ministry source. In the earlier tax framework, the central government would levy excise duty on a product manufactured in a factory and subsequently the state governments would impose VAT on top of this. This meant that the consumer not only paid VAT on the price of the product but also on the excise duty charged by the centre.

Implementation of GST resulted in uniform tax rates on goods and services and it also removed the tax-on-tax widespread in the previous system. In addition to this, lowered GST rates on a host of products have facilitated increased monthly savings for consumers. According to the government source, wheat and rice have been exempted from tax under GST against 2.5/2.7% tax incidence in the previous framework. Likewise, tax on milk powder is reduced by 1% from 6% to 5% post-GST. Sugar confectionery products were taxed at 21% in earlier tax regime but under GST they have been put under the tax slab of 18%.

The source asserted that there has been a marked reduction in tax rates on scores of goods including milk powder, curd, buttermilk, spices, wheat, rice, nutrition drinks like Horlicks/Bournvita, pasta, idli dosa batter and mineral water, as these products are taxed at a much lesser rate under the GST than previously. The tax rate on washing powder and tiles has come down to 18% from 28% earlier. On furniture goods, the earlier tax rate of 28% has been brought down to 5/18% slabs under GST.

ED to probe the finances of the NGO Good News India facing the charges of sexual harassment and religious conversions

The ill-famed NGO Good News India’s finances and foreign funding sources have come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate as part of the investigation in the Dhenkanal Shelter Home sexual abuse case.

Earlier this month, the female inmates of the Dhenkanal Shelter Home, owned by Good News India, had complained of sexual abuse. After the complaints of the inmates, the Dream Centre Shelter was sealed and its owners were arrested. The NGO Good News India runs 22 shelters in total including the Dream Centre Shelter at Beltikiri, Dhenkanal. The ED will investigate the financial irregularities and source of foreign funding of all the 22 shelter homes of the NGO, which are illegally running at different places in Odisha.

The ED has also asked the police to provide a copy of the FIR and the charge sheet in the case. “After receiving the charge sheet, we will examine it and if any financial irregularities are found, the investigation will be carried out under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA),” an ED official said.

The Managing Director of the NGO was arrested by the police on the charges of sexual harassment and his bail plea was also rejected by the court. “The ED might seek remand of Good News India managing director Fayaz Rahman under the Foreign Exchange Management FEMA Act (FEMA) for questioning on the money trail of the NGO,” said a senior official.

Apart from the allegations of sexual harassment, the NGO is also facing allegations of carrying out religious conversions of the inmates. The website of the NGO states that their mission is to transform communities by connecting to the “primitive, savages and tribal people to bring social, spiritual and economic transformations in their lives”.

A team of Odisha police has already started investigating the religious conversion angle.

Hindu Jagran Manch calls upon NRC to expurgate illegal Muslim immigrants in West Bengal

Hindu Jagran Manch (Image credits: Amar Ujala)

The Hindu Jagran Manch organised a rally on Saturday in Kolkata, where they levelled serious allegations against the incumbent state government run by Trinamool Congress. The HJM accused Mamata Government of turning the state of West Bengal into ‘mini-Pakistan’.

Setting the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the HJM leaders highlighted the West Bengal government’s propensity to support anti-national elements. The leaders pointed to the state patronage the illegal Muslim immigrants enjoyed from the current dispensation led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

Hindu Jagran Manch, an offshoot of Vishwa Hindu Parishad demanded an NRC to evict ‘illegal Bangladeshi immigrants’ from the state of West Bengal. “We want NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Bengal so that illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh can be identified and deported back to their country. Hindu refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh should be accepted. Therefore, we want immediate passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016,” HJM leaders stated.

Sadhavi Saraswati who arrived from Madhya Pradesh to address the rally said, “When I was coming here, I was cautioned that I’m going to mini-Pakistan. There have been numerous illegal immigrants sprawled all over the state and they evidently enjoy state patronage from the TMC government. Many of them hold not one but several Aadhar cards on their name. Such rampant activities that pose a great risk to national security should be reined in.”

She added that in West Bengal when Hindus try to celebrate Saraswati Puja, numerous obstructions are laid down on their path. During Durga immersion, priority is given to Muharram celebrations by TMC government over Goddess Durga’s visarjan. FIRs are lodged against sword-yielding Hindus by the Mamata government during Ramnavami celebrations. She exhorted the people of West Bengal to turn it into a ‘saffron state’.

Recently, Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government allowed a controversial Bangladeshi Maulvi to address meetings in the state while not permitting BJP to organise Rath Yatra.

Facebook bug exposed non-shared photos of users to third party apps for a period of two weeks

Facebook has hit another row on Friday when Facebook developer Tomer Bar informed users on the blog and apologised to its users for a bug that has affected around 6.8 million users worldwide.

