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‘Replacement of American workers not the intent of H1-B visas’

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‘Replacement of American workers not the intent of H1-B visas’

Posted on 23 March 2017 by GGS News

Washington : Asserting that replacement of American workers is not the intent of H-1B work visa, the Trump administration nominee for Labour Secretary has acknowledged the shortage of skilled workers in the US.

“Some Americans have seen jobs go overseas. Some Americans have seen jobs filled by foreign workers. Indeed, I’ve read reports that some Americans have been asked to train their foreign replacements,” Alexander Acosta, the Labour Secretary nominee, told Senators during his confirmation hearing.

And some Americans see that jobs are available, but these available jobs require skills that they do not have,” he said on Wednesday.

Responding to questions from Senators, Acosta said that it’s important to look at the issue that he highlighted about foreign workers taking American jobs.

“Particularly, when, in those circumstances that I highlighted where Americans are being asked to train their foreign replacements. That is not the intent of the H-1B,” Acosta said.

“So one question that I would have is, how often is that happening? Is that something that we should be looking at with greater degree of care? I think we also need to work with, public-private partnerships. I know that there is a lot of discussion about an infrastructure programme. An infrastructure programme will certainly bring back a lot of jobs,” he said.

Acosta said for all of these, it’s not just the jobs as part of an infrastructure programme or jobs that are developed for a small business but as individuals get jobs they spend money.

“Then those individuals that spend money go to restaurants. And you have this multiplier effect throughout the economy that I think is incredibly valuable,” he added.

According to him today many Americans are facing the same struggles his parents endured, only worse.

“My parents had jobs; but not all Americans have jobs,” he said, adding that helping Americans find good jobs, safe jobs, should not be a partisan issue.

In his testimony, Acosta expressed concern over skill gap.

“As I visited with Members of this Committee, I repeatedly heard that in your states the jobs are there, but the skills too often are not. In one of your states, for example, a community college was teaching welding techniques that employers no longer used,” he said.

“Not surprisingly, the students could not get a job when they graduate. We can and must work to reduce the skills gap.

“We need to make better efforts to align job training with the skills the market demands of its workers, especially as advancing technology changes the types of jobs available in our economy,” he added. — PTI

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Transactions in cash not to be ‘over Rs 2 lakh’

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Transactions in cash not to be ‘over Rs 2 lakh’

Posted on 22 March 2017 by GGS News

Transactions in cash not to be ‘over Rs 2 lakh’

New Delhi : The Rs 3-lakh limit proposed for cash payments in the Budget for 2017-18 would be brought down to Rs 2 lakh as part of an unprecedented 40 amendments to the Finance Bill.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the amendments in the lower House on Tuesday. This is aimed at tightening the noose on those dealing in cash.

Most other amendments — making Aadhaar mandatory for filing tax returns, applying for permanent account numbers (PAN) and allowing payments by only non-cash modes such as cheques, bank drafts or electronic transfers for electoral trusts — are also aimed at curbing black money.
A few are aimed at rationalising tribunals by merging these to reduce the number to 12 from 40.

The amendment related to reducing the cap on cash transactions comes amidst reports that digital transactions had declined after a spurt after demonetisation.

“In the amendment to the Finance Bill, the government has proposed the limit of Rs 3 lakh for cash transactions be reduced to Rs 2 lakh,” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia tweeted. He added the penalty for violation would be a fine equivalent to the amount of the transaction. The penalty would be paid by individuals or establishments receiving the payment.

The Rs 2-lakh limit applies to single transactions, those in aggregate from a person in a day, and to those relating to one event or occasion from a person. The provision does not apply to the government, banks and post offices.

The proposal said the penalty would not be levied if a person could give sufficient reason for contravention. Fines would be levied only by joint commissioners of the income-tax (I-T) department.

On November 8 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had demonetised the old series Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, leading to a cash crunch in the economy.

Analysts said the fine was too high. “The penalty is huge when the system is yet to get used to the new rules and appropriate infrastructure yet to be created for individuals, small businesses and jewellers,” said Neeru Ahuja of Deloitte.

While provisions were required to check the generation of black money, penalty should be low in the initial years, and raised only after the system got adjusted to it and proper infrastructure created, she added.

