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Demonetisation: RBI ups ATM withdrawal limit to Rs 4,500/day from 1 Jan

The Reserve Bank on Friday late night increased the withdrawal limit from ATMs to Rs 4,500 per day from the current Rs 2,500 from 1 January. However, there has been no change in the weekly withdrawal limit, which stands at Rs 24,000, including from ATM, for individuals (Rs 50,000 in case of small traders).

“On a review of the position, the daily limit of withdrawal from ATMs has been increased (within the overall weekly limits specified) with effect from January 1, 2017, from the existing Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,500 per day per card,” the central bank said in a notification.

atm-queueatm-queueFollowing demonetisation of old Rs 500/1000 notes from 9 November, limits had been imposed on withdrawal of cash from banks as well as ATMs.

The Reserve Bank’s notification further stated “there is no change in weekly withdrawal limits” and such disbursals “should predominantly be in the denomination of Rs 500”.

Earlier in the day, the RBI had permitted White Label ATM Operators (WLAOs) to source cash from retail outlets.

Most of the White Label ATMs are running dry since demonetisation as the operators were facing difficulties in sourcing cash from their sponsor bank(s).

Friday was the last day to deposit the invalid currency notes in banks. However, people still have time to exchange the currency notes at designated RBI counters till March 31 after giving valid reasons for not depositing defunct notes in their accounts by December 30.

However, it remains to be seen whether the relaxation in cash limits will be of any help to the customers as, according to media reports, banks do not yet have enough cash to supply to the ATMs.

A report in The Indian Express on Friday said only 40 percent of the 2.2 lakh ATMs in the country have cash to serve the public.

The report quotes Ramaswamy Venkatachalam, managing director, India and South Asia, Fidelity Information Services (FIS), as saying that banks are not meeting the “full cash requirement” to operate ATMs round the clock.

The RBI and the government also seem to be clueless about when the cash situation will return to normalcy, though they insist there is enough notes to dispense.

Even on the 50th day of demonetisation they have not been able to provide the update the details of the new currency issued and also the deposits of old notes received.

The last press release on the cash situation was on 21 December from the RBI. As of 19 December, the banks have issued Rs 5.93 lakh crore to public either over the counter or through ATMs. That is a nearly 40 percent of the cash sucked out of the system on 9 November, when the demonetisation came into effect.

In this backdrop, while the public and the authorities are remain clueless about when the cash situation will improve, the increase in withdrawal limit from ATMs would mean little for the customers.

With PTI

First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 09:41 IST

Demonetisation: Withdrawal limit from ATM hiked to Rs 4,500 per day from 1 January

Mumbai: In a relief to common man, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said cash withdrawal limit from ATMs will be increased to Rs 4,500 per day from the current Rs 2,500 from 1 January.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

However, there has been no change in the weekly withdrawal limit, which stands at Rs 24,000, including from ATM, for individuals (Rs 50,000 in case of small traders).

“On a review of the position, the daily limit of withdrawal from ATMs has been increased (within the overall weekly limits specified) with effect from 1 January 2017, from the existing Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,500 per day per card,” the central bank said in a notification.

Following demonetisation of old Rs 500/1000 notes on 9 November, limits had been imposed on withdrawal of cash from banks as well as ATMs.

The RBI’s notification further stated “there is no change in weekly withdrawal limits” and such disbursals “should predominantly be in the denomination of Rs 500”.

Earlier in the day, the RBI had permitted White Label ATM Operators (WLAOs) to source cash from retail outlets.

Most of the White Label ATMs are running dry since demonetisation as the operators were facing difficulties in sourcing cash from their sponsor bank(s).

Friday was the last day to deposit the invalid currency notes in banks. However, people still have time to exchange the currency notes at designated RBI counters till March 31 after giving valid reasons for not depositing defunct notes in their accounts by December 30.

First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 08:34 IST

Bihar jailbreak: 5 prisoners escape from Central Jail in Buxar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five prisoners escaped from Central Jail in Bihar’s Buxar late Friday night, ANI reported.More details are awaited.This is the third major prison escape this year. On November 27, Khalistan Liberation Force terrorist (KLF) Harminder Singh Mintoo had escaped from Punjab’s Nabha Jail along with five others.On October 30, eight SIMI operatives escaped from Bhopal Central Jail. They were gunned down in an encounter by the state police.

TMC MP Tapas Paul arrested in Rose Valley case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trinamul Congress (TMC) Lok Sabha MP and actor Tapas Paul was arrested on Friday after a four-hour-long questioning in two sessions at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office here for his alleged association with the Rose Valley Group.Paul had been the director of Brand Value Communication, the media division of the Group. His wife Nandini Paul, who was also an employee of the company, was also questioned on Friday.Sources said that he was arrested following several inconsistencies during interrogation. “He was mainly asked five questions: whether he had taken cash from the Rose Valley Group, what were the amenities he enjoyed as the director of the media wing, when had he written to the Centre against the chit fund companies of the state, why he had not mentioned Rose Valley when he had mentioned the Saradha Group and whether he had continued taking favours from the company even after stepping down from his post,” said a senior CBI official.He also said that the CBI had reasons to believe that Paul used to take cash from the company even after detaching himself from it. Sources said that Rose Valley employees had been questioned in the last one-and-a-half years and it was found out that Paul had met Goutam Kundu, who owned the company several times at different five-star hotels which Paul couldn’t give a satisfactory explanation to.Paul had been a TMC MLA for two terms from the Alipore constituency from 2001 till 2009 and had been representing the party in the Lok Sabha from 2009 from the Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency.Paul would be taken to Bhubaneswar and would be produced at a court there on Saturday and CBI officials said that they would seek Paul’s custody.In June 2010, he had written to Sebi and RBI against the chit fund companies in Bengal but had not mentioned Rose Valley at that time. Officials said that he had said that he did not know that Rose Valley raised money like a chit fund company but the CBI didn’t buy the theory.Another TMC MP, Sudip Bandopadhyay, had also been summoned by the CBI and he is believed to reach the CBI office on January 3.Interestingly, Paul’s arrest comes 50 days after the demonetization drive, against which the TMC had been vocal from the very beginning. Naturally, it has given rise to several political reactions from the TMC and other Opposition parties. TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that it was political vendetta and that she was not surprised and she was not afraid too. “We have been protesting the demonetization policy and knew something like this will happen. They may arrest more of our MPs but we will not deter from our protest,” Mamata said at a press conference.State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said that there may be other bigger names who should not be spared. “CBI investigation should be carried out the right way and the high and mighty should not be spared if found guilty. At the same time, no innocent person should be harassed,” he told DNA.CPI(M) MLA Sujan Chakraborty said, “Why only Tapas? He is not even the ear, which when pulled the head will be caught. Tapas is at the most the hand. Anyone who possesses money which has been siphoned off the common people should be arrested.”State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, said that it was only a matter of time. “It was inevitable. Why was he not arrested so far was the question. Another MP is also going to be questioned. He has been summoned by the CBI, but he is not going there probably he knows that he will be arrested too. There will be more such arrests, given the kind of corruption within the TMC,” Ghosh said.

Apologise for ‘blunder of demonetization’: Kejriwal attacks PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tender an apology to the people during his address to the nation on New Year’s Eve on what he said was a “blunder of demonetization”.Kejriwal, also the national convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which governs Delhi, said Modi has committed a blunder by demonetizing high-value notes and pushed India into a deep economic crisis.”Modi had demanded 50 days to implement the exercise, but there’s no sign of people recovering from its after shocks,” he said and demanded a roll back, suggesting that Modi should make an announcement in this regard in his address on Saturday.”There’s no solution other than rolling back demonetization,” the former Income Tax department official told reporters. Alleging that the RBI was “tight-lipped” on the amount of money demonetized or black money recovered, he asked the prime minister to explain how much of illegal wealth has returned and what amount of money was being pumped into the system.Initial estimates by RBI suggest Rs 14 lakh crore (in high-value notes) was in circulation, which has returned to RBI, but only Rs 4 lakh crore of new currency of Rs 2,000 notes was available for circulation, said Kejriwal, who had criticised the drive soon after it was launched on November 8.Financial experts all across the world have spoken against demonetization, he said, but only BJP president Amit Shah and “his team of sycophants” were hailing the decision. He also challenged the prime minister to order “any probe” against him. “I am not scared of Modi threats and open to any probe of my accounts by any central agency,” he said.Kejriwal maintained that Modi accepted bribes from big corporates such as Sahara and Birla.Modi had taken Rs 40 crore from Sahara on October 30, 2013 and Rs 25 crore from Birla group on November 12, 2013, he claimed, adding that the IT department has seized relevant documents from Sahara and Birla offices but no notice was issued to Modi.He said under the IT Act section 132(4A), any document recovered during raid is deemed to be true unless proved wrong by the party accused. “Not even a notice was issued to Modi and all Income Tax Commissioners dealing with the case were transferred,” he said.

Total mismanagement and administrative collapse: P Chidambaram flays PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying since 50 days of the demonetization drive are over, all restrictions should be removed and normalcy should be restored.’It is fair to expect that there will be no queues outside bank branches and ATMs. It is fair to expect that all ATMs will be open round the clock and fully stocked with currency notes. It is fair to expect that the bank branch will pay out the money written on the cheque and not direct the drawer to write another cheque for a smaller amount,’ Chidambaram said while addressing media.Chidambaram sarcastically said that only the Prime Minister can provide an assurance on the removal of restrictions after 50 days of demonetization as the opposition has been dubbed as supporters of black money hoarders and tax evaders by him.’I wish I could hold out assurances on the matter (demonetization), but none of us in the opposition can, because the government has dubbed all of us in the opposition as supporters of black money hoarders and tax evaders,’ he said.Condemning the government for implementing a currency ban without prior planning, Chidambaram reiterated his opinion of demonetization being a case of total mismanagement.’I had also cautioned that the test of demonetization lies in the manner in which it will be implemented. It is now abundantly clear that the whole exercise was undertaken without forethought and planning; without consulting key officials; without understanding the crucial role of money in circulation’ Altogether, the whole exercise has been a case of total mismanagement, administrative collapse and widespread corruption,’ he said.Pointing towards government’s changing stand on the announcement, Chidambaram called it an absurd and undesirable goal. ‘The government has tried to change the narrative from black money and corruption to a cashless economy. No economy can become — or has become – totally cashless. We support encouraging high-value transactions to adopt the digital mode, but to insist that even low-value transactions should go cashless is an absurd and undesirable goal,’ he said.The minister also put forward his two demands and urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make it public- 1. The Agenda note and the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors of RBI held on November 8, 2016; and2. The Note for Cabinet on demonetization placed before the Cabinet on November 8, 2016.Prime Minister Modi is all set to address the nation on New Year’s Eve regarding the same issue of demonetization, which marked its 50 days on Friday.

