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Relationship with BJP practically over: Saini; Is he right?

New Delhi :
Rebel BJP MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini categorically spelled out  here on Monday that his association with the party was “practically over”.

“Although I am still a BJP MP, my relationship with the party is done and dusted,” Saini said. He said he was awaiting registration of his political outfit.

The party would put up nominees in all 10 Lok Sabha seats and 90 Assembly constituencies in the state in the upcoming parliamentary and Assembly elections next year, he said.

Outlining his future, he said he  would contest the Assembly election on his party symbol and not the Lok Sabha election. His clarified that he had not spoken to BJP leaders in the Centre and state in three years.

He said his option to join a BJP-led NDA or front planned by opposition parties was open. He said he would not be part of any anti-BJP conglomeration featuring the Congress.

“Congress leaders  have done nothing in the past 70 years except invoking names of Gandhi family to serve their petty politically interests. The first family of the Congress  has belied expectations of people,” he said.

Although he was vocal in his criticism of the BJP, he reserved comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Talking about the structure of his new party, he said the spadework had been done.

It would be almost the same as the Loktantra Suraksha Manch, under which he had been campaigning for three years, he said. The name of the party would more or less match that of the manch, he said.

The manifesto of the new party would feature issues for which he had been campaigning under the banner of the manch for the past three years, he said.
It would include demand for reservation to all castes on the basis of their numerical strength and social justice, he pointed out.

“The backward classes and other backward classes had overwhelmingly voted for the BJP in 2014 in the name of Narendra Modi,”  he said.

The electorate would cast their votes on the basis of performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, he said. He  declined to dwell  further into the matter.

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State tops country in per capita revenue collection under GST; Is this a good news for Haryana?

Punjab comes ninth with less than one fourth of Haryana’s revenue

Chandigarh :
Despite being a small state with barely 2 per cent of the geographical area of the country, Haryana has achieved number one position in the per capita collection of the revenue in the first financial year of the GST regime, leaving much bigger and prosperous states behind.

Not only this, the state is also ranked fifth in the country in the total contribution towards revenue during this period.

Placed way behind at the ninth position, Punjab’s per capita revenue of Rs 456.40 is less than 25 per cent of Haryana’s Rs 1876.97.

Besides, with the generation of 1,60,964 e-way bills till June 22, Haryana is fourth after Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat in this regard.

However, despite its collections of Rs 4,758 crore per month, the state ends up getting barely Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,300 crore per month in its kitty as the GST is a consumption-based tax and Haryana is among the biggest exporters (to other states) of goods and services.

Due to its geographical advantage, a sizeable area of the state falls under the national capital region (NCR) and towns like Gurugram, Manesar, Faridabad, Sonipat etc have industries and services providers which export a plethora of goods from household items to automobiles as well as services provided by software industry to other states.

Sanjeev Kaushal, Additional Chief Secretary, Excise and Taxation Department, Haryana, said that from August last year to March this year, Haryana collected Rs 8536.40 crore as State GST (SGST), Rs 5371.88 crore as Central GST (CGST), Rs 20115.65 crore as Integrated GST (IGST) and Rs 2794.52 crore as Cess, making the total revenue collection of Rs 36818.45 crore.

“Therefore, the average collection per month under all Acts of the GST from the State of Haryana was Rs 4602.3 Cr. As per the data available, the State ranked fifth in the country among all states in terms of total contribution to the GST revenue. The state of Haryana ranked behind the much larger States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Naidu and Gujarat. With total population of the state being 2.54 crore, Haryana has recorded the highest per capita revenue of Rs 1876.97. Punjab is placed at the ninth position with per capita revenue of Rs 456.40,” Kaushal added.

While Haryana collected a total revenue of Rs 36818.45 crore, only Rs 8536.40 crore out of this was towards the SGST, which entirely goes to the state.

The state also received Rs 1641.17 crore by way of the IGST settlement and Rs 667 crore as provisional GST settlement during this period.

“Suppose, an automobile company sells a large consignment of cars to another state, the IGST will be charged immediately. But the settlement is a gradual process that happens as and when the vehicles are sold to an end buyer,” explained a source.
As the Centre assures the states a minimum of 14 percent hike in the revenue earned in the preceding year, Haryana also received Rs 1199 crore as compensation from the Centre for revenue less recovered than the protected revenue.
The GST was rolled out across the country from July 1 last year.

During the process of migration, 1.98 lakh dealers registered under the VAT and Central Sales Tax and 27561 taxpayers registered under the Central Excise and Service Tax migrated to GST.

The tax base under the GST has widened significantly as 155970 new business entities were registered under the GST in the year 2017-18, making a widening of the tax base by a whopping 71 percent.

“Our officers have worked very hard and used the technology to the optimum levels to ensure that the revenues to which the government was entitled were not evaded,” said Kaushal.

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INLD MP opposes recruitment in School Edu Dept by pvt firms; Is Dushyant Chautala right?