The current requirement of quoting PAN for cash spending also starts from Rs 2 lakh.

The value of digital transactions nationwide declined 1.5 per cent to Rs 92.6 lakh crore in February from Rs 94 lakh crore in November, according to provisional data on electronic payments released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Also, currency in circulation started rising every week since January 13 till March 10, against contraction every week from November 11 to January 4, roughly a period when people were allowed to deposit money in scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in banks.

As the Finance Bill was taken up for consideration in the Lok Sabha, Opposition parties protested against the introduction of the amendments.

Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress said when the government introduced the Finance Bill in February, it had 150 clauses and seven schedules but now the government has added another 33 clauses and two schedules. “This is unprecedented and we have already protested,” he said.

Questioning the electoral bonds to bring transparency in poll funding, Congress member Deepender Singh Hooda said the amendments to the Representation of People’s Act was not incidental, as they were not related to tax. He suggested the government should have brought a separate Bill for the purpose.

Later, Communist Party of India (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said several Bills had been smuggled into the Finance Bill; the move was a subversion of the Constitution, to bypass the Rajya Sabha as the Finance Bill was a money bill.

The Opposition’s objections were overruled by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who ruled that the “incidental provisions” involved in the amendments constituted a money Bill and therefore could be considered as part of the Bill.

Defending the amendments, Jaitley said if a substantial portion of a Bill dealt with imposition or abolition of taxes, then, even if it had incidental provisions, it could still be introduced as a money Bill. “No tax can be imposed without reference to courts or tribunals. These are incidental provisions,” he said.

In his Budget speech in February, Jaitley had said, “The predominance of cash in the economy makes it possible for people to evade taxes. When too many people evade taxes, the burden of their share falls on those who are honest and compliant.”

Changes on cards

Got proposes 40 amendments to various Acts under the Finance Bill
Apart from a cash ceiling, these include amendments to make Aadhaar mandatory for filing of I-T returns, applying for PAN
Amendments to the Companies Act in relation to non-cash payment to electoral trusts Amendments to the Representation of People Act in relation to electoral bonds.

BT |

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GST will be biggest reform; govt trying to implement it by July 1: Jaitley

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GST will be biggest reform; govt trying to implement it by July 1: Jaitley

Posted on 22 March 2017 by GGS News

New Delhi : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that the government was hoping to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by July 1, after the enabling Bills get Parliament nod in the current Budget Session.“GST is the biggest reform in India. Hopefully, it will be implemented by July 1. GST Bills will hopefully be cleared in Parliament,” Jaitley said here at the 23rd Conference of Auditors General of Commonwealth Nations hosted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.

The Finance Minister said GST would transform complex indirect tax system to simple system and make evasion difficult. — Agencies |

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Cabinet clears 4 GST supplementary legislations

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Cabinet clears 4 GST supplementary legislations

Posted on 20 March 2017 by GGS News

New Delhi : The Cabinet on Monday cleared four supporting GST legislations, paving the way for their introduction in Parliament as early as today.

The four supporting legislations—the Compensation Law, the Central-GST (C-GST), Integrated-GST (I-GST) and Union Territory-GST (UT-GST) — would be introduced as Money Bill, sources said.“The GST legislations have been cleared by the Cabinet.

“These would be introduced in Parliament this week, could be even today,” a source said.

The GST legislations were the only agenda in today’s meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources said the four legislations would be taken up for discussion together in Parliament. Once approved by Parliament, the states would start taking their SGST Bill for discussion and passage in the respective state assemblies.

The GST Council, in its previous two meetings, had given approval to the four legislations as also the State-GST (S-GST) Bill. While the S-GST has to be passed by each of the state legislative assemblies, the four other laws have to be approved by Parliament.

Passage of all the legislations would pave the way for introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1.

The government is hoping the C-GST, I-GST, UT-GST and the GST Compensation laws will be approved in the current session of Parliament and the S-GST by each of the state legislatures soon.

While a composite GST will be levied on sale of goods or rendering of services after the new indirect tax regime is rolled out, the revenue would be split between the Centre and the states in almost equal proportion.

This is because central taxes like excise and service tax and state levies like VAT will be subsumed in the GST.