Demonetisation was single biggest case of total mismanagement, says Chidambaram

New Delhi: Insisting that the Opposition’s concerns on demonetisation have been found correct, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should now make a categorical announcement of an end to all restrictions on cash withdrawals.

P Chidambaram. PTIP Chidambaram. PTI

P Chidambaram. PTI

“When the prime minister addresses the nation, the people expect that he will make a categorical announcement that all restrictions on money have been ended,” Chidambaram told reporters at AICC headquarters on Friday.

The senior Congress leader said that the woes of demonetisation should come to an end by Friday evening as the prime minister had asked for time till 30 December. Noting that Modi had recently said at a rally that “through the note ban, in one stroke, we destroyed the world of terrorism, drug mafia, human trafficking and underworld”, he said that it was therefore, fair to expect that these objectives would be achieved by the end of today.

“It is fair to expect that beginning Monday, 2 January, 2017, all restrictions on money imposed on 8 November, 2016 will be removed and the people will be able to withdraw the money in their bank accounts. It is fair to expect that there will be no queues outside bank branches and ATMs. It is fair to expect that all ATMs will be open round the clock and fully stocked with
currency notes,” he said.

Chidambaram said that the only person who can assure the people on these matters is Modi himself, because the government has “dubbed all of us in the Opposition as supporters of black money hoarders and tax evaders”.

On the government’s claim that people are happy and there have been no incidents of rioting, he said people are patient. “But please don’t mistake patient people for happy people,” he had said.

Seeking to debunk government’s claims on the benefits of demonetisation, he said, “Events of the last 50 days have proved us correct. Hoards of black money in new Rs 2,000 notes have been found.”

He further said that bribes have been given and taken in new Rs 2,000 notes and there is “no guarantee” that black money will not be demanded or generated in future or that bribes will not be given or taken in future in the new currency.

Dubbing the way the demonetisation was announced and implemented as a “single biggest case of total mismanagement”, he regretted the most momentous decision has been taken “without consulting key officials”.

Making a strong pitch for compensating people for the hardships they faced, he lamented that the government has “not uttered a word” about compensating the people for the economic losses heaped upon them by demonetisation.

He also demanded that the agenda note and the minutes of the meeting of the RBI board of directors held on 8 November, 2016, along with the Note for Cabinet on demonetisation placed before the Cabinet on 8 November, 2016, should be made
public.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 20:03 IST

DMK seeks probe by sitting HC judge over Jayalalithaa’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a Madras High Court judge expressed doubts over the circumstances leading to the demise of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, DMK on Friday sought a comprehensive probe by a sitting HC judge into the death.”A comprehensive probe must be done by a sitting judge of the High Court and people should be told the truth,” DMK Treasurer M K Stalin said.Against the backdrop of the court raising questions, he said it was imperative for the government to come out comprehensively on the medical treatment provided to the former AIADMK chief.In a statement here, he said complete medical bulletins, video footage and photos of her getting treatment at the hospital should be released.Citing Justice Vaidyanathan’s observation yesterday that he may consider ordering exhumation of the body of the departed leader, he said “it is imperative for the government to release comprehensive information”.Stalin, who had earlier sought a white paper on the treatment given to Jayalalithaa, said there was no statement from the government ever since she was admitted to the hospital on September 22.He said the Centre and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had a duty to answer questions related to the treatment provided for the late leader. Doctors from Delhi’s AIIMS too had treated her, he said.If the ruling regime had explained the “true (health) status” of Jayalalithaa and released pictures of her getting treatment, the issue could not have reached the doorsteps of court, he said.He recalled a statement of his party chief Karunanidhi seeking release of pictures of Jayalalithaa being treated and said, “had the ruling side not viewed it from the prism of politics, the issue would not have come to such a pass”.Only such activities has cast a “cloud, giving room for suspicion,” among the people, he said, adding it was the right of the people to know about the treatment given to her and the circumstances leading to her death.

IIT Madras websites hacked, institute says ‘examining’ issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Some auxiliary websites of the IIT Madras here have been found hacked and the institute on Friday said it was examining the “vulnerabilities” that led to the hacking episode.The institute said it runs a “main website and auxiliary sites,” and these were “maintained by different entities,” such as “centres, labs and student bodies.” “While the main website of IIT-M has not been hacked, some of the auxiliary sites were hacked yesterday. The hacking was discovered early in the morning and the auxiliary sites were taken down and subsequently restored,” the institute said in a release.”The institute is examining the vulnerabilities that led to the hacking of the auxiliary sites and is taking steps to address them,” it added.The hacking episode is also being debated in social media.

Srinagar: 3 injured as stone-pelting protesters clash with security

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three persons were injured on Friday in security forces’ action against a group of stone-pelting protesters in Pampore area of south Kashmir Pulwama district.Security forces conducted search operations in Naristan and Samboora areas of the district in the morning following information about movement of suspicious persons there, a police official said.As the security forces were withdrawing after concluding the operations, some youth started pelting stones at them, he said.Three persons were injured as security personnel fired a few rounds to disperse the mob, the official said adding the injured have been admitted to a hospital here for treatment.

Kashmir: Separatists call for strike against ID cards for West Pakistan Refugees

Srinagar: Normal life was affected in Kashmir Valley on Friday due to a strike called by separatists against the issuance of identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs).

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments in Srinagar — the summer capital of the state — were shut, while public transport was minimal, officials said.

They said there were very few street vendors visible in the city today due to the strike.

Reports of shutdown were also received from most of the other district headquarters of the Valley, the officials said.

Security forces were deployed in strength at sensitive places where barricades were also erected.

The separatists have also been calling for shutdown on Friday and Saturday every week after scaling down their agitation which followed the killing of Hizbul Mujahdeen militant Burhan Wani.

The more than five-month unrest in the Valley had left 86 people dead and thousands others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.

The separatist groups — both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF — on Thursday appealed the people to observe a complete shutdown on Friday and Saturday over WPR issue.

They alleged that the decision on issuance of identity certificates to WPR was aimed at changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 12:56 IST

Maharashtra: Six-year-old boy sodomised by 2 minor siblings in Thane

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two minor brothers have been booked for allegedly sodomising a six-year-old boy in the district, police said on Friday.The two siblings, aged around 10 and 12, took the boy, who lived with his parents in their neighbourhood at Gograswadi in Dombivili township of Thane, to an isolated place and sodomised him on Wednesday, they said.The two also beat up the boy when he resisted their attempt, police said.The victim later informed his mother about it.Subsequently, based on a complaint by the victim’s parents, police registered an offence under IPC sections 377 (unnatural offences), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).The two accused are yet to be nabbed, police said, adding that further investigation is on.

Maharashtra: 6 killed in fire at bakery in Pune

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six people were killed after a fire broke out at ‘Bakes and Cakes’ bakery in Maharashtra’s Pune early morning on Friday.According to initial information, the incident took place in at a bakery locating near Talab company in Kondhwa Khurd locality of the city. Reports said that six employees working in the bakery were charred to death.Though the exact reason for the fire is not known, a short circuit is believed to have caused the fire.Fire has been contained.(More details awaited)

Pune techie’s murder: Suspect arrested, police say he ‘smartly planned’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A youth from Bengaluru, who was detained in connection with the brutal murder of a young woman IT professional here, has been arrested, with police suspecting it to be a case of one-sided affair.Santosh Kumar (25) was arrested late last night, days after he was detained for questioning, police said today.”During investigation, it was revealed that Santosh Kumar had very smartly planned the murder. The accused claimed that he was present in Bengaluru on the day of the incident,” Additional Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Shinde said.Antara Das, 21, was attacked with a sharp weapon near Kanbay Chowk in Talawade on the outskirts of Pune on Friday night, barely 500 metres from her workplace. She was declared dead upon arrival in a hospital.Her parents had alleged that a youth was stalking and harassing her for some time.The ASP said it was found that Kumar, who hails from Bengaluru and is also an IT professional, had tasked someone to execute the attack.A search is on to nab that person, he said.”We have arrested Kumar under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and he will be produced before court today,” Shinde said.The accused had provided CCTV footage to the police, claiming that he was in Bengaluru on the day of the incident.Shinde said it was suspected to be a case of one-sided affair from Kumar’s side. The victim, however, treated him just as a friend.”There are messages between them which showed that Kumar was forcing her to have a relationship with him. However, she was non-responsive and even reprimanded him for harassing her. We are looking out for the other person in this connection and the manhunt has been intensified,” he said.

PM Modi likely to address nation on New Year’s eve, may speak about roadmap post demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the 50-day period for depositing of demonetized notes expiring tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address the nation before the dawn of the New Year.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation before dawn of the New Year,” sources said.However, it was not clear as to whether he would address the nation on Friday or Saturday.In his address, the Prime Minister may speak about the roadmap post the demonetization period especially on the steps likely to be taken to ease cash flow that has been a major problem ever since demonetization took place.He may also speak on the steps to deal with the problems the economy faces after the demonetization was announced on November 8.The Prime Minister in his public meetings in the last few weeks has been urging the people to bear with the pain following the government’s decision and that it would start easing gradually once the 50-day period is over.On Tuesday, Modi met economists and experts at a meeting in Niti Aayog to discuss the current economic situation.

Demonetisation: Cabinet to decide on note ban ordinance today; another U-turn on cards?

The Union Cabinet meeting today is likely to take up an ordinance to end the legal tender of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, media reports say. The ordinance will also likely specify the date when the notes will become illegal, which is widely speculated to be 30 December.

There have also been reports saying the ordinance is likely to impose penalties on anyone possessing the junked notes beyond 30 December when the deadline to deposit them in banks expires.

However, there has not been any official word on the move.

ReutersReuters

Reuters

The ordinance will formalise the demonetisation, which was an executive decision announced on 8 November. According to a report in The Indian Express, which quotes a government official, this is a requirement as otherwise the demonetised notes will continue as a legal tender.

“If we do not put an end date on the legal character of the old notes, then they can be infinitely valid as a legal tender,” the official has been quoted as saying in the report. Explaining the rationale, he also said ending the legal tender of all notes on 30 December is important as it will clear the uncertainty for the government on how much money has flown into the system.

The ordinance will extinguish the liability of the government and RBI towards the promise to pay the bearer of these notes their value because of a statutory requirement.

In 1978 a similar ordinance was issued to end the government’s liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the Janata Party government under Morarji Desai.

According to the official cited in the IE report, the deposit of old notes will be allowed after 30 only in cases of exigencies.

However, if the government decides the cut-off date as 30 December that will be another U-turn by the government and the RBI. Prime minister Narendra Modi had on 8 November said the RBI window to deposit these notes will remain open beyond 30 December until 31 March. An ordinance that seeks to end the deposits on 30 December would mean the government and the RBI are going back on another promise they made to the common man.

