Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

Nitish gives mixed signals, BJP plays down rift

BJP leaders on Monday played down the JD(U)’s reported differences with their party over a host of issues, including allocation of seats for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, and expressed confidence that their alliance will fight the elections together.

A likely meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah and JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on July 12 in Patna will help iron out the differences between the two parties, they said. Shah will be in the state as part of his nation-wide tour to review the BJP’s preparations for the general elections.

Nirbhaya case: SC dismisses review pleas of 3 on death row

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas filed by three out of the four convicts seeking review of its verdict upholding the death penalty awarded to them in the sensational December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan rejected the review pleas filed by Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23), saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the verdict.

DoT okays Idea-Vodafone merger with conditions

The Department of Telecom on Monday granted a conditional approval to the pending merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone but asked the British company’s Indian arm to pay Rs 3,900 crore upfront and sought a bank guarantee of Rs 3,300 crore from Idea as pending spectrum charges.   

Work, finance issues keep Indians under heavy stress: Study

As high as 89 per cent of the population in India say they are suffering from stress, compared to the global average of 86 per cent, revealed a study by Cigna TTK Health Insurance, a joint venture between US-based health services company Cigna Corporation and India’s TTK Group.

Overhaul of GST likely; 46 changes in law on the anvil

The government has invited stakeholders’ comments on draft proposals for amending GST law. Of the 46 changes suggested, one can permit input tax credit on services to employees by employers.

As per draft amendments, employers will be allowed to claim input tax credit (ITC) for supply of food, beverages, health services, life insurance, travel benefits, renting or hiring of motor vehicles, provided it is obligatory for them under any law.

Summer crops acreage falls; July rain critical for sowing

After the last year’s record foodgrain output, the country is staring at a drastic fall in production this year. Erratic and patchy monsoon, particularly in central and western parts of the country, has substantially reduced sowing of summer-sown crops such as soybean, cotton, corn and pulses.

As per the government data, sowing area for rice till July 6 is already down by 21.48 per cent compared to normal for this time of the year. Cotton is down by 25.22 per cent and oilseeds 13.08 per cent.

Curb high-pitched, unreasonable assessments: CBDT to I-T dept

In a bid to be taxpayer-friendly, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a stern directive to all income-tax department offices across India to curb “high-pitched” and “unreasonable” assessments of taxpayers and ensure that assessing officers who issue such “irrational” orders are transferred and face disciplinary action.

Simultaneous polls: Four parties support, 9 oppose; BJP, Congress silent

Political parties were divided on the issue of holding Lok Sabha and assembly polls simultaneously with four supporting the idea and nine opposing it, even as the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress stayed away from a consultation organised by the Law Commission on the subject.

Seeking to give shape to the government’s concept of “one nation, one election”, the Law Commission’s internal working paper has recommended holding the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls simultaneously but in two phases beginning 2019.

Rahul Gandhi meets WB leaders to hear views on way forward for 2019

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today held individual meetings with senior party leaders from West Bengal to hear their views on strengthening the state unit and on the way forward ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year, amid reports of deep fissures in the unit over electoral tie-up.

The West Bengal unit of the Congress is a divided lot, with one section of the party keen on an alliance with the Trinamool Congress in the upcoming general elections and another favouring a tie-up with the CPI(M), sources said.