While the C-GST will give powers to the Centre to levy GST on goods and services after Union levies like excise and service tax are subsumed, the I-GST is to be levied on inter-state supplies.

The S-GST will allow states to levy the tax after VAT and other state levies are subsumed in the GST. The UT-GST will also go to Parliament for approval.

The Council has already finalised a four-tier tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent, but the model GST law has kept the peak rate at 40 per cent (20 per cent to be levied by the Centre and an equal amount by the states) to obviate the need for approaching Parliament for any change in rates in future.

Similarly, the cess to be levied on top of peak rate on selected demerit goods like luxury cars for creation of a corpus that will be used for compensating states for any loss of revenue from GST implementation in the first five years, has been capped at 15 per cent.

 PTI |

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Idea Cellular, Vodafone India announce merger

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Idea Cellular, Vodafone India announce merger

Posted on 20 March 2017 by GGS News

Mumbai : The board of Idea Cellular today approved the merger with Vodafone India Ltd and its wholly-owned arm Vodafone Mobile Services, making the new entity the biggest telecom operator in India.
The combined entity emerges as the market leader in terms of wireless subscribers, taking on rivals such as Airtel and Reliance Jio.
The board of directors of Idea Cellular at its meeting held today approved the “scheme of amalgamation of Vodafone India Limited (VIL) and its wholly owned subsidiary Vodafone Mobile Services Limited (VMSL) with the company”, Idea said in a regulatory filing.
The transaction is subject to necessary approvals from concerned authorities, including SEBI, Department of Telecom, RBI etc. “Upon the amalgamation becoming effective, the entire business of VIL and VMSL, excluding VILs investment in Indus Towers Limited, its international network assets and information technology platforms, will vest in the company,” the filing said.
According to the filing, the turnover of Vodafone India is Rs 5,025 crore and of VMSL is 40,378 crore. Idea Cellulars turnover is Rs 36,000 crore. The net worth of VIL is 12,855 crore, VMSLs 3,737 crore and of Idea Cellular is Rs 24,296 crore.
As this deal would now change the entire telecom landscape of the country; here is all the information you need to know about the merger;

The merger of Vodafone, the country’s second-largest cellphone network operator, with the Aditya Birla Group firm — India’s third-largest cellular operator would create a company with over 395 million users and form one of the largest telecom companies in the world.
Kumar Mangalam Birla will be the new chairman of the merged entity, while Vodafone will appoint the CFO.
“For Idea shareholders and lenders who have supported us thus far, this transaction is highly accretive, and Idea and Vodafone will together create a very valuable company given our complementary strength,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group.
With 32.84 per cent, Bharti Airtel has the maximum market share, but the combined entity of Vodafone India and Idea will command 43 per cent, say analysts.
According to the deal, Vodafone would acquire 45 per cent of the combined entity while promoters of Idea would sell 26 per cent stake. After the announcement, the shares of Idea Cellular soared over 14 per cent on Monday.
It has also been mentioned in the filing that if after four years, the combined shareholdings of Vodafone and the Aditya Birla Group would not be equal then Vodafone would sell down shares in the combined company to equalise its shareholding to that of the Aditya Birla Group over the following five-year period.
Idea Cellular is already listed on BSE and NSE, while Vodafone India is expected to list on bourses in March 2017 and raise about $2-$3 billion.
Vodafone India has 17 circles with 4G capability, covering 90 per cent of the company’s total revenues and 94 per cent of mobile data revenues. Also, it has the the largest voice and data traffic usage within the Vodafone Group.
Idea is trying to attract premium 4G customers, having launched services in seven circles so far. Idea’s wireless broadband network is spread across 17 circles with a population of over 880 million, with 50 per cent of this population already covered.
Top five service providers have over 80 per cent of the market share of the total broadband subscribers. The merged entity would become the leader in the category, overtaking Bharti and Reliance Jio.
Since its entry in India in 2007, Vodafone has become number two operator in the country, but its journey has been tumultuous as it is locked in a legal battle with the government over a USD 2 billion retrospective tax claim over its acquisition of Vodafone India from Hutchison in 2007.
It had written down value of business by 5 billion euro, late last year. The British firm has pumped in more than USD 7 billion into the India unit.
Telecom operator Vodafone made a payment of over Rs 10,100 crore to the Department of Telecom towards the purchase of the airwaves last year. The company paid over Rs 10,100 crore through deferred payment and also submitted a financial bank guarantee of Rs 1,900 crore. The firm made the highest amount of bids, leaving behind its rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio and Idea Cellular. The country’s second-largest telecom operator had made bids worth Rs 20,280 crore to acquire spectrum in all its key telecom circles across 1800, 2100 and 2500 MHz bands.
Prior to the merger, it was speculated that the combined entity will generate a revenue share of around 40 per cent and a subscriber base of over 380 million, according to India Ratings and Research.