The government had while announcing the demonetisation of the old currency allowed holders to either exchange them or deposit in bank and post office accounts. While the facility to exchange the old notes has since been withdrawn, depositors have time until Friday to deposit the holding in their accounts at the bank branches.

Media reports earlier said there could be a cap of holding no more than 10 notes of each after 30 December and violation of the rule could draw a fine of a minimum of Rs 50,000 or 5 times the amount in question — whichever is higher. However, there was no confirmation on this.

For those depositing any accounted funds, or black money, it has offered them an amnesty provided they paid 50 percent of it as tax and penalties and parked a quarter of it in a zero-interest bearing deposit for four years.

Out of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore worth of 500 and 1000 rupee notes in circulation on November 8, close to Rs 13 lakh crore have been deposited in accounts or exchanged for valid currency.

With PTI

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 08:37 IST

Rs 104 cr deposited in BSP accounts after note recall, blow to Mayawati as ED investigates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati came under Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner on Friday, as the agency detected cash deposits totalling over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to the party and Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to Anand Kumar, Mayawati’s brother, on Friday.ED sources said that the accounts had been detected in a branch of the United Bank of India (UBI) in the capital.Officials said they visited the Karol Bagh branch of the bank as part of their routine survey and enquiry operations to check huge cash deposits, and found that huge deposits were made in these two accounts after demonetization.The agency found that while Rs 102 crore had been deposited in Rs 1,000 notes, the remaining Rs 3 crore had been deposited in old Rs 500 notes. Officials said that about Rs 15-17 crore were being deposited into these accounts every other day. In Anand’s account, ED officials found old notes worth Rs 18.98 lakh.The ED has sought details about the accounts from the bank. It has been understood that the agency will write to the Income-Tax (I-T) department. The ED has also asked the bank to provide it some CCTV footage and the KYC documents used to open the accounts.This is not the first time that the BSP’s supremo’s brother has come under the radar of probe agencies. In April 2015, the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) started investigating Kumar for alleged dubious transactions, running into crores. The FIU had coordinated with the CBDT and I-T department for a further probe.Currently, the agency has been carrying out enquiry operations at over 50 bank branches to check possible instances of hawala dealings and money- laundering after the demonetization drive.BSP spokespersons and senior leaders refused to comment. Interestingly, the party’s arch rivals, the Samajwadi Party (SP), came to their defence on this issue. A senior SP leader said: “This was not an amount which was found stashed away in homes or lockers. This was an amount deposited in the bank after demonetization. It should not be made a political issue.”

Beware! Ordinance likely to impose penalty for holding old Rs 500, Rs1000 notes post Dec 30

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government is understood to be mulling an ordinance to impose penalties on anyone possessing the junked Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes beyond December 30 when the deadline to deposit them in banks expires.There was no official word on the move which is likely to come up before the Cabinet on Wednesday but sources said penalties may be imposed on anyone holding more than 10 notes each of the old currency after December 30. The ordinance may also extinguish the liability of the government and RBI towards the promise to pay the bearer of these notes their value because of a statutory requirement.In 1978 a similar ordinance was issued to end the government’s liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the Janata Party government under Morarji Desai.The government had while announcing the demonetization of the old currency allowed holders to either exchange them or deposit in bank and post office accounts. While the facility to exchange the old notes has since been withdrawn, depositors have time till Friday to deposit the holding in their accounts.For those depositing any accounted funds, or black money, it has offered them an amnesty provided they paid 50 per cent of it as tax and penalties and parked a quarter of it in a zero-interest bearing deposit for four years.Reports said that there could be a cap of holding no more than 10 notes of each after December 30 and violation of the rule could draw a fine of a minimum of Rs 50,000 or 5 times the amount in question — whichever is higher, but there was no confirmation.Holders of such currency have an option to deposit them in RBI by March 31 but even that period may be curtailed, they said. Out of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore worth of 500 and 1000 rupee notes in circulation on November 8, close to Rs 13 lakh crore have been deposited in accounts or exchanged for valid currency.

Pune: Capgemini techie hacked to death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 23-year-old woman software engineer working with an IT firm in Pune was hacked to death by an unidentified assailant barely some metres away from her office on the outskirts of the city. Antara Das, who hailed from West Bengal, was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon at around 8 PM on Friday night when she was returning home from work near Tathwade area, a senior police official of Dehuroad Police Station said. “Das was rushed to a nearby hospital. However, she was declared dead on arrival,” he said.According to the officer, robbery angle has been ruled out as the valuables the woman was carrying were intact. A case was registered in this regard, police said, adding a probe was underway. According to a statement given by her company Capgemini to the police, Das left the office at 8 PM on Friday night and decided not to travel by the office cab.The woman mentioned in the office register that she would be taking an auto to get back home, police said. The attack took place barely some metres from her office and she was rushed to hospital by passers-by.

Pune: 23-year-old woman techie hacked to death metres away from her office

Pune: A 23-year-old woman software engineer working with an IT firm in Pune was hacked to death by an unidentified assailant barely some metres away from her office on the outskirts of the city.

Antara Das, who hailed from West Bengal, was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon at around 8 pm on Friday night when she was returning home from work near Tathwade area, a senior police official of Dehuroad Police Station said.

“Das was rushed to a nearby hospital. However, she was declared dead on arrival,” he said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

According to the officer, robbery angle has been ruled out as the valuables the woman was carrying were intact.

A case was registered in this regard, police said, adding a probe was underway.

According to a statement given by her company Capgemini to the police, Das left the office at 8 pm on Friday night and decided not to travel by the office cab.

The woman mentioned in the office register that she would be taking an auto to get back home, police said.

The attack took place barely some metres from her office and she was rushed to hospital by passers-by.

First Published On : Dec 25, 2016 15:24 IST

Those who did bhoomipoojan yesterday will not get chance to do it officially: Fadnavis mocks Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking potshots at the opposition Congress for performing “bhumipoojan” of Pune Metro on Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday people will never give them an opportunity to perform official foundation stone laying ceremonies. “Those who performed the ‘bhumipoojan’ yesterday were not authorised to do so. Many years ago, when I was small, during a visit to Delhi’s Red fort, I gave a speech like Prime Minister. This does not make me a Prime Minister,” the Chief Minister said at the event here where foundation stone for Pune Metro was laid down by Prime Minister Naredra Modi. “Similarly, those who did the ‘bhumipoojan’ yesterday will never get a chance to perform ‘bhumipoojan’ officially,” Fadnavis said.He said the file containing 256 queries regarding the project were pending at the desk of the previous (Maharashtra) Chief Minister. “There were issues of alignment which was resolved in our time, a new DPR was made. All issues related to the proposed second phase of Hinjewadi-Shivajinagar will be completed by March and in April next year. We will invite Modiji for the launch of the second phase,” Fadnavis said.He said the proposed International Airport in Pune and Metro will help the city to emerge as a start up capital in the country. NCP president Sharad Pawar, union minister Nitin Gadkari, Prakash Javdekar, Venkaiah Naidu were present on the occasion. Naidu said the Centre and the state government will share the funding for Pune Metro.With civic elections round the corner, the Pune unit of Congress had performed the ‘bhoomipujan’ of the Pune Metro Rail project on Friday.

Thane: Third body recovered from landslide site

Sat, 24 Dec 2016-06:16pm , Thane , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With recovery of a body of a 27-year-old youth on Saturday morning, the death toll in the landslide mishap at Ghodbunder area of the city has climbed to three, official from Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) said. Chief of the Regional Disaster Management Cell (RDMC) Santosh Kadam informed that the body of the victim Lokeshwar Vishwakarma (27) which was trapped under the debris was pulled out by the rescue team and sent for postmortem. The land caved in at the site burying the workers who were working at the spot on Friday afternoon.A total of seven persons were safely pulled out of the debris after the landslide at the construction site. In a related development Kasarwadavali police have booked the owner of Gayatri Constructions and others following the mishap in which three lives were lost.

AMU students union claim Akhilesh Yadav govt has paid ‘lip service’ to Muslim quota demand

Sat, 24 Dec 2016-05:40pm , Aligarh , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AMU Students Union has threatened to launch an agitation against Akhilesh Yadav Government if it fails to fulfil its promise of granting 18% quota to Muslims, made at the time of last Assembly elections. In a memorandum sent to the Chief Minister on Saturday, the Students’ Union said SP government has paid only “lip service” to the long standing demands of Muslims and has failed to even implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee. “What is worse, it has made no serious attempt to fulfil even those commitments which were a part of the SP’s election manifesto in 2011,” the Union said.Earlier on Friday, members of the Union held a protest march to highlight their anger over Samajwadi Party’s failure to safeguard the interests of minorities in the state. The protesters marched up to the gate of the District Collectorate, raising slogans against state government. The President of the AMU Students’ Union, Faizul Hasan told media persons that it was ironical that while the SP had recently decided to include 17 fresh OBC castes in the SC quota list, Muslims had to remain content just on empty promises and lip services.

Boat capsizes in Powai lake, 3 died and 5 saved in search operation

Five people were saved and three are feared dead after a boat capsized in Powai lake in Mumbai late on Friday night, reports said.

Search operations were started immediately after the boat capsized. While some reports said the three boys are feared dead, search operations are still going on in the lake.

A DNA report said that a police official confirmed that the boat lost balance after colliding with a bamboo, and because the boat was close to the shore, locals could rush to the spot to help the people in the boat.

Fire officials have confirmed that they got the news at 11.30 pm and rushed to the spot to help the boys.

The people in the boat were going to for a party, Maharashtra Times report said.

On 13 December, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had issued notice to 17 houseboats to stop their business in Powai lake as they had not bothered to reply to the earlier notices by the municipal corporation, as reported in The Times Of India.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 14:25 IST

Mumbai: Three people killed, 5 rescued as boat capsizes in Powai lake

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three people were killed and five others were rescued after a boat with eight people on board capsized in Powai lake in Mumbai on Friday night.Five people including the helmsman were rescued, while three others were declared declared dead on arrival.Those rescued are out of danger and being treated.“The control room got a call at 11:30 pm about a boat being capsized. The boat capsized at 11:15 pm on Friday. A couple of them were rescued by the locals during the night while rest drowned,” said a senior police officer from Powai Police Station”Those who boarded the boat were all residents of Mumbai and were on the boat for leisure. The boat belonged to a member of the Maharastra State Angling Association, a club near the lake, however, the club claims that the boat was taken without their permission,” officer added. Police said that the boat toppled because it was hit by a bamboo or a pole in the water, the boat was only 100 meters away from the shore hence, the locals could rescue them.

