Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has urged Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to bring petroleum products under GST purview as early as possible. Currently, petroleum products attract central excise duty and value added tax (VAT) levied by states.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Pradhan said: “From day one I have been urging GST Council to bring petroleum under GST purview. We are continuously urging the council and today again I am requesting GST Council to consider our demand.”
Pradhan’s appeal came amid petrol and diesel prices hitting a record high in the national capital on Tuesday after a temporary pause on the upward trend. While the price of petrol was increased by 25 paise, diesel rate jumped up by 35 paise. The hike took the petrol price in Delhi to Rs 90.83 per litre and diesel rate climbed to Rs 81.32 per litre.
Pradhan mentioned that if the GST Council decides to bring petroleum products under GST purview, it will be a big relief for common man. It will also be very helpful for the growth of the oil and gas sector.
“We are consistently requesting the GST council to include petroleum products under its purview as it will benefit people. But it is their call to take,” he said.
The GST Council is an apex member committee to modify, reconcile or procure any law or regulation based on the context of GST. The Council is headed by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assisted by finance ministers of all the states of India. The next GST Council meeting is scheduled to be held in March.
Furthermore, the minister also lauded several projects worth over Rs 3,000 crores launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Assam, saying they will increase regional job opportunity and revenue.
“Due to an increase in prices of crude oil in international markets, consumer price for petrol and diesel have risen. This will soften gradually,” said Pradhan, adding the global supply of oil was reduced due to Covid-19, which affected production.
He also highlighted that 32 per cent more expenditure has been provided in this area as compared to the budget last year.
Speaking on Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi’s letter to PM Modi, the minister said: “Sonia ji must know Rajasthan and Maharashtra have the maximum tax. The earnings of the Centre and state were negligible during the lockdown. We have allocated large chunks to various sectors in the Budget to increase jobs.”
Currently, petroleum products attract central excise duty and VAT levied by states. While industry captains have repeatedly pressed the government for bringing petro products under GST, states have not been keen on the idea because they rely heavily on VAT for their own revenue.
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Uttarakhand CM reaches Gairsain for state Assembly session
Gairsain (Uttarakhand) [India], February 28 (ANI): Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sunday reached the summer capital Gairsain to attend the state Assembly session which will begin from tomorrow.
The Uttarakhand assembly will meet on March 1 for its first session of this year.
Gairsain in Chamoli district was declared as the summer capital of Uttarakhand last year.
The Uttarakhand government has planned to develop its summer capital in the next 10 years. (ANI)
392 drug peddlers held in Punjab in last 3 days, says DGP
Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], February 28 (ANI): Under a week-long drive against the drug menace in the state, Punjab Police have arrested 392 persons after registering 283 FIRs under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act.
The week-long drive commenced on February 25, said Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Dinkar Gupta.
Under this drive, police have recovered heroin as well as other drugs after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug affected areas beside laying nakas at vulnerable routes across the state. The police have also arrested 15 Proclaimed Offenders (POs) of NDPS cases during these three days.
“The Punjab Police had set a new record by seizing over 700 kgs heroin worth Rs 3500 crores in the international market and confiscating property worth Rs 101 crores after arresting over 10,000 drug smugglers in year 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gupta said.
He informed that the massive crackdown on drugs not only led to break the supply chain of drugs but also resulted in decline in drug related deaths as only 19 drug related deaths were reported last year in comparison to the years 2019 and 2018, which had witnessed 47 and 111 drug related deaths respectively.
Under the current anti-drug drive, the Tarn Taran Police carried out a mammoth exercise based on technical collection, data crunching and human intelligence to identify areas notorious for drug smuggling and recovered 1.39 kg heroin and a large number of intoxicant tablets in just 3 days.
Similarly, the Amritsar Rural Police have recovered drug money worth Rs 89 lakhs besides impounding one pistol and 25 cartridges while the Jalandhar Commissionerate Police have recovered 6.23 kg opium, 4.50 quintal poppy husk, 237 grams heroin and 4.7 kg ganja. (ANI)
MP ranks second in first dose COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare, frontline workers, claims State Health Min
Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], February 28 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh’s Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Prabhuram Choudhary said the state ranks second in the country in COVID-19 vaccination of the first dose of healthcare workers and frontline workers.
“Madhya Pradesh ranks second in the country in vaccination of the first dose of health care workers (HCWs) and frontline workers (FLWs),” he said addressing a press conference in Bhopal on Sunday.
He stated that 71.62 lakh senior citizens of the state are to be vaccinated from March 1 in the second phase.