BT |

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GST Council caps cess on demerit goods at 15 per cent

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GST Council caps cess on demerit goods at 15 per cent

Posted on 16 March 2017 by GGS News

New Delhi : The GST Council has approved a maximum of 15 per cent cess on top of the peak Goods and Services Tax rate of 28 per cent on luxury goods and aerated drinks.
Briefing the press after a GST council meeting, Jaitley said that the actual cess on demerit goods, which will help create a corpus for compensating states for any loss of revenue from GST implementation in the first five years, might be lower because the council had given headroom for exigencies.
Giving an example, he said if a luxury car at present commands a total tax of 40 per cent, under the new indirect tax regime, a GST of 28 per cent plus 12 per cent cess would be levied to keep the tax incidence at the same level.
The 15 per cent cess cap would apply on luxury cars and aerated drinks. On pan masala, the cess has been capped at 135 per cent ad valorem.
Tobacco cess will be capped at a mixture of Rs 4,170 per 1,000 sticks or ad valorem of 290 per cent. Cess on coal would be at Rs 400 per ton. No decision has been taken to levy cess on bidis as of now, an official said.
The panel also cleared the State-GST (S-GST) and Union Territory GST (UT-GST) legislations and approved final drafts of central GST (C-GST) and integrated GST (I-GST) laws.
The supporting S-GST and UT-GST legislations together with the GST Compensation Law will go to the Cabinet for a formal sanction before they are tabled in Parliament in the ongoing Budget session that ends on April 12.
The government is hoping the C-GST, I-GST, UT-GST and the GST Compensation laws will be approved in the current session of Parliament and state legislatures will soon clear the S-GST Bills so that the new indirect tax regime can be rolled out from July 1.
Jaitley said the GST Council would meet again on March 31 to approve rules after which fitting goods and services in the four-slab tax structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent will be taken up.

PTI |

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Hard cash being disclosed must exist on payment date: I-T dept

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Hard cash being disclosed must exist on payment date: I-T dept

Posted on 15 March 2017 by GGS News

New Delhi : Weeks before the new tax amnesty scheme closes, the government has clarified that any hard cash being disclosed must exist at the time of making payments, but the same condition is not necessary for undisclosed income held in the form of deposits.
In the latest clarification on the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, the tax department said “where the undisclosed income is represented in the form of deposits in an account maintained with a specified entity, it is not necessary that the said deposits should exist on the date of making payments under the Scheme or furnishing a declaration under the Scheme”.However, when hard cash is being disclosed under PMGKY, its existence is necessary on the date of making payment of tax, surcharge and penalty under PMGKY.
“Where the undisclosed income is represented in the form of cash, it is clarified that such cash should exist on the date of making payment of tax, surcharge and penalty under the Scheme or on the date of making deposit under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016, whichever is earlier,” the tax department said.
PMGKY, which provides amnesty from prosecution on payment of a total of 50 per cent tax and penalty on unaccounted cash in hand or in bank deposits, opened on December 17, 2016 and closes on March 31, 2017.
Under the PMGKY after payment of tax, 25 per cent of the unaccounted money will have to be mandatorily parked with the government for four years as non-interest bearing deposit.
The clarification follows representations received by the tax department from various stakeholders seeking clarification as to whether the deposits made in bank accounts or cash in hand which are eligible for being declared under the scheme should exist on the date of filing of declaration. PTI

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Taxes under GST ‘to increase a bit’, says CBEC Chairman

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Taxes under GST ‘to increase a bit’, says CBEC Chairman