Rahul Gandhi to address rally in Dharamshala today

“Prime Minister Modi hasn’t listened to the farmers, but he has forgiven 1.40 lakh crore in loans to 15 rich people but not farmers”, says Rahul Gandhi in his rally in Almora, on Friday. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice- president, Rahul Gandhi will address a rally in Dharamshala on Saturday. This is the first visit of Gandhi after the Congress reversal in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. While addressing a rally in Almora on Friday, Gandhi escalated his attack on Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and said that demonetization is economic robbery.”The Congress Party wants to obliterate corruption from India. The Congress will support any step against corruption. But notes ban wasn’t against black money or corruption, it was economic robbery,” Gandhi said.The Congress vice-president also used the occasion to reach out to the farmers and labourers. “Prime Minister Modi hasn’t listened to the farmers, but he has forgiven 1.40 lakh crore in loans to 15 rich people but not farmers,” said Gandhi.
ALSO READ Prime Minister Modi has given a befitting reply to Rahul Gandhi: BJPGandhi alleged that the ‘suit boot ki Sarkar’ was in its bid to help its “rich friends” snatching the rights of the poor. “Under National Democratic Alliance (NDA​), 1% of Indians have 60% of the wealth. 99% Indians don’t have black money. 94% of the black money is in Swiss Bank accounts, gold and land. Just 6% of black money is in cash. I don’t know why Prime Minister Modi has made this 6% black money his target, not the 94%,” said Gandhi.

I-T raids bullion market, Kotak Mahindra bank

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Early Friday morning around 6 o’clock, income tax (I-T) officials stormed the Kuncha Mahazani bullion market in the Chandni Chowk area of central Delhi. The income tax raids are being carried out on four big jewellers who have allegedly sold gold worth Rs 250 crore post demonetization. Sources said most of these deals had been taken place through RTGS via Fake Accounts in some banks.In another case, the I-T department raided K G Marg branch in Connaught Place of the Kotak Mahindra Bank in connection with two of its customer accounts and questioned the manager on Friday.Rohit Rao, official spokesperson of Kotak Mahindra Bank, said in a statement, “I-T department has visited the bank’s branch in connection with the survey of two of its customers and their related accounts. No KYC deficiencies were noted in these two customers. The I-T department questioned the branch manager and no adverse report has been submitted so far.”After finishing the raid, the I-T Team joined the operation at Chandni Chowk around 3 pm.Sources further revealed that the I-T department has got major evidence during the present raid on Axis Bank of Chandni Chowk and Noida branch. Currently, I-T officials are asking for the particular trading details and their entries in the account books.The president of Bullion Market Association of Chandni Chowk, Ram Avatar said to DNA that the I-T team is investigating some traders since Thursday morning. However, the raids intensified on Friday morning.

CBI summons Uttarakhand CM Rawat in sting CD case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat in connection to its probe into a sting operation that purportedly showed the senior leader offering bribes to rebel Congress MLAs. The sting allegedly showed Rawat asking the rebel Congress MLAs to support him during the floor test that took place in May this year.The CBI on Friday said that its investigators had summoned Rawat to appear at the agency headquarters at the national capital on December 26. Confirming the development, a senior CBI official told DNA, “Investigators wanted to examine Mr Rawat in connection to the allegations of bribery made against him in April, 2016.” Rawat had been questioned by the CBI on one previous occasion on on May 9, 2016. Sources told DNA that during the previous session of questioning, Rawat had asked for more time to respond to queries made by the CBI.The case relates to an alleged sting operation carried out in April 2016 wherein Rawat is purportedly heard offering bribes to rebel Congress MLAs in exchange for their support in the assembly floor test.Rawat had dismissed the video as being fake after it was released by rebel Congress MLAs but later admitted that he was in the clip. The probe agency however filed a preliminary enquiry during which the CBI verifies the facts in the complaint received by it.The agency usually only ‘requests’ a person ‘to join the probe’ and does not summon him, carry out searches or make any arrests. If verification of facts shows need of further probe, it may register an FIR or else close the PE.The state cabinet, after Rawat’s victory in the floor test, withheld the notification recommending the CBI probe. Responding to the recommendation the probe agency had said that there was no ground for its withdrawal and it was ‘not legally tenable’ and rejected the state cabinets decision.

Currency transfer: CBI case against top Mumbai oncologist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials have registered a case against a Padma Bhushan awardee on Friday in the ongoing crackdown against black money. The accused, a resident of Mumbai, and five others have been booked in connection with a case of fraudulent transportation of demonetized currency worth Rs 10 crore.They have been identified as Yogesh B Shiroye, Dharam Raj Thigle, Krish, Gajanand Somnath, BM Shah and Dr Suresh Advani. Dr Advani, who is associated with the CIIGMA hospital in Aurangabad, is considered to be one of the top oncologists and is known for Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation procedures. He has received many awards, including the Padma Shri in 2002 and Padma Bhushan in 2012.DNA tried to contact Dr Advani on his personal mobile number. However, calls and messages sent to him went unanswered.When asked about the allegations faced by Dr Advani, a CBI spokesperson told DNA: “He is accused in the overall case of fraudulently transporting the money. His exact role will come out after an investigation.”As for the others, CBI officials say that, other than Yogesh, four of the accused are officials of the Vaidyanath Cooperative Urban Bank Ltd (VCUBL). It is also interesting to note the director of the co-operative bank is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Pritam Munde, the daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde.CBI officials have claimed that three of the accused were transporting the demonetized cash in a car, when they were stopped by the police in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai.These individuals were detained and during interrogation, they said that they were bank officials and the Rs 10 crore being seized from them was being transported from the head office of Vaidyanath Cooperative Urban Bank in Maharashtra’s Beed region. This old money, the probe agency claimed, was being used for money- laundering.”Approximately Rs 15 crore was allegedly deposited with the Maharashtra State Urban Co-operative Bank and Rs 10 crore was being transported back to Beed, when they (the accused) were intercepted by the police on December 15,” a CBI spokesperson said on Friday.He said that others are also likely to be involved. “Among the other accused are unknown bank officials and individuals,” he said. He also confirmed that searches were being conducted at 11 places on Friday, which included the official and residential premises of the accused persons in Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Beed in Maharashtra.However, a senior bank official from the Vaidyanath Co-operative Urban Bank contested the CBI’s claim, saying that the probe agency was misinformed. Speaking to DNA, the official claimed that the Rs 10 crore was part of the Rs 25 crore that was intended to be deposited in the bank’s Ghatkopar branch.The official added that the branch could accept only Rs 15 crore, following Rs 10 crore was to be sent to the branch in Pimpri Chinchwad from where it would have been deposited in another co-operative bank. “The whole case is a result of CBI’s mismanagement,” he said.

Rajasthan cop shoots woman, dead, kills self

Jaipur: An additional superintendent of police of the Anti-terrorist squad of Rajasthan Police allegedly shot himself dead after killing a woman on the outskirts of the city, police said on Friday.

Representational image. IBNlive

Representational image. IBNlive

Before killing himself from his service revolver, Ashish Prabhakar also allegedly shot dead a woman in his car.

The bodies were recovered from his car last night in Shivdaspura area, police said on Friday.

Prabhakar was disturbed for the last few days and left office early on Thursday evening and went to Shivdaspura area, they said.

Prima facie, Prabhakar shot the woman dead after some quarrel before allegedly committing suicide inside the car.

He had also made a call to the police control room, saying two bodies were lying in a car, before taking the extreme step.

Efforts are on to identify the woman.

The bodies have been shifted to a hospital for postmortem and the matter is being investigated, the police said.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 20:24 IST

Centre vs Mamata: Now, Bengal CM calls CRPF deployment for IT raids unconstitutional & illegal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Weeks after West Bengal Chief Minister termed the army exercise in the state as an attack on federal structure, Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the deployment of 15 CRPF personnel to provide security to income tax officers during raids is unconstitutional and illegal.Banerjee, in a letter addressed to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “It has come to our notice that the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to make available 15 personnel of the CRPF for apparently providing ‘security’ to Income Tax officials and staff deputed for operations in West Bengal. No communication in this regard has been received by the state government.””The State Government objects strongly to this decision, which is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and against all principles of cooperative federalism,” the letter reads.Stating that the deployment of any Central Police Force of the Union to any State can only be done at the request of the state government, letter said, “The decision must be immediately revoked. The Chief Minister also said that the state government at its police forces will provide all necessary help and protection.”On the other hand, an advisory by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the CBDT, dated December 20, mentioned that 15 CRPF personnel would be deployed in the state.“The matter has been considered in this Ministry and it has been decided that CRPF shall make available 15 personnel to Income Tax Department, Kolkata for providing security to officers and staff deputed for search and seizure operations to be carried out by the Income Tax Directorate,” the advisory read.However, when contacted, CRPF officials remained tight lipped. They refused to give information whether the deployment plan was shared with the state government or not.

Maharashtra: 8 more handsets seized from Nashik prison, 3 officers suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight more mobile phones have been recovered from barracks in the Nashik Central jail, days after some prisoners were shifted out following recovery of such gadgets, prison authorities said on Friday.Three jail officers have been suspended today in this connection by Deputy Inspector General (Prisons) Rajendra Dhamane, they said. With this, total 16 phones have been recovered from the prisoners’ barracks inside the jail in two weeks. During a search operation yesterday, eight mobile phones were found hidden at various places, including a washroom. However, the phones did not have the SIM cards, an official from Nashik Central Jail said.The jail authorities suspect that the prisoners used to talk on the phones. During the search carried out by senior jail officer Pramod Wagh and other staff, three mobile handsets were found hidden inside a wall while the other phones were recovered from a toilet and lofts in the barracks, officials said.Based on a complaint by a jail officer, the Nashik Road police late last night registered offences under relevant sections.Earlier, as many as 11 prisoners serving life sentence in the Nashik Central Jail were shifted to prisons in Pune and Navi Mumbai after mobile phones were found in some of their barracks.Following suspicion, a through search was carried out last week during which eight mobile phones were found in different barracks of the jail, an official had earlier said.

Solar scam: Oommen Chandy deposes before judicial commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy deposed on Friday before a judicial commission probing charges in the solar panel scam, allegedly linked to his staff.The panel headed by Justice Sivarajan had directed the senior Congress leader to be present for cross-examination today. Chandy was cross-examined in January last, in a sitting of the Kochi-based commission held in Thiruvananthapuram, when he was the Chief Minister.Outside the Commission office, Chandy had said that he had already told the Commission whatever he had to say with regard to the scam occurred during his tenure. During the deposition, he had maintained that the charges against him and his office were “politically motivated” and denied any wrongdoing.The state government had appointed a retired High Court judge Sivarajan to head the one-man commission on October 23, 2013, to probe the scam pertaining to alleged duping of investors by one Biju Radhakrishnan and his partner Saritha S Nair, who allegedly collected crores of rupees for a solar power project. The two had allegedly canvassed business by using top level names, including that of Chandy.While Saritha was granted bail after remaining behind bars for about nine months, Radhakrishnan is still in jail in connection with the alleged murder of his wife.

