Uttarakhand spots Chinese troops on border, Centre says no violation Cabinet approves key changes to GST bill
Chinese troops allegedly turned away an Indian team from a disputed area along the international border in Uttarakhand earlier this month, officials said on Wednesday, fracturing a pact to keep the military away from the territory.
Three days later, on July 25, Indian security forces also reported an air intrusion by a Chinese chopper in the same area. However, the Centre on Wednesday downplayed the incidents amid confusion over the date when the faceoff took place.
India inched a step closer to a nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the government agreeing on Wednesday to drop the contentious 1% manufacturing tax and to fully compensate states for five years for potential revenue losses after the new system kicks in.
The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved these changes a day after finance minister Arun Jaitley met state finance ministers to iron out glitches in the tax reform measure that has remained stuck in Parliament for want of political consensus.
“The amendments to the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill have been cleared,” a top official said after the meeting of the Cabinet meeting.
In the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha in May last year, the Centre had proposed 100% compensation for first three years, 75% and 50% for the next two years. However, the select committee of the Rajya Sabha has recommended 100% compensation for probable loss of revenue for five years.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday he could be killed by a “frustrated” Narendra Modi as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader launched a vitriolic attack on the Prime Minister whom he perceives as his biggest political adversary. “He [Modi] can go to any extent and may get us killed. He may get me killed as well,” Kejriwal said in a video message in Hindi posted on the party’s official YouTube channel.
Ever since storming back to power in Delhi with a brute majority last year, Kejriwal has repeatedly attacked Modi and the BJP-led government at the Centre, accusing them of political vendetta to avenge the electoral defeat in the capital.
In the video message for AAP members, legislators and the “common man”, the AAP national convenor advises party workers to be ready for the “ultimate sacrifice” in the wake of unprecedented crackdown by the BJP government, referring to a series of arrests of AAP MLAs and workers in the last one-and-a-half years.
The BJP hit back at the “pathologically obsessive” Kejriwal over the video, asking him to “go for another detoxification therapy for the body and mind”.