Chandigarh :
Hisar MP and INLD leader Dushyant Chautala on Sunday demanded that the Haryana Government’s decision to hire private firms for recruitment to Group C and D posts in the School Education Department should be scrapped.

Addressing a press conference here, Dushyant said that a legal notice for privatising recruitment on contractual basis had been served on the Additional Chief Secretary, School Education, Haryana, for violating the constitution and overlooking the provisions of reservation.

“The CM office empanelled 19 companies, most of them from Gujarat, to recruit people against the vacant posts. Each company, essentially security agency, was assigned districts for the same. As many as 3,000 jobs, including that of JBT teachers, have been given away like this at the cost of Haryana’s unemployed youth,” he claimed, adding that the empanelled companies were charging 2.01 per cent as human resource fee to fill these vacancies.

Dushyant questioned the need for these private agencies given the fact that the government was spending crores on maintaining the Haryana Staff Selection Board and employment exchanges.

“This has been done to benefit the shortlisted companies. Also, one company belongs to a BJP leader who has 60 per cent share in it, making it clear that this project is essentially another way of serving vested interests,” the MP maintained.
Alleging that the state government was preparing ground for privatisation of education, the MP said that anti-people and anti-education policy of the government would adversely impact the equality of opportunity right to seek employment.
He also added that by adopting the “Gujarat model” of outsourcing, the government would also render the Haryana Staff Selection Commission and the employment exchanges redundant.

Quoting information received under the RTI Act, he said that in 12 districts of the state, there were 2,62,768 registered unemployed youth. “Of the total unemployed, only 290 have been provided jobs by the government which is barely 0.1 per cent of the total registered unemployed. Under the much-touted scheme to provide employment of 100 hours to the unemployed youth, only 9,948 have been provided employment for 100 hours which is only 3 per cent of the registered youth under the scheme,” he said.
He asked the government to stop playing politics in the name of the youth and warned that soon “Rozgar Mera Adhikar” movement would be launched to secure justice for the youth.

On Health Minister Anil Vij calling him a “drug addict” after the latter gave out information on an alleged scam in the Health Department, Dushyant said that he would file a defamation case in Hisar court against the minister on July 7

RTI info says…

  • 2,62,768  registered unemployed youths in 12 districts of the state.
  • 290 youths (0.1%) have been provided with jobs
  • 9,948 youths (3%) provided with employment for 100 hours

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1,600 trees to be axed for road widening; Is it right to sacrifice the environment for development?

Kurukshetra :
The holy city of Kurukshetra is set to lose about 1,600 trees, a sizeable number of it are fully grown trees, to make it more presentable to the visitors and overcome vehicular congestion.

The PWD (B&R) is undertaking six-laning of the Pipli-Kurukshetra University stretch of the NH-44. The state forest authorities have started chopping trees on the identified stretch of 8.50-km.

JP Kamboj, executive engineer, PWD (bridges and roads), said the Rs 66-crore project had been allotted to a Gohana-based construction firm. The project is expected to be completed by the end of next year, he added.

According to the official, the extended road would have a dedicated cycle track and a special provision for the effective storm water management system.

“The project has got all required environmental clearances in principle. Following the rules, the axing of trees has started and we expect the formal approvals within the next two weeks,” he said.

Denying the charge levelled by a local NGO that the project was in the violation of environmental rules, Kamboj said the Forest Department was entitled to fall trees after getting principle approval from various agencies.

Kamboj said the PWD had deposited Rs 1.36 crore with the Forest Department and nearly 9,700 saplings would be sown as a compensation for felling trees for the infrastructure development project.

Official sources said under the city infrastructural development, the Pipli-KU stretch would have several bus and rain shelters, parking lots, walkways and carriageways. There is a plan to plant 8,500 shrubs and 600 trees to add green lungs to the route, he added.

Local BJP legislator Subhash Sudha said the widening of road from the existing four to now six lanes were needed to improve traffic management.
“Kurukshetra is being developed as a major tourist destination by the Centre and Haryana government. It is important to give strengthen infrastructure to meet expected increased footfalls of the tourists,” said the MLA.

Honorary secretary of the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) Madan Mohan Chhabra said the board had also recommended of putting city signages and welcome gates along the NH to attract more visitors to the holy city.

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Two SPIOs fined for delaying RTI info; Is the RTI Act facilitated people?

Faridabad :
The State Information Commission (SIC) has imposed a penalty of Rs25,000 on two State Public Information Officers (SPIOs) for “delaying” giving information sought by an RTI activist.

The erring officers are Anand Sarup, Executive Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, and Raman, Superintendent (Election), Urban Local Bodies, Panchkula.
“The penalty has to be recovered in three instalments and deposited within two months of the receipt of the order,” the SIC says in its June 18 order.
A penalty of Rs 14,000 has been imposed on Raman, while Rs 11,000 has been imposed on Sarup.

“The information was required to be provided in 30 days, but officials failed to do so even after 19 months of filing the RTI query,” he said.

The two SPIOs were served showcause notices twice, while hearings were fixed five times, but the information was not provided.

Now, the SIC has given two months to the SPIOs to give the information.

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