Two-day GST Council meet to end today: Key points over the vexed dual control issue

The two-day GST Council meet that began on Thursday (22 December) and will continue today would take forward the discussion on the remaining 7 chapters of the model GST law.

The council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, which is meeting for the seventh time so far, will also take up the dual control issue and try to iron out differences on the vexed issue of jurisdiction over assessees in the new indirect tax regime.

Consensus has so far eluded on the model GST law in the previous meetings of the all-powerful GST Council. The subsequent GST legislations — CGST, IGST and compensation law — could not be introduced in the Winter session of Parliament that ended last week, and this has threatened the April 2017 rollout target of the GST.

Experts now say that implementation of GST should be postponed by three months to July next year as industry would need time to prepare their IT infrastructure.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Although, the Centre plans to implement the GST from 1 April, due to Constitutional compulsion the GST now could be rolled out by 16 September next year as the existing indirect taxes will come to an end, and it would not be possible for either Centre or the states to collect indirect taxes.

Day one of the two-day Council meet ended on Thursday with no discussion on dual control but discussed the GST bills.

However, Friday’s meeting will be important as the integrated GST Bill will discuss the contentious issue over the dual control of assessees. Besides this, the three GST bills – Central GST (cGST), Integrated GST and State Compensation Law – need to be approved by the Council before they can be tabled in the Parliament.

Failure to get a consensus on the issue would make it impossible for the government to implement the ambitious indirect tax reform from its target date of 1 April 2017, said a report in the Mint.

Already, finance minister Arun Jaitley has been emphasising that the luxury of time is not available for the GST implementation for the reason that if 1 April 2017, is the first possible day it can be implemented, then the last date also is constitutionally defined as 16 September, 2017.
This
“So the discretion as to when to implement is only five months and 16 days and that’s why we don’t have the luxury of time because after five months, the curtains will come down on the old taxation powers,” Jaitley had said earlier.

The dual control has been a sticking point between the Centre and the states, which has so far delayed consensus amongst the council members.

Here are the key points over this vexed issue.

1) The government wants to weigh on the pros and cons on the issues of cross empowerment to ensure single interface under GST, which will subsume excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies.

2) Dual control pertains to the issue of administration of transactions above Rs 1.5 crore. At the September meeting, it was decided that states would have exclusive jurisdiction over transactions below Rs 1.5 crore. For transactions above this amount, it was decided that a mechanism would be worked out to ensure that the same transaction would not be subject to dual audit/inspection by the centre and the state. This has resulted in tug of war between the Centre and states and has become a contentious issue.

3) State governments of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Kerala want exclusive control over small taxpayers below Rs 1.5 crore threshold. While the Centre has agreed to forego control on goods, but it is not yielding on services.

4) The GST council also arrived at an option of two proposals– horizontal division and vertical division to overcome the issue. a) Horizontal Division means tax payers would be divided both for administrative and audit purposes based on a cut off turnover. Those with a turnover over Rs 1.5 crore would be administered both by the Centre and states, while those with below Rs 1.5 crore would be administered solely by the state. b) The Vertical Division based on ratios assigns tax payers to a tax administration, Centre or state, for a period of 3 years for all purposes including audit. Tax payers could be divided in a ratio which would balance the interest of the Centre and the state, both with respect to revenue and spread of numbers.

5) The Centre, however, feels that horizontal division would be lopsided as 93 percent of Service Tax assessees and 85 percent of the VAT tax payers have a turnover below Rs 1.5 crore.

6) Last month, GST Council had failed to reach any conclusion on the dual control issue as states objected to non-availability of updated data on assessees of service tax, excise and VAT.

7) The updated figures shared by the Centre with the states shows the likely taxpayer base in GST would be 107 lakh, of which states account for 67 percent (71.7 lakh) and Centre is estimated to account for 33 percent (35.3 lakh). There are around 81.4 lakh VAT dealers, out of which active dealers are 66.5 lakh. For service tax, there are 38 lakh assessees, out of which 26 lakh are active assessees, while there are around 4,00,000 assessees for excise. Around 4,00,000 taxpayers are common to the Centre and the states, The Indian Express report said.

With PTI inputs

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 12:56 IST

Maharashtra: Ex-bank manager among 24 booked for misappropriating Rs 3.14 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 24 persons, including former manager of a bank and son of an ex-MLA from Thane district, have been booked for allegedly misappropriating bank money to the tune of Rs 3.14 crore, police said on Friday.The former manager of a nationalised bank, in connivance with others, allegedly broke some fixed deposits from among the provident fund accounts of employees of Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation to the tune of Rs 2.82 crore without the civic body’s permission, they said.He then allegedly diverted the sum and another Rs 72 lakhs of the corporation to another account of the bank, in violation of the bank regulations, to favour some businessmen and builders, police said.The alleged fraud took place in connivance with the beneficiaries between September 2015 and June 2016.Based on a complaint of a bank officer, an offence was on Thursday registered against all the accused under sections IPC sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and also relevant provisions of the IT Act with Khadakpada police under Kalyan zone.No arrest has been made so far in connection with the case, police added.

Body of Delhi man to be brought back from Tokyo on Saturday: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: On Friday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the mortal remains of a man from Delhi, who died of cardiac arrest in Tokyo two weeks ago, will be brought back home on Saturday, days after his family sought government’s help citing financial constraints.

Last week, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) had sought Swaraj’s intervention after Radha Debi, wife of deceased Gopal Ram, approached it seeking help, saying his poor family was unable to bring the body back.

Responding to the request, Swaraj had said government will bring back the body without delay and bear the expense.

“The mortal remains will reach New Delhi by ANA flight from Tokyo on 24 December at 2400 hrs,” Swaraj tweeted on Friday.

Sushma Swaraj. AFPSushma Swaraj. AFP

Sushma Swaraj. AFP

The External Affairs Minister is known for her prompt response in addressing problems of distressed Indians abroad.

48-year-old Gopal Ram, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, had gone to Tokyo in September last year looking for greener pastures.

He died of a cardiac arrest in the Japanese capital on 10 December.

“The family is severely distressed and needs your kind support. As we all aware you have been extremely pro-active in resolving such matters. Therefore, I am forwarding the representation along with this letter for your kind perusal. Hoping for your support in this matter,” DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal had said in a letter to Swaraj last week.

Gopal was working in Tokyo as a cook in a hotel and according to a family member he was fired within three months after which he started working in some local shop.

His financial condition was bad because of which he was in distress, he said.

On 10 December, the family received a call from a person who worked with Gopal, saying that he has passed away following a heart attack.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 11:54 IST

DNA Morning Must Reads: Explosion in Mexico fireworks market, India’s longest road tunnel & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mexico: At least 27 killed, 70 injured in fireworks market explosionAt least 27 people died and 70 were injured in a massive, multi-colored explosion that leveled a fireworks market outside the Mexican capital on Tuesday, leaving it a charred wasteland. Read moreModi hits right electoral notes: Chandigarh, Maharashtra shrug off note recall woesThose who were surprised that despite long queues, there had been no popular backlash against demonetization may have received some answers from the results of the recent civic body elections. Held in Maharashtra and Chandigarh, the comfortable victories acquired by the BJP in these two places, and the hostile reception accorded to UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav by spectators, who had come to cheer the junior hockey team in Lucknow on Friday, summed up the positive mood amidst the public for the saffron party. Read detailsBuilt at a cost of Rs 3,720 crore, India’s longest road tunnel ready to be commissionedIndia has joined the league of extraordinary nations by constructing the longest road tunnel in the country on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Built at the cost of Rs 3720 crores, the nine-kilometre long Nashri road tunnel is expected to be commissioned early next year. Read moreNo scrutiny on deposit of old notes if total amount paid in one go: JaitleyAfter a flip-flop over rules for depositing illegal old high-value currency notes amounting to more than Rs 5,000 in banks, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday assured that there were sufficient new notes with Reserve Bank of India to replenish the demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency bills. Read moreHong Kong to withdraw visa free entry facility for Indians from JanuaryIn a setback to Indian travellers, the Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has withdrawn the visa-free facility for Indians and they will now have to complete a pre arrival registration from January. Read more

Killer of Russian ambassador took sick leave on day of attack | Reuters

By Orhan Coskun and David Dolan
| ANKARA

ANKARA The 22-year-old Turkish policeman who gunned down the Russian ambassador in Ankara called in sick on the day of the attack and promised to bring a doctor’s note for his supervisors, a senior security official told Reuters.The government has identified Mevlut Mert Altintas as the gunman who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo!” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire repeatedly on envoy Andrey Karlov while he was giving a speech at an art gallery in the Turkish capital.The attack, caught on video and widely circulated on social media, was a grisly reminder of the spillover faced by both Turkey and Russia from the Syrian civil war, where they are on opposing sides and where Russian-backed Syrian forces last week ended rebel resistance in the northern city of Aleppo.On Monday morning, Altintas called the division of the Ankara riot police where he had worked for 2-1/2 years and said he was unwell and would bring a doctor’s note upon his return, the official said.Altintas, who lived in a shared flat in the Demetevler neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ankara, spent the night before the attack at a hotel in central Ankara close to the gallery, the official said.”He walked from the hotel … to the gallery. He showed his police ID at the entrance,” the official said.

This allowed him to bypass a security check and bring his gun into the venue.SMARTLY DRESSED

Karlov was speaking at an event for the gallery’s showing of an exhibition of photos from Russia, entitled “From Kaliningrad to Kamchatka”. Media present captured the killing in graphic detail.In one photo, Altintas – dressed smartly in a suit, necktie and white shirt – is seen standing just behind Karlov as the ambassador spoke. In a video from moments later, Karlov is shown crumpling as he appears to be shot from behind.Altintas fired some 11 shots with nine of those hitting Karlov, the official said, citing the initial police report. Photographs from the incident showed a wall marked by what appeared to be gunfire.