The bug affected those users who had given permission to third-parties to access photos on their timeline through the company’s API or application programming interface. The bug, however, granted permission to third-parties to not only have access to shared photos but also the ones not shared or posted. This way, around 1,500 third-party apps had open access to photos that users, who did not wish to share the photos on their timeline but had kept in account’s storage. This bug was active for two weeks in September, but Facebook only announced it on Friday.

“We have been investigating the issue since it was discovered to try and understand its impact so that we could ensure we are contacting the right developers and people affected by the bug.” The Facebook spokesperson informed CNN about the reason for the delay in the announcement.

This again fueled the debates around data privacy and security of giant social media platforms. Irish Data Protection Commission(IDPC), which is watch-dog of social media platforms operation in the European Union has taken cognisance of the breach and ordered an investigation into it.

Recently, The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) had imposed a penalty of 10 million euros ($11.4 million) on Facebook for illegally harvesting the data of its users for commercial purposes. It had observed that Facebook, without the consent of its users, transfers their data to third-party apps.

In October, the Indian government had asked Facebook to submit an explanation for a breach of 40 million user’s information and login tokens, that took place because of a vulnerability that entered in the platform in 2017. The data breach had granted hackers access to personal information including name, relationship status, search activity and recent location of check-ins. Following which Facebook had to reset the login tokens of 50 million users.

This year, a nexus between Cambridge Analytica and political parties had to come to the surface, which exposed a large-scale harvesting of data by parties for political ends. The government of India had also ordered a CBI investigation into the nexus between Cambridge Analytica (CA) and the Indian National Congress that emerged after claims made by a whistleblower Jamie Bartlett.

Those calling themselves “accidental Hindus” are now flaunting their Janeu and Gotra: Yogi Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath, courtesy: newsnation.in

Taking a veiled dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s newfound temple love, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has said that those who used to call themselves “accidental Hindus” have now started revealing their janeu and gotra.

Yogi was addressing a gathering in Ayodhya after inaugurating the Samrasta Kumbh.

“We have endorsed the Kumbh mela across the world and it has become a trademark. This is why some people have started to mention their gotra now who used to call themselves “accidental Hindus”. This is our ideological victory. If we make a new gotra like Rahul Gandhi then the downfall is going to happen”, Yogi said.

“The people who described themselves as accidentally Hindu are now realising that they are also Hindus. (They are realising) it is not accidental and we are Hindus in the real sense. Now they are remembering their janeyu and Gotra. I think this is the victory of India’s Sanatan faith. This is the victory of our beliefs,” he said.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that the people criticising Kumbh are trying to defame the Hindu culture with the help of foreign funds and the same people were trying to defame Hindu religion over the Sabarimala issue.

Pointing at the people calling the Kumbh Mela as anti-Dalit, he said that people from all castes took part in the Mela. Reminding the contribution of Dalits to the Hindu Dharma, Yogi said that most verses in the Vedas were composed by Dalit saints. “The valmikis told us about Ramayana but they are being discriminated now,” he said.

PM Narendra Modi targets Congress party in Gandhi family’s home turf Raebareli

Image source: The Indian Express
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Taking the battle to the turf of Congress party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the Congress in Rae Bareli, a stronghold of the Gandhi family. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday to inaugurate various development projects, he also inspected the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli.

Prime Minister Modi began his speech by paying homage to all those who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 war against Pakistan. In his first rally post recent election defeats, Narendra Modi slammed Congress party and its president Rahul Gandhi over development issues in their home turf.

PM Modi attacked Congress on the issues of Bofors scam and AgustaWestland chopper case. Referring to the extradition of fugitive middleman Christian Michel in the VVIP chopper case, Modi said, “He was brought to India, a few days back. You have seen how Congress had sent one of its own as a lawyer to save him. I want to know whether the Congress party is disturbed that there is no Quattrocchi “mama”, Christian Michel uncle in the defence deals that BJP is doing.” Modi went on to question that if this “constant worry” is the reason behind Congress’ attempts of “creating an atmosphere of distrust over Indian judiciary”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 900th coach and a Humsafar Rake of Modern Coach Factory. Attacking Congress party, PM Modi said, “This factory (Modern Coach Factory) was approved in 2007. The aim was to make 1,000 new coaches. The factory was ready. But for 4 years, these coaches were taken for painting. The factory was never allowed to function. Only 3 per cent of the machines were working in 2014, after we came to power, in 4 months, we changed this.”

He further added that the country will not forget or forgive UPA government for its attitude towards the Armed forces. The country comes first and not the party for us and we are trying our best that people who have made a sacrifice of their lives shouldn’t face any difficulties, said PM Modi.