Posted on 14 March 2017 by GGS News

Taxes under GST ‘to increase a bit’, says CBEC Chairman

New Delhi : While the effective rate of indirect taxes under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime still remains unclear, as fitment in tax slabs is underway, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has said that taxes were likely to “increase a bit” from the current level.
“That is our belief (that the current level of taxation will not lessen at least for first five years). It will be the same, that’s our belief, and it will increase a bit,” CBEC Chairman Najib Shah told IANS in an interview here.
Shah said the fitment of goods and services in the four tax slabs–5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent–is a work in progress.Apart from the tax rates, there will also be a cess on top of it, which will form the corpus to compensate the states for any revenue loss for the first five years of implementation of GST.
“The Council will determine the commodities which will have the cess. We will suggest, but all decisions will be taken by the Council because, after all, it is a question of revenue for the states and the Centre,” Shah told IANS.
“Rates is an issue that is sensitive and will be determined only by the Council,” he said.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia recently announced that the Council had increased the cGST (central GST) and sGST (state GST) peak tax rate from 14 per cent to 20 per cent each, amounting to a peak rate of 40 per cent.
Though the current tax slabs would remain the same, the peak rate had been increased for future contingencies, Adhia had said.
The CBEC Chairman also said that GST is being looked upon as bringing about a possible 1-2 per cent increase in GDP.
“Whenever we talk of GST, we talk of a possible increase in GDP by 1-2 per cent. That’s the sort of belief we have got, he said. Where is that GDP going to come from?
He said that with the implementation of GST, tax evasion should come down as all filings will be IT driven and evasion will get difficult.
He said the GST regime is likely to be rolled out by July 1.
The Chairman said it would ensure that the laws regarding the new indirect tax regime are finalised by April 1, so that the industry has three months to prepare for the transition.
“That should give everybody time to adjust to the new requirements. We have trained 49,000 officers of the states and the Centre till last week. Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)—GST’s IT infrastructure arm– and CBEC together will now conduct trainings, so that people know how to file their returns,” he said.
“Outreach programmes from April 1 are going to be massive. We are targeting all major towns. We will first create a group of master trainers and then ask them to train the trade and industry,” he added.
Shah said he hoped the GSTN portal is able to handle the massive rush that it would see post July 1.
“Existing VAT dealers, central excise assessees and service tax assessees are approximately over six million. The total number of assessees (under GST) will be lesser than that as there is some overlap. Instead of filing three returns, they would be filing one return now. When the final migration takes place, then only we will know the exact number of assessees,” he said.
Though any new change will have hiccups because of the existing legacy issues, the Central Board of Excise and Customs is trying to ensure the transition is smooth, he said.
“It’s a new law, all the states and the Centre are moving to a new taxation regime. So there are going to be challenges because not only the trade and industry but the administration also has to change. All existing legacy issues may continue for some time,” Shah said.
One of the hurdles before CBEC seems to be the concern of officials that their work load will reduce drastically, as 90 per cent of assessees below Rs 1.5 crore turnover will be assessed by the states.
“There is a certain section of officers that is concerned that perhaps they would be having lesser work under the GST. We have flagged the concerns, but the government will take a final call. The 90 per cent assessees below Rs 1.5 crore turnover to be assessed by states is a decision taken by government. That is an administrative arrangement,” he said.
“We believe there would be enough work. Apart from the work, there are other concerns as well. We will be addressing those concerns as well,” he added.
Shah said they would not require any additional staff as of now. “We will manage with the existing staff. As we go ahead, we will see how the workload is,” he said. IANS

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Jaitley gets charge of Defence Ministry after Parrikar heads to Goa

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Jaitley gets charge of Defence Ministry after Parrikar heads to Goa