Turkish special forces stormed the gallery and gunfire was heard for some time after, according to a Reuters cameraman at the scene. As they entered the building, Altintas initially waited by the ambassador’s body and would not allow him to be treated, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.A source familiar with the gallery said Altintas was spotted at the exhibition on the opening night, the Friday before the attack.”There was a ceremony for the opening of the exhibition on Friday evening and the attacker came to that event,” the person said. “Probably he was doing reconnaissance.” (Additional reporting by Ece Toksabay and Daren Butler; Writing by David Dolan; Editing Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 22:54 IST

BJP slams Uttarakhand govt for declaring special 90-minute Friday break for Muslim employees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP on Monday slammed the Uttarakhand government for declaring a special 90-minute Friday break for Muslim employees, saying it will set a wrong precedent and accused the Congress of “communalising” the state’s politics ahead of the assembly polls.Accusing the Congress of pursuing a divisive agenda in its greed for power, the party said few people will be left working in the government offices if Hindus, who observe different forms of pujas across the month, are also given a similar concession. BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma told reporters here that Congress has a history of “dividing” people on communal lines in its greed for power and what it has done in Uttarakhand is an attempt to hide the Harish Rawat government’s failures.”There is no issue with people of different faiths offering prayers of their choice. But this decision will set a wrong precedent on the matter of principle. From Monday to Saturday, faithfuls in our culture worship different Gods and offer prayers. “If everybody is to be given a favour like this, then who will work in government offices. It is an attempt to communalise the state’s politics ahead of the polls as the government has failed on all fronts. It has nothing to show to people for its work and is attempting to hide its failures under its communal agenda,” he said.Congress has given communal colour to terrorism in its greed for power, Sharma alleged, claiming that the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had gone on to say that minorities have the first right to the nation’s resources. For BJP, the poor have the first right, he claimed. The Uttarakhand government has announced a special 90- minute break will be given to the government employees from the Muslim community in the state for Friday prayers.

DYFI activist murder: Double life imprisonment for 11 RSS activists

Mon, 19 Dec 2016-01:16pm , Thiruvananthapuram , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday announced double life sentence for 11 Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activists in Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activist Vishnu’s murder case.One of the accused got life imprisonment and the 15th accused in the case got three years imprisonment for helping the accused to hide after committing the crime.According to the prosecution, the accused armed with swords, iron rods and other weapons attacked Vishnu and killed him at Kaithamukku.Out of the total 16 accused in this case, one died in 2008 and another was acquitted by the court on Friday while one is still absconding.

Pampore attack despite strong intelligence warning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 24 hours before a convoy of Rashtriya Rifles was ambushed near the Kadlibal area in Pampore town on Saturday afternoon, intelligence agencies had dispatched information of a “possible terror attack” on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway.While intelligence agencies based in the Valley have, on multiple occasions, dispatched similar inputs, it is the brazenness of this particular ambush that has security forces, especially in areas close to National Highways, concerned.Officials told DNA on Sunday that not only has the highway crossing through Pampore area become increasingly vulnerable to such ambush, but the elaborate planning that takes place before such attacks is a growing concern.For instance, the intelligence input before the Pampore attack on Saturday, in which three Rashtriya Rifles personnel lost their lives, had stated that proscribed outfits were planning a major stand-off with the Indian armed forces on the highway. It even had specifics that there was a strong possibility that convoys would be targeted using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).According to a senior security official in Kashmir, at 12.30 pm on Friday, a message based on human intelligence was dispatched. It warned security forces of the possible attack.”Credible input suggests that militants have planned IED blasts followed by firing on NHW or a major town today (Friday). Take all necessary precautions,” read the portion of the input.According to some senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir police, all precautions were being taken but the race against time was lost when around 2 pm, three motorcycle-borne gunmen ambushed the convoy. The exchange of fire lasted around 10 minutes, following which the militants escaped.What has the security establishment now thinking is the elaborate ambush plans, starting from planting IEDs, surprise attacks on convoys and a well thought-out escape route.Sources say areas in city outskirts like Pampore in south Kashmir is considered more vulnerable to such attacks, especially since the Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) is located near Sempore. The EDI, too, has come under attack on more than one occasion and the area is one of the link roads that connects south Kashmir with Srinagar city.The area is strategic for militant activities as it is located between Tral, Pulwama areas like Kakapora, Ratnipora and Khrew. On the other side of the river are open vast fields, which provides a good escape route.”The presence of militants in Pulwama and in areas close to the banks of Jhelum river is the reason that the highway has witnessed so many attacks,”said a senior J&K police official.This year alone, seven major attacks on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, mainly in south Kashmir, have taken place, with Pampore being the fourth such attack in the Valley since August.What is more troublesome is the indication that emanates from ambush. They suggest the capability and network of groups like the Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), which are suspected to behind the Saturday attack.IEDs are an added worry. Sources say the use if IEDs had decreased since the armed insurgency erupted in Kashmir in late 80s.One of the first IED blasts that announced the arrival of insurgency was in July 1988 in the Lal Chowk area of Srinagar. Over the years, convoys have witnessed the same tactics. However, the counter-insurgency witnessed in the Valley in the past three decades had rendered the usage of IEDs to a minimal, with militants resorting to attacks using grenades.A senior intelligence official told DNA that local youth who who joined HuM or LeT in the past few years did not get training in making IEDs, but now some of them are trained by “foreign militants, “referring to Pakistani nationals fighting under LeT. It is likely that local militants, who mostly make the Hizb ranks, might have received training in making IEDs as well.Last month, a bullet-proof ‘Rakshak’ jeep of the police came under attack in Awantipora of Pulwama district, which injured three police officials.

Manipur: Mobile Internet service shut down in West Imphal following chaos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking serious note on the prevailing situation here following three blasts on Friday, the state Cabinet has decided to shut down Internet service in Imphal West district with immediate effect.The Imphal West District Magistrate issued an order directing telecom operators to shut down mobile data service in the district immediately until further orders.Major areas of the state capital fall in Imphal West district where the three blasts had taken place within an hour on Friday evening.The Cabinet decision came after analysis of the prevailing law and order situation and to halt spreading of rumours through social networking sites, officials said.The move was preceded by a 24-hour bandh called to protest hill based militants’ attacks on Manipur Police in the last few days in different parts of the state that left three policemen dead and 14 others injured. The militants also snatched several weapons from the IRB personnel.All measures were being taken to contain violence by deploying a large number of police personnel at sensitive areas of the state, a police officer said.

ED cracks down on bogus companies involved in illegal transfer of cash

According to ED sources, raids were conducted on the basis of information received by the agency that black money was being laundered, and that a huge sum had been sent to four bullion traders in Zaveri Bazaar. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Friday night carried out raids at the offices of four bogus companies in Zaveri Bazaar that were allegedly involved in transferring money into the accounts of bullion traders for the purpose of buying gold. It is suspected that these money transfers were an attempt to convert black money into white illegally.ED sources say an undisclosed amount of Rs 69 crore had been transferred to the accounts of bullion traders from these companies. According to ED sources, raids were conducted on the basis of information received by the agency that black money was being laundered, and that a huge sum had been sent to four bullion traders in Zaveri Bazaar.”A cash deposit of Rs 69 crore was made via RTGS through few bogus companies in the accounts of four companies belonging to bullion traders. The accounts of the four companies were searched. All of them are companies of Zaveri Bazaar-based bullion traders. We have frozen one account which had Rs 1.2 crore in it. A probe has revealed that the remaining money has already been moved for the purpose of buying gold and silver illegally. We are tracking details pertaining to the shell companies and bullion traders,” said an ED official on the condition of anonymity. He added that the amount of money transferred could be much more than what has surfaced till now.

China will give back seized drone, criticises U.S. hyping up the issue | Reuters

By Ben Blanchard
| BEIJING

BEIJING China’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday it had been in talks with the United States about returning an underwater drone taken by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea, but the U.S. was not helping by “hyping up” the issue.The drone was taken on Thursday, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines, just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), U.S. officials said.The Defence Ministry said a Chinese naval vessel discovered a piece of “unidentified equipment” and checked it to prevent any navigational safety issues, before discovering it was a U.S. drone.”China decided to return it to the U.S. side in an appropriate manner, and China and the U.S. have all along been in communication about it,” the ministry said on its website.”During this process, the U.S. side’s unilateral and open hyping up is inappropriate, and is not beneficial to the smooth resolution of this issue. We express regret at this,” it added.U.S. President-elect Donald Trump weighed in to the row on Saturday, tweeting: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.”Without directly saying whether the drone was operating in waters China considers its own, the ministry said U.S. ships and aircraft have for a long period been carrying out surveillance and surveys in “the presence” of Chinese waters.”China is resolutely opposed to this, and demands the U.S. stops this kind of activity,” it said.

China will remain on alert for these sorts of activities and take necessary steps to deal with them, the ministry said without elaborating.Earlier, the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, cited an unidentified Chinese source as saying they believed the issue would be resolved smoothly.The United States says the drone was operating lawfully.”The UUV was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea,” a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water – that it was U.S. property,” the official said.

The Pentagon confirmed the incident at a news briefing on Friday, and said the drone used commercially available technology and sold for about $150,000.Still, the Pentagon viewed China’s seizure seriously since it had effectively taken U.S. military property.”It is ours, and it is clearly marked as ours and we would like it back. And we would like this not to happen again,” Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said.

HEIGHTENED CONCERNS
The seizure will add to concerns about China’s increased military presence and aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts.A U.S. research group said this week that new satellite imagery indicated China has installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea.The drone seizure coincided with sabre-rattling from Chinese state media and some in its military establishment after Trump cast doubt on whether Washington would stick to its nearly four-decades-old policy of recognising that Taiwan is part of “one China.”Those comments came after Trump took a telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2, prompting a diplomatic protest from China.President Barack Obama said on Friday it was appropriate for Trump to take a fresh look at U.S. policy toward Taiwan, but he cautioned that a shift could lead to significant consequences in the U.S. relationship with Beijing, as the notion that Taiwan is part of “one China” is central to China’s view of itself as a nation. (Additional reporting by Josephine Mason and Meng Meng; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 17, 2016 20:56 IST

Demonetisation: ED registers case against Noida Axis Bank branch for forging customer identity

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money laundering case in the alleged forging of a customer’s identity to conduct huge illegal transactions in an Axis Bank branch in Noida for conversion of black funds into white post demonetisation.

The individual, identified as N Paswan, in his complaint filed with the police has claimed that his identity has been forged and a current and a savings account were opened in his name in the said branch which were allegedly used to launder crores of rupees post demonetisation.

Officials said the ED registered a criminal complaint under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) taking cognisance of the police FIR on a complaint filed by Paswan, a resident of Delhi’s Pitampura area.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

They said while the bank branch, in sector 51 of Noida, is already under scanner by the Income Tax department owing to alleged dubious transactions using shell companies, the ED has come into picture to probe proceeds of crime which were generated through use of various fake accounts which also have “fake or weak” KYC (Know your customer) details.

They said the amount under scanner of the central probe agency is over Rs 60 crore.

Officials added that the agency is probing more than two dozen accounts in the bank here which could have been used to perpetrate the crime of money laundering, in the wake of the scrapping of Rs 1,000/500 notes.

Meanwhile, the ED also conducted searches on the premises of four bullion traders in Mumbai on Friday in a similar probe.

The agency has also sought freezing of few bank accounts of these traders as part of its probe, they said.

