Chandigarh, February 20 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has requested the Central government to release the pending amount of GST (Goods and Services Tax) compensation to the state, amounting to Rs 8,253 crores for the period April 2020 to January 2021.
In a press release, the Chief Minister reiterated the state’s demand for releasing the GST compensation on a monthly basis in the coming fiscal year and sought extension in the period of GST compensation beyond the current five years for states namely Punjab, which has permanently lost a significant portion of their revenue especially on account of subsuming of Purchase Tax on food grains and are staring at a huge revenue shortfall after the end of compensation period.
In his speech submitted at the Niti Aayog meeting, the Chief Minister said the practice of direct transfer of funds under certain central schemes to the implementing agencies by-passing the consolidated fund of the state not only violates the provisions of the Constitution but is also against the spirit of cooperative federalism.
The central government, hence, requested to route all funds pursuant to central schemes only through the consolidated fund of the State, thereby allowing states to monitor the effective implementation of these projects with greater financial accountability and transparency, he said.
Pointing out that the 15th Finance Commission in the final report for the FY 2021-22 to 2025-26, has recommended certain sector-specific and state-specific grants for Punjab, amounting to Rs 3,442 crore and Rs 1,545 crore respectively, however, these have still not been cleared by the central government, he regretted, urging the Centre to provide these specific grants to the state creation of necessary infrastructure and provide the much-needed impetus to its economy.
To further enhance the ease of doing business, which has led to Rs 70,000 crore fresh investments in Punjab in the last 4 years, the Chief Minister suggested that periodic assessment of reducing compliance burden with ministries and agencies of Centre.
Amarinder reiterated his government’s demand for according Special Category Status to Punjab, as it is strategically located along the international border. “Allocation of funds as per Special Category Status should be provided to the State to promote its industries, along with capital subsidy, insurance subsidy and reimbursement of GST to the industries coming up in Border and Kandi districts of the State similar to the Industrial Development Scheme for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.”
He urged the Prime Minister to approve the proposal sent by the State to the Ministry of Jal Shakti on the revised sharing pattern of rural water supply schemes in hilly/sub-montane areas of the State at par with the neighbouring districts of Himachal Pradesh.
Noting that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had agreed in principle to declare 7 State Highways and major district roads as National Highways in the State and detailed project reports had been submitted to the Central government, the Chief Minister sought early notification to declare these roads as National Highways.
He took cognisance of the increased focus on online education amid the Covid pandemic and urged the Centre to provide liberal funding for states to implement digital infrastructure, online teaching platform/tools and addressing of digital divide in a bigger way. (ANI)
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Kerala HC stays Vijayan govt’s order regularising temporary staff in public sector companies
Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 4 (ANI): Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed the state government’s order regularising the services of temporary staff in self-governing institutions.
The court considered six petitions including that of the Public Service Commission (PSC) rank holders against the government order.
Earlier, the state government had issued an order to regularise the temporary staff who have 10 years of experience in various institutions. The high court stayed the actions initiated on the order which are yet to be completed.
However, the court stated that its stay order is not applicable if the government has completed the procedures related to regularisation.
The court stated the matter for a detailed hearing on all six petitions on March 12. The high court made it clear that no further actions should be taken on this matter until further hearing in the case.
The petitioners had alleged that the government is giving placement to people of their choice in public sector companies, corporations, and boards while many PSC rank holders are waiting for appointments. (ANI)
Sadananda Gowda inspects HURL plant in Gorakhpur, UP CM expresses gratitude
Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 4 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday expressed gratitude to Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Sadanand Gowda for investing Rs 8,000 crores in the Hindustan Urvarak and Rasayan Limited (HURL) plant.
“It is a matter of pride for all of us that Union Minister Sadananda Gowda has come to inspect the Hindustan Urvarak and Rasayan Limited (HURL) plant. We thank him for investing Rs 8,000 crores in the project,” said Adityanath via videoconference.
Gowda inspected the under-construction HURL plant where he was accompanied by Adityanath. After his visit, the Union Minister said that there was a plan to start the fertilizer factory in July this year.
Gowda said that right now India is importing 80-90 lakh mega tonne of fertilizer. “India’s total consumption is 320-330 lakh metric tons. The Prime Minister’s vision is that imports should be minimised. Therefore, in 2016 the cabinet allowed five fertilizer units to be restarted. It also included HURL.”
“Today, when I landed in Gorakhpur, I was surprised. The development that has taken place is extraordinary. I congratulate the CM for doing this in a short span. What could not be achieved in the last 70 years, has been done in 4-5 years,” said Gowda.
While addressing the joint videoconference, the chief minister further said: “In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone so that the farmers of the country can get fertilizer in the country itself. For one year, the country has been struggling with COVID-19, but despite that the progress of its construction work is satisfactory.”
“Railway Ministry and Fertilizers Ministry has fully supported this. Sadanand Gowda also took full care of the goals that are being given for the benefit of the farmers due to the Prime Minister, “he added. (ANI)
Delhi man cooks up story to mislead cops after accidentally shooting himself
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): A man accidentally shot himself in the knee and then cooked up a story of being shot allegedly by two bike-borne men in Delhi on Wednesday.
