GST Constitutional Amendment Bill passed in Rajya Sabha
- Rajya Sabha has passed the Constitution Amendment Bill to smoothen the progress of rollout of GST, after Finance Minister introduced it in the Rajya Sabha.
- The legislation was approved by the Rajya Sabha with 203 votes in favour and none against, in the 243-member House. The bill was passed after a after a seven-hour debate.
- The primary objective of the GST is to get rid of unnecessary taxation. GST is a uniform indirect tax levied on goods and services across a country. Many developed nations tax the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods using a single, comprehensive tax.
- The constitutional amendment will allow both the Centre and the States to simultaneously impose the GST, which will include all indirect taxes currently levied, including excise duties and service tax. It will be levied on consumption rather than production.
- The GST will have two components keeping in mind the federal arrangement of India: the Central GST (CGST) and the State GST (SGST).
- The Congress thanked that the BJP acknowledged it was the Congress that first announced the GST.
Cabinet Approves New Motor Vehicle Bill
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016.
- The fine for driving without license goes up ten times to Rs. 5,000 while penalty for drunken driving increases fivefold to Rs. 10,000.
- The significant provisions include increase in compensation for Hit & Run cases from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 2 lakhs. It also has provision for payment of compensation upto Rs 10 lakh in road accidents fatalities.
- For offences by juveniles, the guardian/owner shall be deemed to be responsible. They will have to pay a fine of Rs. 25,000 apart from three-year imprisonment. The juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act and registration of his or her motor vehicle will be cancelled.
- In the area of road safety, bill proposes to raise penalties to act as restraint against traffic violations. Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without license, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc. Stricter provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations.
- To bring agreement of the registration and licensing process, it is proposed to create National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration through “Vahan” & “Sarathi” platforms. This will assist uniformity of the process across the country.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrives in Islamabad to attend the SAARC summit meeting
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Islamabad to attend the SAARC Interior Ministers’ conference. Singh was flown to a five star hotel in a helicopter amid security concerns arising out of protests led by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) activists, a front organisation of terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
- Activists of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Hizbul Mujahideen, United Jihad Council (UJC) and other such group protested to criticize Mr. Singh’s visit with Saeed leading a rally in Lahore where he attacked Pakistani government for hosting the Indian Home Minister, holding him accountable for the ongoing Kashmir unrest.
- According to The Dawn website reported the session involved discussion of visas and immigration, including plans to restructure the visa regime in the bloc.
- The focus of the meeting will also be on strengthening networking among police forces of SAARC member-countries and also enhance information-sharing among law enforcement agencies.