First Published On : Dec 17, 2016 19:10 IST

Manipur: Nearly 70 terrorists attack IRB post, snatch weapons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 70 NSCN – IM terrorists attacked the Nungkao post of the 6th Manipur Rifles and 7th Indian Reserve Battalion in Noney district of Manipur, says News 18 report. The terrorists also snatched away their loaded weapons. The incident occurred at 11.00 am on Saturday. The attack could be in retaliation to the creation of seven districts by CM Okram Ibobi government.Suspected cadres of NSCN-IM had ambushed with police personnels heading to an inauguration of a newly-created district cut out of Naga-dominated regions on Friday. A Manipur Police commando and two police constables were killed while nine others were injured in the attack.The National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) has been openly opposing the creation of the new districts. A few days back, the NSCN-IM, which had been ensuing in peace talk with the government of India, had threatened serious consequences if the decision for creation of new district has not been withdrawn.Manipur also sees elections around February 2017. With agency inputs

Kerala: 13 RSS workers found guilty in 2008 murder of CPI(M) activist

Sat, 17 Dec 2016-02:04pm , Thiruvananthapuram , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram postponed the announcement of quantum of punishment in the 2008 case of DYFI leader Vishnu’s murder.The court had on Friday found 13 RSS activists guilty in the murder of the local CPI(M) worker on April 1, 2008. Additional Sessions Court judge TK Unnimol will pronounce the quantum of sentence on December 19.The case relates to the murder of Vishnu at Kaithamukku. According to the prosecution, the accused armed with swords, iron rods and other weapons attacked Vishnu and killed him. There were a total of 16 accused in the case. While one accused died in 2008, another was acquitted by the court on Friday and one is absconding. Charges against the accused include that of murder, conspiracy and unlawful assembly.

PM Modi meets Tajikistan President Rahmon, to hold bilateral talks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon was on Friday accorded ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan.He also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will hold delegation level talks with him later on in the day. The duo will discuss bilateral relations and issues of mutual interests.After the talks, the two sides are expected to sign agreements in various fields. President Rahmon arrived in New Delhi yesterday after visiting Kochi. The visiting dignitary is on a five day visit to India from December 14.President Rahmon will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee and the President of India will host a banquet today for the visiting dignitary. This will be the sixth visit of President Rahmon to India.During his last visit to India in 2012, the two countries elevated their bilateral relations to the level of a long-term strategic partnership.Bilateral relations span cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas – political, economic, health, human resources development, defence, counter-terrorism, science and technology, culture and tourism.

Government opens another come-clean account

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has offered black-money holders three more months, starting from Saturday (today). The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY), which was announced earlier, will formally open on Saturday and close on March 31, 2017. The Centre also created an email id –[email protected] – which can be used to report information on black money.The PMGKY will be the last chance to black-money holders to come clean, according to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sudhir Chandra.The scheme came into force with the notification of the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016, and the Taxation and Investment Regime for PMGKY, 2016, on Thursday (or Friday?)A Finance ministry note clarified that the income declared under the scheme would not be included in the total income of the declarant under the Income-Tax (I-T) Act for any assessment year. It would also not be admitted as evidence under any other Act like the Central Excise Act, Wealth Tax Act, Companies Act, etc. However, it offers no relief from criminal proceedings.Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Friday said that the government did not want to resort to “inspector Raj” and would prefer black money depositors to voluntarily reveal their unaccounted incomes that have found their way into the system.”We have information from FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) on how much deposits have been made in dormant accounts, Jan Dhan accounts, urban cooperative banks, and how much loan repayments have been made in cash, and RTGS transfers and also on withdrawals,” he said.The government has seized Rs 393 crore in cash and jewellery in the recent raids throughout the country.In a clear warning to tax-evaders, Adhia said: “Mere depositing of money in bank accounts do not make it white. People should not make the mistake of thinking cash deposited in bank is white”.CBDT Chairman Sudhir Chandra cautioned black-money holders that the government had its hawk eye trained on them. “Everybody should be very clear that their deposits are being monitored and we are working on this data. Therefore, they should come very very clean under this scheme, which is the last window available for any taxpayer”.Tax experts feel that the scheme could have come as a second thought by the government after its hopes of around Rs 3-4 lakh crore of the Rs 14.80 lakh crore of demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 not returning to circulation were dashed.”That expectation has turned out to be incorrect because, until two days back, Rs 12.5 lakh crore has come back as deposits in banks. Now, the government is expects the entire money will to return. If that happens, it will not benefit the country. Therefore, they are now proposing to tax the income that people may have already deposited to get some gains from demonetization,” said a tax expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Shailesh Kumar, Director (direct taxation, Nangia & Co), said that the scheme emphasised the government’s aim to widen its tax base. Rakesh Bhargava, Director, Taxmann, said that PMGKY is the only option left now for tax-evaders. Any detection of unaccounted income thereafter would attract tax ranging from 83.25 per cent to 137.25 per cent.How PMGKY worksBlack-money holders have been offered confidentiality and immunity from prosecution if they declare their unexplained bank deposits of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and pay 49.90 per cent tax, surcharge and penalty (30 per cent tax on undisclosed income, 33 per cent surcharge on tax and a 10 per cent penalty on income) during the specified window.Besides the levies, the declarant would have to mandatorily put 25 per cent of the undisclosed income in the PMGKY Deposit Scheme 2016, which is interest-free and has a lock-in period of four years.Those who would miss this opportunity to come out into the open with their undeclared incomes would be liable to tax, surcharge and cess of 77.25 per cent of the income, if declared in income tax returns.And, if it went undeclared even in the tax returns then there would be a further penalty 10 per cent on tax, “followed by prosecution”.This scheme has come into force with the notification of the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016 and the Taxation and Investment Regime for Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016 (the Scheme) on Thursday.

J&K: After two days of normalcy, separatists call strike again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After two days of normalcy, life was again affected in Kashmir Valley on Friday due to a strike called by separatists as part of their agitation programme to protest the killing of civilians during the unrest and in support of their other demands. Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, were shut, while public transport was minimal, officials said.The effect of the strike was accentuated by a public holiday in Kashmir on Friday, they said. Reports of shutdown were also received from most of the other district headquarters of the Valley, the officials said.On Wednesday, the separatist groups — both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF — had scaled down their strike call from five days a week to two days. They have extended the protest programme till the end of this month and have asked people to observe shutdown on Fridays and Saturdays.The separatists have been spearheading the agitation since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8. The more than five-month unrest in the Valley has left 86 people dead and thousands others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.

Telangana is the number one state when it comes to cashless transactions: K Chandrasekhar Rao

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that Telangana is the number one state in cashless transactions, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday said demonetization will curb black money, terrorism, corruption and fake currency, adding it is good for nation building.”Telangana is the number one state when it comes to cashless transactions. Siddipet will be completely cashless. Demonetization will curb black money, terrorism, corruption and fake currency. Good for nation building,” Rao said while speaking on the first day of the Winter Session of Telangana Assembly.After the successful implementation of cashless payments system in a village in Siddipet district, Rao had earlier said the project would be implemented in the entire Siddipet Assembly constituency. He has directed the officials to open bank accounts for everyone in Siddipet and provide them with debit cards. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government announced the demonetization move earlier on November 8.

Every hard-earned penny saved by generations has become black money: Kapil Sibal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Slamming the Centre for its demonetization decision, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Friday the government should focus on those “handful billionaires” who have their black money saved in international lockers instead of troubling millions of common people. Addressing a discussion on the effects of demonetization, he said, “Notes becoming black or white does not depend on people, but on the type of transaction. Fight against black money should focus mainly on transactions not the people.””Every hard-earned penny saved by generations have now become black money. Instead of troubling millions of common people of India, why do we not focus on those handful billionaires who have their black money saved in international lockers,” the former Union minister said.Noting that cash money would come handy to people during times of trouble, he remarked: “Who knew, one day money itself would face troubled times”.Sibal claimed the rich might have either converted their black money into gold or have purchased dollars through hawala transactions and it is the poor who is standing in the queue. Quoting a statement by the first President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad in 1946, he said, “While we Congressmen have no sympathy for profiteers and dealers in black market, it is not right to penalise honest people who in good face have savings in notes of demonetised value.””As (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is calling us anti-national, would that apply to the first president as well?” asked Sibal. Besides talking about the effects of demonetization, Sibal also jabbed the PM “for not passing Lokpal bill even two years after taking charge”.

Petrol price hiked by Rs 2.21 per litre, diesel to become dearer by Rs 1.79 per litre

New Delhi: Petrol price has been hiked by Rs 2.21 a litre and diesel by Rs 1.79 per litre, excluding local levies. The price revision was to come into effect from Thursday, but was deferred by a day, possibly to save the demonetisation-battered government from any blushes in Parliament. The revised rates will be effective from Friday midnight.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

This increase excludes local levies. The actual hike after considering VAT would be Rs 2.84 per litre in Delhi for petrol and Rs 2.11 for diesel.

After the hike, petrol in Delhi will cost Rs 68.94 per litre from midnight as against Rs 66.10 currently, said Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest fuel retailer. Similarly, a litre of diesel will cost Rs 56.68 as compared to Rs 54.57.

IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) revise rates on 1st and 16th of every month based
on average international price in the previous fortnight. But an increase that was warranted because of a rise in international gasoline (petrol) price to $62.82 per barrel from $57.43 and that of diesel to $60.97 from $56.79 was not announced.

Industry sources said the deferment was because Parliament was in session and any hike would have added to the discomfort
of the government, particularly when it is facing heat over hardships caused by currency demonetisation. The Winter Session of Parliament ended on Friday afternoon.

Rates were last revised on 1 December, when petrol price was hiked by a marginal 13 paise a litre, but diesel rates were cut by 12 paise.

Prior to this price change, rates were hiked by Rs 1.46 a litre for petrol and Rs 1.53 per litre for diesel, excluding local levies, on 16 November.

“The current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and Rupee-Dollar exchange rate warrant an increase in selling price of petrol and diesel, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision,” IOC said in a statement.

