Con­sign­ment of fake `100 notes worth `6L seized, two ar­rested Cen­tre, states fail to agree on GST bills, more de­lay likely

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ananya Bhard­waj let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com Tanushree Venka­tra­man tanushree.venka­tra­man@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A Delhi po­lice spe­cial cell on Fri­day ar­rested two peo­ple, re­port­edly as­so­ci­ated with the ISI, and seized Rs6 lakh in fake Rs100 notes that they were al­legedly try­ing to fun­nel into In­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, the con­sign­ment worth Rs6 lakh of FICN (fake In­dian cur­rency notes) was be­ing smug­gled from Nepal. Sources said the ear­lier Malda route was used to pump in FICN of Rs2,000 de­nom­i­na­tion.

Po­lice said that the Bor­der Se­cu­rity Force (BSF) and Na­tional In­ves­ti­gat­ing Agency (NIA) busted that mod­ule while the spe­cial cell of Delhi po­lice made the seizure in the cap­i­tal’s So­nia Vi­har area. This is the first seizure of 100-ru­pee notes post­de­mon­eti­sa­tion.

One of the main aims of de­mon­etis­ing high value bank notes was to stop fake cur­rency be­ing pumped into the econ­omy. But a spate of seizures re­cently, in­clud­ing some of high de­nom­i­na­tions, in­di­cate that coun­ter­feit­ers do not seem to have been hit hard.

Last Tues­day, the NIA seized three “high qual­ity” fake `2,000 ban­knotes from a fugi­tive ac­cused of op­er­at­ing a coun­ter­feit In­dian money racket, who was fer­ry­ing th­ese sam­ples to a fel­low rack­e­teer. The three notes looked iden­ti­cal to the orig­i­nal.

The Cen­tre and states failed to agree on the de­tails of two bills cru­cial to trig­ger­ing a Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) on Satur­day, which pos­si­bly clouds the roll out of the coun­try’s big­gest tax re­form from July.

The GST Coun­cil, headed by Union Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley and rep­re­sented by state fi­nance min­is­ters, will meet again on March 4 and 5 to fi­nalise the two bills so that they can be in­tro­duced in Par­lia­ment dur­ing the sec­ond half of the Bud­get ses­sion start­ing from March 9.

The two leg­is­la­tions — the Cen­tral GST and In­te­grated GST bills — deal with the Cen­tre’s pow­ers to re­place ex­cise duty and ser­vice tax with the GST.

Free cab rides, dis­counts at restau­rants and free dessert — cast­ing your vote on Fe­bru­ary 21 could be a sweet deal, as the state election com­mis­sion, Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion, NGOs and col­lege stu­dents leave no stone un­turned to get you to vote.

The stu­dent-run Vote for Mum­bai cam­paign, for in­stance, has part­nered with cab-ser­vice provider Ola to give vot­ers free rides from polling booths. “Give a missed call on 8733087330, then go and vote. Your ride back from the polling booth will be free. We are do­ing this to en­cour­age first­time vot­ers,” said Lishu Singhvi, a third-year stu­dent and Vote for Mum­bai mem­ber. The civic body too has tied-up with Uber to give vot­ers a Rs75 dis­count on rides to and from polling sta­tions.

Join­ing the ef­fort, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Ho­tel and Restau­rants (AHAR) has asked its mem­bers to run of­fers on Tues­day — dis­counts and free desserts for pa­trons who have voted.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Satur­day he will “give in writ­ing to the Gover­nor”, that the NCP will not sup­port the BJP state gov­ern­ment if Shiv Sena walks out. Sena chief Ud­dhav Thack­eray must do so too, Pawar said.

With the Sena walk­ing out of its al­liance with BJP in the Mum­bai civic body and the tus­sle be­tween the par­ties — still part­ners in the state — doubts about the Fad­navis gov­ern­ment have cropped up.

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