“Vaccination facility has been provided free of cost in all government institutions. 250 will be charged in private institutions,” informed Choudhary.
The Health Minister also stated that the advance registration facility is available on the Co-WIN 2.0 portal, adding that registration for the vaccination drive will require an identity card containing a photo of the citizen, based on which the vaccine centre will vaccinate the person at the scheduled time.
He further added that health workers and frontline workers who could not register can also get vaccinated by registering on the portal.
“In the first week of March, vaccination will be available in government and private institutions on the 3rd and 6th. Vaccination facilities will be available in 186 institutions on March 1. It will include 51 district hospitals, 84 civil hospitals, 13 government medical colleges, three private medical colleges, 30 private hospitals. 200 people had problems after vaccination but now everything is normal,” added Choudhary. (ANI)
Appreciating BJP’s work ethics, Rashid Alvi says Cong must work 24/7, formulate strategy for Assembly polls
New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Praising the Bharatiya Janata Party’s work ethic ahead of the Assembly polls in the four states and one Union Territory, Congress leader Rashid Alvi on Sunday said that his party will have work round the clock and formulate a strategy in the upcoming polls to fight BJP.
“BJP leaders work night and day not regardless of the size of the elections. They do just acts and unjust ones as well. Congress will have work 24/7 and form our own strategy, only then we will be able to fight them,” Alvi said while speaking to ANI.
This statement comes as 824 assembly constituencies are set to go for polls in four states–Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam– and the Union Territory of Puducherry. The polling in these states will start on March 27 and conclude on April 29.
On the question that Congress leaders are switching sides, Alvi said, “When the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power, the BJP’s people used to line up to join the Congress but we did not let them in. Today, BJP tries to lure the leaders and indulges in horse-trading.”
“People with greed for power and those who are threatened by CBI and IT officers join BJP. This has nothing to do with ideology,” he added.
Slamming his own party for inducting Babulal Chaurasia in Madhya Pradesh, Alvi said, “Babulal Chaurasia, who worshipped Nathuram Godse, has joined Congress in Madhya Pradesh. I have condemned this development. I have written a letter to Sonia Gandhi and asked for his exit from Congress.”
He further commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s regret that he could not learn Tamil Nadu, during his monthly radio programme Maan Ki Baat.
“If he can learn English then why not Tamil. It does not take much to learn a language. But he is playing politics on language. He does not want to learn the language just want to please Tamil people,” he said. (ANI)
All political parties including Congress are restricted to just dynasty politics: Nadda
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 28 (ANI): Bharatiya Janta Party national president Jagat Prakash Nadda on Sunday said all political parties, including Congress, are restricted to just dynasty politics and it is only the BJP wherein party has become a family.
Nadda, along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the newly-built party regional office in Varanasi.
“Whoever has got the opportunity to be part of the BJP, they are fortunate. All national parties have become regional parties. All political parties, including Congress, are restricted to just dynasty politics. It’s only BJP wherein party has become a family,” Nadda said.
“I have been fortunate to come to the land of Kashi and inaugurate the new regional office of the party. The office has been equipped with all the facilities of a digitalised world. But this is just hardware, our party workers are the software. Our workers will use this to provide vision and values to our society,” he added.
The BJP national president also virtually inaugurated the new regional party office at Prayagraj.
“We must have party offices in every district of the country if we want our organisation to expand. There was a time when the party was functioning from a two-room office, and today we have come to power with such a mandate,” he added.
“In 2014, we had a target to build 700 party offices across the country. And today, I am happy that we have 400 offices across the country. Including Kashi and Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh has 53 offices in total. I have been told that till October we will manage to fulfill our target of 80 party offices in the UP,” he further added.
Adityanath, who also addressed the gathering. at the event said: “The BJP, under the presidentship of JP Nadda ji, has presented an ideal to all the political parties of the world. Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji once said that politics without principles is a death trap. We have never compromised with our values and principles,” Adityanath said. (ANI)
Kerala logs 3,254 new COVID-19 cases, 15 deaths in last 24 hours
Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], February 28 (ANI): Kerala recorded 3,254 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative count of cases in the state to 10,59,403, informed the health department on Sunday.
With 15 deaths registered on Saturday, the death toll in the state reached 4,197.
At present, the state has a total of 49,420 active cases.
As many as 4,333 recoveries were recorded, taking the total count of recoveries in the state to 10,05,497.
According to the health department, 62,769 samples were tested during the last 24-hours. Currently, there are 367 hotspots in Kerala. (ANI)
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