13 states decide on their borrowing options to meet GST compensation

Agencies
September 14, 2020

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New Delhi, Sept 14: A total of 13 states have so far decided on their borrowing options to meet their GST compensation shortfall and almost all have decided to go for the first option proposed by the Centre, source said.

Out of the 13, 12 states have opted for the first option, under which the Union government has offered states that they could borrow the shortfall arising out of GST implementation, estimated at Rs 97,000 crore. The amount would be borrowed through issue of debt under a special window coordinated by the Finance Ministry.

The first option is to ensure steady flow of resources similar to the flow under GST compensation on a bi-monthly basis. Under this option, the Centre will endeavour to keep the cost at or close to the G-secs yield, and in the event of the cost being higher, will bear the margin between G-secs and average of State Development Loan yields up to 0.5 per cent through a subsidy.

The states which have preferred to opt for this option are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha.

Only Manipur has so far opted for the second borrowing option under which states can borrow the entire compensation shortfall of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, including the Covid-impact portion, through issue of market debt.

Six more states -- Goa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh -- will be giving their choice in a day or two, said people in the know.

A few states have submitted their views to the Chairperson of the GST Council but are yet to decide on the options, according to sources.

In the 41st GST Council meeting last month, the Centre had proposed both options, so that a mechanism could be put in place as an exception this year, as Covid-19 disruptions and lower revenue collections have made it difficult for the Centre to meet its obligation on Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation to states.

Meanwhile states such as Kerala, Telangana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Chhattisgarh rejected the two options presented by the Centre. Chief Ministers of Kerala, Telangana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the Centre should borrow to meet the GST revenue shortfall and not the states

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News Network
October 22,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 22: Active cases of COVID-19 in India have fallen below 10 per cent while the positivity rate of the disease was reported below 5 per cent in the last three days, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said here on Thursday.

"Presently the active cases comprise merely 9.29 per cent of the total positive cases of the country standing at 7,15,812. The daily positivity rate has also been maintained at less than 5 per cent over the past three days indicating that the spread of infection is being effectively contained through focussed strategies and actions of the Centre and the states/UTs. Today, the daily positivity rate is reported to be 3.8 per cent," the official statement said.

The decrease in the daily positivity rate is simultaneously mapped by the falling active cases, which continues to be under 7.5 lakh today (7,15,812). The total recovered cases are close to 69 lakhs (68,74,518). The difference between active cases and recovered cases is consistently increasing and stands at 61,58,706 today.

As many as 79,415 patients have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases are 55,839. The national recovery rate has progressed to 89.20 per cent.

A total of 702 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Of these, nearly 82 per cent are concentrated in 10 states/UTs.

More than 25 per cent of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra (180 deaths).

"On a global scale, India continues to report one of the lowest cases/million population. With consistently falling case fatality rate (1.51 per cent presently), it also has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality," the MoHFW said.

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News Network
October 28,2020

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Chennai, Oct 28: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Khushbu Sundar on Wednesday said that Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan's alleged remarks about women and the Manusmriti would not be accepted as it was irrelevant and nobody read the book anymore.

Speaking to news agency, Sundar said, "Whatever argument Thirumavalam puts forward is irrelevant and will not be accepted because it is absolutely irrelevant to speak something about a book that was written 3,700 years ago."

"It was very inappropriate for him to pick this book. There are so many books about other issues. Even in the Manusmriti, there are several issues that speak about the development and empowerment of women. Why did he choose to speak about something like this which is not necessary at all in these times," she added.

She further questioned if he was accusing his allies of treating women in the manner that he described.

"Who is using the Manusmriti now? Is Thirumavalam trying to say that people of this country are still following the Manusmriti and are so backward? His allies also practice Hinduism. Is he trying to say that they treat women like this? If he does not follow the book, why is he putting it into the public forefront and asking for its ban? There is nothing to be banned because nobody reads that book anymore," she said.

Speaking about her detention, the BJP leader said that she did not blame the police as they were just doing their job.

"I don't blame the police for doing what they did, they were just doing their job to keep law and order in place. They treated me very well. However, I want to ask, if other parties were allowed to protest, why not us?" she said.

The BJP leader was detained by the police on Tuesday while on her way to Chidambaram to protest against Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan's alleged remark against women.

The VCK leader had earlier said, "Manusmriti has made a bad structure in our society in which women are the main focus. In the name of purity, women were made slaves and their character assassination was done," and demanded the ban of the book.

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Agencies
October 29,2020

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Lucknow, Oct 29: Amid speculation that some of her party MLAs could switch sides in Uttar Pradesh, BSP leader Mayawati on Thursday said that to ensure defeat of Samajwadi Party candidates in future elections, including those of MLC and Rajya Sabha, her party will vote for BJP or any other party's candidate.

The former UP chief minister said her party will leave no stone unturned to defeat SP candidates even if it means voting for candidates of BJP or any other party.

Any candidate who dominates over SP's second candidate will get BSP MLAs' vote, she said in a statement.

In a jolt to the BSP on Wednesday, six party MLAs reportedly met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and later threw hints that they may switch sides.

Four of the group of rebels also filed an affidavit, saying their signatures on the party candidate Ramji Gautam's nomination for the Rajya Sabha polls had been forged.

The move turned out to be futile with the Returning Officer still accepting Gautam's nomination as the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate for the November 9 biennial elections for the 10 Uttar Pradesh seats that are vacant.

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