“Today there are 2 sides before the country. One side is the govt that is trying to strengthen our forces. The other side that wants to weaken our forces at any cost. Country is a witness that Congress is standing with forces that don’t want our forces to strengthen,” he added. “The people of the party that raises questions on surgical strikes, trust enemy’s claims more than our Army, what can be expected of them?” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Modi will later visit Prayagraj to review preparations for the Kumbh Mela. He will also inaugurate a state-of-the-art command and control centre at the Kumbh Mela, which is scheduled to start in January 2019.

Book by Indian Express deputy editor, Sushant Singh, has plagiarised content from a 9 year old article

A shocking case of plagiarism has come out in a book written by Indian Express deputy editor Sushant Singh, who is also a former army officer. The book in question is Mission Overseas: Mission Overseas: Daring Operations by the Indian Military. The first book written by Sushant Singh, it gives detailed accounts of Indian military in foreign countries. The book narrates Indian operations in Maldives, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, which was published in March 2017.

But now it has been revealed that the Jaffna chapter of the book contains content from an article published 9 years ago on the same topic. In 2009, military aviation historian Jagan Pillarisetti had published a series of articles under the category The Sri Lankan Interlude 1987-90 on the website Bharat Rakshak.

In that series, the article titled Chapter 3: Descent Into Danger – The Jaffna University Helidrop contains the text that finds a place in the book by Sushant Singh. The book is actually a compilation of three books, and the plagiarised content is in the book named Operation Pawan.

Last year NDTV too published an excerpt from the book, where few paras that match with the Bharat Rakshak article are there.

Here are screenshots of a few paragraphs from both and the article which show that the book uses content lifted from the Bharat Rakshak article. The content presented here has been taken from Sushant Singh’s book Operation Pawan which is available on the Juggernaut application.

First plagiarised content

Here is the excerpt from Sushant Singh’s book published by Juggernaut.

The same paragraph about can be seen in the Bharat Rakshak article written by military aviation historian Jagan Pillarisetti.

As appeared on Bharat Rakshak article

Second plagiarised content

Following is the book excerpt from the book Operation Pawan published by Juggernaut.

The exact same paragraph can be found in the article published in Bharat Rakshak 9 years ago.

As appeared on Bharat Rakshak article

Third plagiarised content

Following is another paragraph from Sushant Singh’s book Operation Pawan.

From e-book version of the book

Again, the same paragraph that has been included in the book Operation Pawan, a part of Operation Overseas has been lifted from the 9-year-old article written in Bharat Rakshak.

As appeared on Bharat Rakshak article

These revelations came to light when the writer of the original content Jagan Pillarisetti commented on in a Facebook group that the book by Sushant Singh uses content from his article. He had posted the following comment in a private Facebook group, showing the portion that was plagiarised from his book.

Plagiarism is considered a serious offence while publishing any content. Sushant Singh seems to have willy-nilly taken someone else’s content which was published 9 years ago and passed it off as his own content. In the book Mission overseas, he has obviously claimed that the plagiarised content was written by him without any sort of reference to the original content written by military aviation historian Jagan Pillarisetti in his articles published on Bharat Rakshak.

It remains to be seen whether Juggernaut pulls the books down and takes punitive action against Sushant Singh.

All you need to know about Congress’ Chhattisgarh CM elect: Out-on-bail Bhupesh Baghel

Bhupesh Baghel

The results of five assembly states were announced on Tuesday, witnessing a come-back of Congress Party, and BJP losing its hold in Hindi heartland. In Chhattisgarh, the party decimated the incumbent government by a thumping majority of 68 seats against BJP’s 15.

After a long spell of speculations, the Congress has finally announced its Chief Minister for the state of Chhattisgarh. On Sunday, it was announced that Bhupesh Baghel would be the Chief Minister of the state.

Bhupesh Baghel is a prominent face of OBC politics in Chhatisgarh. He contested from Patan constituency and won against Motilal Sahu of BJP by a margin of around 27 thousand votes.

He served in Public Grievance Deptarment in Digvijay Singh’s cabinet of undivided Madhya Pradesh and later was promoted to the Ministry of Transport in 1999.

After, the division of Madhya Pradesh, Baghel became a legislator in Chhattisgarh Assembly. He served as Minister of Revenue, Public Health Engineering in Chhattisgarh’s first CM Ajit Jogi’s cabinet. He also tried his luck in Lok Sabha elections of 2004 and 2009 but failed to win in any of them. He served as deputy opposition leader from 2003 to 2008, when Congress was ousted in 2003 assembly elections. In 2008, Baghel also lost his Patan assembly elections.

He won his assembly seat back in 2013 and also restructured the Congress party after the 2013 Naxal attack on the Congress convoy during a rally in Sukhma. It had left 27 dead, including many Chhattisgarh Congress veteran leaders.

