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GOVT WORKING OVERTIME ON GST: CABINET SECRETARY P.K. SINHA

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  • Terming GST reform as a “game changer”, Cabinet Secretary P.K.Sinha today said the government is working “overtime” to implement the indirect tax regime from April 1 next year.
  • Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2016, for introduction of the GST in the country was accorded assent by the President on September 8 and the same has been notified as the Constitution (101st Amendment) Act, 2016.
  • GST is the biggest game changer. But it is also a challenge. We are working overtime to make it happen from April 1, 2017.
  • Government wants to implement the tax reform from April 1 next year so as to ensure a smooth rollover to the changed tax structure from the beginning of the new fiscal and to avoid mid-year alterations.
  • Mr. Sinha assured the gathering that the GST and other path breaking reforms that the government has committed to its people will be implemented as promised.

RELIANCE JIO FILES AROUND RS 6,500 CRORE DEPOSIT FOR UPCOMING SPECTRUM SALE

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  • Reliance Jio Infocomm is set to bid aggressively for spectrum in the forthcoming auction, upending expectations of rivals and raising the prospect of having to pay more than they had expected.
  • Jio has filed the highest earnest money deposit (EMD) — around Rs 6,500 crore, almost the same as the combined deposits made by the top three telcos, an indication of the Mukesh Ambani-owned newcomer’s aggressive intent in the spectrum sale slated to start October 1.
  • Bharti Airtel BSE 0.53 %, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular made deposits of around Rs 1,980 crore, Rs 2,745 crore and Rs 2,050 crore.
  • Tata Teleservices made a deposit of over Rs 1,000 crore, while Reliance Communications and Aircel put in around Rs 313 crore and Rs 120 crore, respectively.
  • “Going by (rough) calculations of EMDs, the government could sell airwaves worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore just at the reserve price, which could translate into upfront payment of at least Rs 55,000 crore,”.

WTO APPELLATE BODY REJECTS INDIA’S APPEAL IN SOLAR CASE WITH US

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  • India lost an appeal on Friday against a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling that it has violated global trade rules by discriminating against foreign products in imposing a “domestic content requirement (DCR)”.
  • Appellate Body (AB) upheld an earlier ruling by a dispute settlement panel at the WTO that local content requirements imposed on solar power developers violated rules under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs).
  • US had lodged a complaint with the WTO in February 2013 asking for consultations after India had made it mandatory for its solar power developers selling electricity to the government under the National Solar Mission (NSM) to use certain types of solar cells and modules that were made in India.
  • Washington requested for supplementary consultations concerning certain measures relating to DCR under “Phase II” of the NSM.
  • Matter was taken to the dispute settlement body (DSB) in April 2014 on US’ request to look into its claims after consultations between the disputing parties failed.

EXPERTS BAT FOR INCLUSIVE SMART CITIES MISSION

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  • International experts have backed the city activists’ apprehension that the Smart Cities Mission would lead to social exclusion and disillusion because of its focus on developing one part of the city.
  • Civic groups and political parties, including the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), alleged that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) was developing an already developed area and neglecting citizens in other parts requiring basic facilities.
  • Their concerns received backing from social scientists and experts at ‘BRICS Smart Cities Conclave’ at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Insisted smart cities in India should aim to integrate people and not isolate them.
  • Adoption of technology can’t be the ultimate goal of smart city development and it should be used as a tool to meet the aspirations of people, warned policymakers from BRICS nations, working closely with the Government of India to implement the Smart Cities Mission.

GOVT TO GO AHEAD WITH MERGER OF SBI SUBSIDIARIES, BMB: JAITLEY

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  • Unfazed by the protests of bank unions, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will go ahead with the merger of associates banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with SBI   as the proposal has been approved at the highest level by the Union Cabinet.
  • All procedure will be followed. The government has already taken decision at the level of the Cabinet to fully support the proposal for the merger.
  • Government has recently cleared the proposal to merge State Bank of India (SBI) with its five associate banks — State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur , State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad — and the new Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB).
  • In August, SBI had said that all its associate banks and BMB will be merged into it that will add an additional Rs 8 lakh crore to its assets making it a banking behemoth with total assets of Rs 30 lakh crore, an increase of about 36 percent.
  • In May, about 50,000 employees of the five SBI associate banks had gone on a day-long nationwide strike to protest the merger with their parent bank SBI.

INSPIRED BY PM NARENDRA MODI, VIVEK OBEROI’S FIRM TO BUILD 5 LAKH LOW-COST HOUSING UNITS

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  • Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi is on a mission to give homes to 500,000 people by the end of this year with his real estate project and says he was impressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Housing for All by 2022’ vision.
  • Roots of the venture and vision is taken from two places. One, I think my personal experience during the (Indian Ocean) tsunami in 2004. I reached there in a few hours after the incident happened.
  • I was in Kurnool district of Devanampattinam village, where we started rehabilitation work, I realised that you can add so much quality to people’s lives by just planning a little better and giving them good facilities. That project taught me a lot.”
  • With Prime Minister’s ‘Housing for All’ vision, where he envisioned a house for every Indian by 2022… That inspired us in very big way.
  • Maharashtra government has been extremely supportive with this vision, so we decided to plunge into it in a big way.

MARKETS SNAP TWO-WEEK WINNING SPREE, SENSEX DROPS 198 POINTS

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  • Markets snapped their two-week winning spree as the S&P BSE Sensex dropped by 198 points to 28,599.03 and the NSE Nifty slipped by 87 points to 8,779.85 due to selling pressure from operators in view of a rise in inflation and lower industrial output in July coupled with fresh foreign capital outflows.
  • Wholesale inflation soared to a two-year high of 3.74 per cent in August.
  • Consumer inflation eased to a five-month low of 5.05 per cent in August, mainly because of a slower rate of price increase in vegetables as well as food and beverages.
  • Industrial output contracted by 2.4 per cent in July, reflecting the worst performance in 8 months, mainly due to decline in output in manufacturing and capital goods sectors.
  • Sensex resumed lower at 28,481.09 and dropped to 28,251.31 due to heavy selling pressure on fears of rising interest by Federal Reserve.

COAL MINE WORKERS, PENSIONERS TO GET PF ALERTS ON MOBILES

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  • Five lakh coal mine workers across the country will get access to their provident fund  (PF) balance on their mobile handsets.
  • Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisation (CMPFO) with a mandate to handle around Rs 75,000 crore of assets aims to submit status of claim, PF balance and pension payment through SMS service by December 25 coinciding with the day of good governance.
  • CMPFO would go for Aadhar number seeding of coal employees and their pensioners. In the future, the coal employee’s Aaadhar number would be treated as the PF number and he can log in to theCMPFO website through this number and can get details of PF, pension and status of application.
  • Queries of employees and pensioners would be addressed through interactive voice response system (IVRS).
  • Such coordination will definitely remove the bottlenecks between coal companies and CMPFO and help the coalemployees receive best services.