It said the movement of prices in the international oil market and foreign exchange rate shall continue to be monitored closely and developing trends of the market will be reflected in future price changes.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 22:31 IST

’45 years after creation of Bangladesh, Pakistan is unable to accept that it lost 1971 war’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The India-Pakistan War of 1971, the anniversary of its conclusion that India is observing on Friday, would be remembered as the war of the century. The war, which commenced on December 3, and concluded on December 16, ended in a crushing defeat of the Pakistan armed forces. It saw the surrender of 92,000 Pakistani troops in East Pakistan and in the creation of Bangladesh out of what was then East Pakistan. As the Public Relations Officer for the Army, I had the opportunity to disseminate information about the operations regarding the India-Pakistan War of 1971.The 1971 war was the result of a crackdown by Pakistan on its eastern wing when there was an uprising there following the refusal of the military rulers to hand over power to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who won the parliamentary elections with 167 of the 169 seats in East Pakistan and secured a simple majority in the 313 lower house of the Pakistan Parliament. He should have been made the Prime Minister of Pakistan.Pakistan’s then martial law administrator General Yahya Khan ordered the military to launch a crackdown in Dacca against the Awami League and Mujibur Rahman was arrested and taken to West Pakistan in the month of March. General Yahya Khan sent Lt Gen Tikka Khan to put down the disturbances in East Pakistan. In the crackdown that followed, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were massacred and over ten million fled to India to save themselves. People of East Pakistan raised the Mukti Bahini to liberate themselves from this oppressive rule.India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi expressed her full support to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for his struggle for freedom. She launched a diplomatic offensive to make the world aware of the “demographic aggression”, against India and entered into a twenty -year treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union.Meanwhile, on the advice of the Indian Chief of Army Staff, General SHFJ Manekshaw, she deferred action on the East Pakistan border till the Himalayan hills were closed by snow. India a responded to this ‘demographic aggression’ by supporting the ‘Mukti Bahini’, and the war between India and Pakistan broke out when the Pakistan Air Force carried out attacks on India on December 3.The war, which lasted for 12 days, concluded quickly following the airdrop of surrender documents which assured Pakistani soldiers that they will safely evacuated out of East Pakistan and returned to their country. The Indian Army secured the surrender of the Pakistan Army. The surrender documents were signed in Dacca by Lt Gen AAK Niazi and Lt Gen J Arora, India’s eastern army commander.Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, invited Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, her counterpart from Pakistan, for talks in Shimla in July 1972. It was agreed at Shimla that the prisoners of war would be returned to Pakistan; captured territories along the Western border, except in Jammu and Kashmir returned; the cease-fire line would be converted as the Line of Control and Pakistan would take steps to convert it into an international border, with the hope that peace would prevail in the subcontinent. The hope melted away with the army taking over power again. In the power struggle that followed in Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested and sentenced to death.General Zia-ul-Haq, who assumed power in 1979, became an ally with western powers following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the years that followed he was instrumental in executing the ‘proxy-war’ techniques in Afghanistan.India has to accept that Pakistan will continue its ‘proxy war’ against it, carry out terrorist attacks, even though the terrorists have been destabilizing that country itself.Even after 45 years of the creation of Bangladesh, Pakistan is unable to accept that it lost the 1971 war because it refused to make Shiekh Mujibur Rehman the Prime Minister of Pakistan and killed millions of its own citizens in the eastern wing. It is determined to conduct a proxy war against India.The country on Friday paid tribute to those brave soldiers who fought in what strategic experts refer to as the “war of the century”.Paying his tributes to the bravehearts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Vijay Diwas is a fitting reminder of the valour & sacrifice of all those who fought courageously in the 1971 war. Tributes to them.” On the occasion, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Force Chief Marshal Arup Raha laid wreaths and offered respects to the Martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti on Friday.The Defence Minister informed that announcement of the next army chief would be there very soon. Led by Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, a 72-member delegation of war veterans and Mukti Jodahas from the neighbouring country will participate in Vijay Diwas celebrations there.(The writer, Mr I Ramamohan Rao is a former Principal Information Officer of the Government of India)

PM Modi pays tributes to armed forces on Bangla Liberation Day

Fri, 16 Dec 2016-07:50pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the occasion of Bangladesh Liberation Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid tributes to the armed forces for their valour and sacrifice in the 1971 war with Pakistan.”Vijay Diwas is a fitting reminder of the valour & sacrifice of all those who fought courageously in the 1971 war. Tributes to them,” he said.On this day in 1971, Pakistan’s army had surrendered before the joint forces of ‘Mukti Bahini’ of Bangladesh and Indian soldiers who fought side by side for the liberation of 750 million people of Bangladesh at that time.

Chhattisgarh: Naxal killed in gun-battle with security forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Naxal was gunned down in an encounter with security forces on Friday in the insurgency-hit Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, police said. The skirmish took place in the morning in the forest of Metapal village under Gangaloor police station when a joint team of security forces was out on a counter-insurgency operation, Bijapur Superintendent of Police K L Dhruv told PTI.”A composite squad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and District Reserve Group (DRG) had launched the operation in the interiors of Gangaloor, around 450 kms away from the state capital,” he said.When the party was advancing through Metapal forest, they came under heavy fire from Maoists that led to a gun-battle between both the sides, the SP said. However, the ultras soon fled from the spot.During the search conducted later, body of a rebel and a 12-bore gun were recovered from the spot, the SP said adding that the identity of the deceased Maoist was being ascertained. On Thursday, two coammnder-rank ultras, one of them carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head, were killed in a gun-battle with security forces in Bijapur.

Narendra Modi is correcting Congress, Indira Gandhi’s mistakes: BJP leaders

On the last day of the Winter Session of Parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made some scathing remarks against the Opposition and specifically the Congress on Friday stating that the Narendra Modi government is doing what Congress failed to do since 1971.

Referring to the Wanchoo Committee report of 1971, which had suggested demonetisation of certain bank notes as a mean to curb black money in Indian economy and tax evasion, BJP said that demonetisation was a necessity to keep Indian economy on track in a closed-room parliamentary party meeting on Friday, reports said.

Narendra Modi. Reuters

Narendra Modi. Reuters

Modi addressed Party MPs on a variety of issues including demonetisation at the meeting.

The meeting was called on the last day of the Winter Session of the Parliament as the deadlock on demonetisatin continued to disrupt regular business in both houses. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had also alleged that he had proof of corruption by Modi on Thursday.

According to ANI, sources told the news agency that Modi specifically spoke about how former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had snubbed a report of the Wanchoo Committee that had recommended demonetisation of certain bank notes in 1971 because she was afraid to lose election. Firstpost had written about the Wanchoo Committee report in November.

Mentioning a conversation with YB Chavan, ANI quoted a source as saying:

Speaking with the press live on television, BJP leader Ananth Kumar echoed similar words stating that BJP-led government is trying to do correct Congress’ mistakes. Speaking on CNN-News18, Kumar said, “The prime minister said that digital economy should be a way of life” and that it would help make India a transparent and effective economy. The BJP leader also took a jibe on the opposition saying that “earlier the Opposition used to carry out scams, now they are working for black money”.

Interestingly, initial reports said that Modi will speak in a televised address about various issues around demonetisation and the Winter Session of the Parliament in a fashion similar to the announcement of the scheme in November. However, it didn’t happen.

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who spoke with the press after the party meet, criticised the Opposition and Congress Party for creating a ruckus inside the Parliament and outside on demonetisation. Naidu also criticised parties like CPM, Trinamool Congress and the Congress of working for giving vested interests preference over national interest and accused them of trying to tarnish the prime minister’s image with wild accusations.

“While the ruling party is fighting corruption and black money some opposition parties are fighting for the corrupt and terrorists. Many people are shaken because vested interests are shaken. They are trying to create panic in the public. And therefore, they are trying to tarnish prime minster’s image,” Naidu said on television.

Meanwhile, Kumar also attacked the Congress party and the Opposition for demanding proof for the strikes that the Indian Army carried out in September in retaliation to the Uri Attack.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 13:02 IST

Demonetization | PM Modi has not committed to waive off farmers loans: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a demand to provide relief for debt-ridden farmers, the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the former has accepted that the situation of farmers is critical in the country, but did not commit anything on waiving off their loans.”Prime Minister accepted that the situation of farmers is critical, But he did not say anything about waiving off their loans, he only heard the matter,” said Rahul.He further added that the farmers are committing suicide all over the country and the removal of import duty on wheat by the government is a devastating blow.Earlier in the day, a delegation of senior Congress leaders met Prime Minister Modi to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers and to express their apprehension at not being allowed to speak in parliament. Following this, opposition leaders would call on President Pranab Mukherjee at 12.30 pm. These meetings come even as the ruckus continues in parliament over several issues, including demonetization and corruption.On Thursday, Azad said, “It is for the first time in history of India that the ruling party is not letting the House to function,” he said. Azad gave a notice in the Rajya Sabha on the “hardships faced by farmers due to demonetization”. “I have given notice so that the debt of the farmers is forgiven. The BJP is not in the support of the farmers,” he said.Both Houses of Parliament had to be adjourned for the day eventually.

Four years after horrific December 16 gangrape, Nirbhaya’s mother still awaits justice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Extremely upset with the fact that justice has not been meted out to her daughter despite four years after the horrific December 16 gang-rape incident, Nirbhaya’s mother on Friday said that no action has yet been taken against the accused despite the matter being heard in the Supreme Court and added that the situation remains the same as nobody is scared of the law.”It has been four years today, but till now justice has not been served to her (Nirbhaya). We have been trying a lot from the past four years to ensure that she gets justice, yet the accused have not been punished. The case is pending in the Supreme Court, but still we don’t know when she will get justice,” said Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi.”Even today the same thing is happening, small children are being assaulted which indicate that the law of the country is not working properly as it should. Nobody is scared of the law,” she said.
ALSO READ Nirbhaya rape convict Vinay Sharma attempts suicide in Tihar Jail, admitted to hospitalNirbhaya was brutally gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. The incident took place while she was returning with a friend after watching a movie.She died 13 days after the incident at a hospital in Singapore.
ALSO READ Delhi gangrape: Delhi HC rejects plea seeking seizure of ‘India’s Daughter’ documentaryOf the six men arrested in the case, one of the accused Ram Singh hanged himself in prison in March 2013, while another man, who was a juvenile at the time of the crime, was convicted in August and will serve the maximum sentence of three years in a reform home.The other four — Akshay, Vinay Sharma, Pawan and Mukesh — were found guilty and sentenced to death by the Delhi High Court in September 2013.
ALSO READ Amid reports of placing Delhi gangrape juvenile convict under NGO monitoring, Nirbhaya’s parents say he should remain in jailThe men have challenged the death sentence in the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing their appeal.

Demonetization: Workers ransack factory over non-payment of wages

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three workers have been booked for allegedly ransacking a factory in Wagle Industrial Estate here as the company could not pay their wages on time due to demonetization, police said on Friday.According to a complaint filed in this regard, the three workers allegedly smashed the window panes of the company’s office in the wee hours yesterday. They also damaged some tiles brought for construction work and broke the partition walls in the premises, they said. The alleged offence was captured in the CCTV installed in the company premises.Subsequently, based on the complaint filed by a senior company official, an offence under IPC sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 427 (mischief) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) was registered last evening against the three men with Wagle Estate police station. No arrest has been made so far, police said.According to the complainant, the workers are paid wages on the 10th of every month. This month, the company could not make payment on time due to demonetization, police added.

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