Posted on 13 March 2017 by GGS News

New Delhi/Panaji : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was on Monday given the additional charge of the Defence Ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigned to take on the new role of Goa Chief Minister.
A Rashtrapati Bhawan communiqué said the resignation of Parrikar as the Defence Minister, on advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been accepted with immediate effect.”Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, the President has directed that Arun Jaitely, Cabinet Minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence, in addition to his existing portfolios,” the communiqué said.
Parrikar submitted his resignation after BJP staked claim to form an alliance government in Goa.
He will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Goa tomorrow heading the BJP-led ministry which has the support of regional outfits and Independents.
This is the second time that Jaitley is holding the additional portfolio of Defence Ministry during the present NDA government.
He was incharge of the ministry earlier from May 26 to November 9 in 2014.
Earlier in the day, Parrikar resigned as Defence Minister. He will head the BJP-led ministry which has the support of regional outfits and Independents in Goa.
“I have tendered my resignation as Defence Minister and sent it to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)” Parrikar said on Monday.
“I will be taking the oath tomorrow evening along with the Cabinet ministers,” he added.
Asked how many ministers would be sworn in, Parrikar said, “The decision on the number of ministers and other issues are being currently worked out. Once the Cabinet is finalised, we will inform the media.”
The BJP, which failed to cross the half-way mark in the Assembly polls with its tally dipping to 13 from 21, pulled off a coup on Sunday by enlisting the support of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and two Independents, to reach the magic figure of 21 in the 40-member House.
Thirteen BJP MLA and other legislators who pledged support to the party met Governor Mridula Sinha on Sunday evening, who later invited Parrikar to form the government.
The BJP stole a march on the Congress which failed to muster the numbers despite emerging as the single-largest party with 17 seats.
The Congress was hoping to get the support of the GFP which has bagged three seats in its maiden bid at the hustings.
But by deft moves, coordinated by party veteran and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, the BJP succeeded in keeping the Congress at bay, winning over smaller parties and Independents, who were keen that Parrikar should lead the ministry.
Parrikar, 61, an engineer from IIT-Bombay, led the BJP in 2012 to victory and became the Chief Minister. He, however, was made the Defence Minister at the Centre in 2014 and was succeeded by Laxmikant Parsekar as the Chief Minister.
Parsekar was defeated in Mandrem constituency this time and also most of the ministers in his Cabinet failed to win.
Parrikar, who graduated to the BJP from the RSS ranks, had also served as Chief Minister of the state from 2000 to 2002 and from 2002 to 2005.
Right from the start of the campaign this time, Parrikar was widely seen as the Chief Minister probable. He also extensively campaigned for the party in his home state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the campaign and before, lavished praises on Parrikar over his competence and decision-making capacity as the Defence Minister, especially in the context of the surgical strike on terror launch pads across the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Asked about his two-year stint at the Centre, Parrikar said, “Initially I was finding the role as the Defence Minister as difficult but during last two-and-a-half years, I have done my job well. I have done it with utter honesty.” “The Defence Ministry is such a portfolio where allegations are always levelled against the minister but during last two-and-a-half years, despite so much of procurement, there is not a single allegation against the ministry or me,” he said.
“If I want to sum up my achievements as the Defence Minister, I can say, these are boosting of the morale of the force and better procurements,” he said.
Parrikar said that through various defence deals, the ministry has saved crores of rupees as many tenders had earlier been over-quoted.

 PTI |

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All cash withdrawal limits go back to pre-demonetisation era

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All cash withdrawal limits go back to pre-demonetisation era

Posted on 13 March 2017 by GGS News

Mumbai : All limits on savings bank cash withdrawals post-demonetisation ended on Monday, as had been announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last month.
In a two-stage process, the weekly withdrawal limit per account had been raised to Rs 50,000, from Rs 24,000, with effect from February 20, and all limits on ATM withdrawals were slated to cease from March 13.
The announcement had been made by RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi following the fiscal’s last monetary policy review announcement by the central bank in February, when it kept its key interest rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent, saying it awaited data on the full impact of the government’s demonetisation drive.
On January 30, the RBI had ended all curbs on withdrawals from Current Accounts, Cash Credit Accounts and Overdraft Accounts.
The limits were placed following the November 8 demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. The upper limit at ATMs was just Rs 2,500 initially and was later raised to Rs 4,500.
In January, the RBI had hiked the daily ATM withdrawal limit to Rs 10,000 and doubled the weekly Current Account withdrawal limit to Rs 1 lakh.
The upper limit for weekly withdrawal from bank accounts had been raised to Rs 24,000 from Rs 20,000 in November.
While lifting of ATM withdrawal limits represents coming full circle for these machines in respect of demonetisation, the return to normalcy in terms of cash available in them is still awaited, indicating the slow pace of remonetisation. IANS

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