The man, identified as Sujeet Kumar, aged 30 years, and a resident of Indira Enclave, lives with his wife and a 10-year-old son and works as a driver in Saket.
A PCR call was received on March 3 at 10.50 am at Police Station Neb Sarai regarding a firing incident at the Indira enclave. “The accused complained that when he was smoking a cigarette at the corner of a park near his house when two boys came on a bike and on a petty issue followed by an argument shot him in his left knee and flee from the scene,” said Atul Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Delhi.
The victim is being treated at the trauma centre and is out of danger, he added.
Speaking to ANI, DCP said, “During the investigation, it was noticed that the victim was not answering the questions straight and was diverting the issue. The eye-witness at the mentioned spot did not notice any firing incident or sound. Also, no blood could be discovered at the alleged spot.”
The victim was examined again at AIIMS Trauma Centre where he disclosed that he allegedly had a fight with the neighbouring boys namely, Sumit, Arjun and Vicky 15 days back.
“On sustained interrogation and examination the boys disclosed that the victim was carrying a pistol which he had showed to them in the morning. After he took the pistol inside the room, he and his wife came out with a bullet injury on his knee. When they offered help, the victim refused,” Thakur said.
The victim’s wife was finally traced from a relative’s house.
“She disclosed that her husband had accidentally fired himself from the pistol that he had acquired from a friend or relative. She did all this at the instance of her husband to save her husband,” DCP added.
The pistol was recovered from the scooter of her relative where she was herself hiding too.
Sujeet (victim) has been previously involved in two cases of murder and another under the Arms Act case of 2016 in Ghaziabad district. He had also remained in custody in Dasna jail.
FIR has been lodged against him under the Arms Act and further investigation is underway. (ANI)
BNS Prottoy Commander meets Western Naval Command Chief in Mumbai
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 4 (ANI): Commanding Officer (CO) of Bangladesh Navy Ship BNS Prottoy Captain Ahamed Amin Abdullah met Vice Admiral RB Pandit, Chief of Staff of the Western Naval Command on Thursday as part of the Bangladesh Navy ship Prottoy’s visit to Mumbai from March 2 to March 4.
The CO of Bangladesh Navy ship also laid a wreath at Sea Monument “Gaurav Stambh” within the Naval Dockyard premises in Mumbai.
“Captain Ahamed Amin Abdullah Commanding Officer (CO) of Bangladesh Navy Ship BNS Prottoy accompanied by Assistant Defence Advisor, High Commission of Bangladesh called on Vice Admiral RB Pandit, Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command Headquarters,” tweeted the Indian Navy.
“BNS Prottoy on return passage to Bangladesh from Abu Dhabi, UAE is currently visiting Mumbai from March 2 to March 4. The CO also laid a wreath at the ‘Gaurav Stambh’ – a monument to commemorate Victory at Sea, at Naval Dockyard Mumbai,” further read the tweet. (ANI)
Indian Army along with NGO inaugurates bakery to provide employment to women in J-K’s Rajouri
Rajouri (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 4 (ANI): The Indian Army in collaboration with a non-governmental organization (NGO) has inaugurated a bakery to provide employment to women in Kalakote village in Rajouri district.
The bakery was inaugurated on Wednesday in collaboration with the NGO Aseem Foundation.
The 63 Rashtriya Rifles came up with the project to help create employment for women of the under-developed and remote area and help them become self-reliant and improve their standard of life.
The women were trained for 21 days starting from February 8 to February 28 and during this period they were provided with practical knowledge about the bakery operation and baking techniques of several items like cakes and cookies.
“We were provided training for 21 days, in which we learned to bake cakes and cookies of several types. We really thank the NGO and Indian Army for helping and guiding us during the process,” said Saroj Bala, a baker.
Speaking to ANI, Mehak Khurshid, a teacher at Aseem Foundation said, “It is a great experience in teaching other women such tasks through which they can stand up on their feet and be financially independent. We really thank Indian Army for supporting us through the way.”
“During the training period, we taught them to bake a banana cake, walnut cake, dry cake, bread, a famous Maharashtra’s sweet named “Naan Khathai”, and coconut cookies,” Khurshid added.
Expressing gratitude towards the Indian Army, another baker, Khalida Parveen said, “It is a great opportunity provided by the Indian Army. They stood behind us like a backbone and we will be always thankful for the effort they have put in for us.”
The initiative is a small part of the overall effort of the Indian Army towards women empowerment in order to enable them to seek better job opportunities and to make them capable of initiating their own ventures and become self-reliable.
The Municipal Committee Chairman and the general public of the village conveyed their gratitude for this enterprising initiative for the positive engagement of the unemployed women to pursue a line of a profession with better opportunities. (ANI)
Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel inoculated in 2nd phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): As second phase of vaccination of COVID-19 is underway in India, Union Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Thursday took the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“I trust the visionary leadership, scientist, indigenous vaccines, doctors and healthcare workers of this nation. I received my first dose of vaccine at AIIMS Delhi today,” Patel tweeted.
Several other union ministers and politicians have also received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the second phase of the world’s largest vaccination drive.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi and appealed to all those who are eligible to get inoculated.
Following the PM, several Union Ministers, including Amit Shah, S Jaishakar, Jitendra Singh, also received their first vaccine jabs.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)
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