He along with the leader of opposition TS Singhdeo helped Congress party fight the Ajit Jogi menace, who was expelled from the party for Antagarh Assembly by-election audio tape row.

He was elevated to state-unit president in 2014. He hit the national headlines when his name was mentioned in the CBI charge sheet for his alleged involvement in circulating a fake sex-tape of BJP minister Rajesh Munat.

In April this year, Chhattisgarh police arrested journalist Vinod Verma, a close confidant of Baghel, claiming that sex CDs of a minister was found in his possession and also lodged an FIR against Bhupesh Baghel under IT Act. Baghel was sent to 14-day Judicial custody where he had threatened to start an in-jail satyagraha claiming his innocence. Baghel had refused to apply for bail and remained in custody until congress party prompted him to apply.

Bhupesh Baghel was running against his colleague TS Singdeo in CM race after elections. Congress had decided to go without CM face in elections. While CM candidate was named for MP and Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh has been decided only today.

Pakistan uses Congress leader and ‘liberal’s’ arguments to undermine PM Modi yet again

Ashok Swain, a professor based in Sweden, who is revered in liberal circles due to his opposition to Hindutva has expressed his delight at his tweets being featured on anews channel in Pakistan.

Swain’s tweet from December 11 where he had insinuated that the NDA government could trigger a conflict with Pakistan to reap electoral benefits was featured in the show.

In another tweet that was featured, Swain claimed that the Kargil war was a ‘set up’ by the Vajpayee government.

Swain’s tweets were used by the Pakistani news anchors to paint India in poor light and argue that the Indian government would try to create a ‘drama’ to benefit itself electorally.

The panel also argued that anti-Pakistan rhetoric was a tool used by Prime Minister Modi to reap votes. The general argument made by the panellists and the anchors on the basis of Swain’s tweets was that Pakistan wants peace while it is the Indian government which doesn’t want it.

One panellist also asserted that Pakistan should be prepared for it and that the international community should recognize the attitude of the Indian government.

Not just Ashok Swain, senior Congress leader and close aide of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Mani Shankar Aiyar also spoke to Pakistan against the Modi government as well.

Aiyar, who is known to make controversial statements, spoke about the ‘Rafale scam’ and how it has dented Prime Minister Modi’s clean image in India. He also claimed there was rampant corruption within the NDA government.

Earlier, Aiyar had praised Pakistan’s approach to the relationship between the two countries and said that he was upset with India. He had also hailed Muhammad Ali Jinnah for his role in the freedom movement and referred to him as Quaid-e-Azam. In his 2015 interview to a Pakistani news channel, Aiyar had said that Prime Minister Modi needs to be removed from power to initiate a dialogue between the two countries.

Indian “liberals” and politicians toeing Pakistan’s line to belittle Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not new and certainly seems like the norm. Congress had marketed their “Modi hatao” Facebook post in Pakistan. Later, they had ended the advertisement and lied about it profusely. 

Congress rhetoric at home and Pakistan’s rhetoric at the UNGA also had eerie similarities and Pakistan trolls had tried to shield and promote Rahul Gandhi fervently on Twitter. One can also recall how Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu had gone to Pakistan for Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony and hugged the Pakistan army chief undermining the thousands of soldiers who are butchered by Pakistan. He had then asserted that he rather visit Pakistan than South India. In fact, global terrorist Hafiz Saeed had also endorsed Congress’ “vision” of Kashmir.

#GoBackSonia trends on Twitter ahead of Sonia Gandhi’s Tamil Nadu visit to inaugurate Karunanidhi’s statue

Sonia Gandhi, courtesy: voanews.com

As Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi is set to arrive in Chennai today to inaugurate the statue of the founder of the DMK and four-time CM of Tamil Nadu, Late M Karunanidhi at party headquarters, several Netizens are tweeting with the hashtag #GoBackSonia expressing displeasure over her visit.

Sonia along with other politicians was invited for the inauguration. Sonia confirmed her participation and said that it was an honour to attend the function as Karunanidhi strove all his life for social justice, democracy and betterment or the poor and the downtrodden. However, people seem to feel otherwise.

Some people urged people to choose their leaders keeping history in mind.

Some people reminded others about how the DMK government was the first state government to be dismissed on the charges of corruption.

While people are tweeting to express their outrage, the mainstream media remain tight-lipped over the issue. Earlier when PM Modi had visited Tamil Nadu to attend the Defence Expo-2018, DMK had led the protests held by the opposition parties against PM Modi’s visit.

Some on Twitter termed the protests as ‘planned’. They even questioned why the media, that reported the #GoBackModi Twitter trend was today tight-lipped about the #GoBackSonia trend.

DMK President MK Stalin has sent invitations several national level leaders for the grand ceremony in which the statue will be unveiled.

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