Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressing the media after the GST Council meeting in New Delhi on Thursday | PARVEEN NEGI BHUBANESWAR FRIDAY JANUARY 11, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION MASSIVE RELIEF TO SMALL BUSINESSES UNDER GST TWIN DECISION IN COMPOSITION SCHEME The GST Council on Thursday doubled the limit for exemption from payment of goods and services tax (GST) to `40 lakh ‘EACH DECISION INTENDED TO HELP SMES’ The GST Composition Scheme, under which small traders and businesses pay 1 per cent tax based on turnover, can be availed by businesses with a turnover of `1.5 crore, against the earlier `1 crore, with effect from April 1. Also, service providers and suppliers of both goods and services upto a turnover of `50 lakh would be eligible to pay a tax of 6 per cent. ■ ■ Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “A very large part of GST comes from formal sector and large companies. Each one of these decisions is intended to help the SMEs.” There would be two thresholds -- `40 lakh and `20 lakh -- for P6 exemption from registration and payment of the GST `5,200 cr THE ANNUAL REVENUE LOSS ON ACCOUNT OF DOUBLING EXEMPTION CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Adultery, gay sex bar stays in Army EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi 2:1 panel decision chucks out Verma; PM, judge on same page; Rao back for now EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TWO days after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court, CBI director Alok Verma was on Thursday removed unceremoniously by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Verma is the first chief in the CBI’s 55 years history to face such a harsh action. His two-year tenure as CBI director was to end on January 31. The three-member panel, which included opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge and the CJI’s representative justice A K Sikri, transferred Verma as Director General — Fire Service, Civil Defence and Home Guards under the home ministry upon finding that Verma was not functioning with the kind of integrity expected of him. In a swift move, Odisha-cadre IPS officer M Nageshwar Rao replaced Verma as the interim head of the CBI. Rao had replaced Verma earlier as well when Verma was divested of his powers and sent on forced leave in October 2018. The move left Verma, who had joined back after being on forced leave for 77 days, with only a day’s relief. Kharge dissented with the decision by the PM and Justice Sikri to transfer Vema out. The majority decision was on the basis of the CVC report which had indicted Verma. In his dissent note, Kharge demanded that Verma be restored with full tenure and powers and that he be given a chance to be heard by the panel. The Congress leader also wanted an independent probe conducted into the midnight drama that preceded his ouster on October 24, 2018. The trigger for Thursday’s decision could be the alacrity with which Verma was functioning upon his return. On Wednesday hours after taking , charge, Verma had reversed the transfer orders issued by interim CBI chief Rao. Sources said Verma’s orders are likely to be reversed when Rao joins office. The government also initiated the process appointing the next full term chief for the country’s premier investigation agency and the name would be announced soon, sources added. Congress leader Anand Sharma questioned the CVC wondering whether the anticorruption institution was truly independent as it seemed to be taking instructions from the PMO. “The high powered panel failed to do justice… The SC would have acted if it thought the CVC report was significant,” said Sharma. He also questioned the PM’s hurry in the matter. “What is it that he does not want the CBI to look into? The manner of removal, midnight raid.. all should be probed,” he added. Congress attacks Modi, says he wants a pliable CBI director PROBE AGAINST ASTHANA Hours before he was removed on Thursday, Verma had appointed 2006 batch IPS officer Mohit Gupta to probe the corruption charges against his colleague Rakesh Asthana. The CBI had filed a case against Asthana under the Prevention of Corruption Act, based on the claims of businessman Satish Sana, who had said that he had paid `2 cr bribe to Asthana The continuance of Shri Alok Verma as Director, CBI, is not appropriate and is not in the interest of the integrity and reputation of the CBI.... Some of the allegations require further detailed investigation, which will not be possible with (Verma) heading the same organisation CVC report Fake papers to CVC hurt credibility S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi THE report by the Central Vi g i l a n c e C o m m i s s i o n (CVC), which was the basis of the CBI chief ’s sacking, recommended Alok Verma’s removal for several reasons, including alleged production of a “fabricated” document before the CVC. The commission also accused Verma of not cooperating with its probe, and said the “grave” allegations against him required a “detailed investigation”, which would not be possible with Verma heading the CBI. The CVC found merit in several allegations of misconduct CBI Joint Director Rakesh Asthana levelled against Verma, according to the report, accessed by this newspaper. The main charge was tampering with the probe into two high-profile corruption cases involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi and former Union minister Lalu Yadav. On the allegations of Verma taking a `2 crore bribe in the Qureshi case, the CVC said there was “no diP9 rect evidence”. EXPRESS READ Farmers let down by Agri staff in Ganjam Berhampur: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik may have taken the fight of farmers to Delhi but irresponsible agriculture officials are not only letting him down but also sending farmers back in Ganjam - the district he represents - to the brink. N Prakash Reddy, a farmer of Ratnamalapur under Sanakhemundi block, is believed to have ended his life after faulty assessment of crop damage by district agriculture officials. P5 Over `6K cr in DMF kitty, only `1,100 cr utilised Bhubneswar: Even as the State has the highest collection of funds under District Mineral Foundation (DMF), it is seriously lagging in timely implementation of the projects.While major mineral bearing districts have taken up 11,434 projects estimated at `6438.23 crore by end of December, 2018, fund utilisation is around `1,100 crore. This is despite State Government’s instruction to districts to prepare shelf of projects in advance and timely utilisation of funds sanctioned by Board of Trustees of the DMF. A review on the progress of implementation of sanctioned projects by Chief Secretary A P Padhi revealed a majority of the projects taken up by the districts have remained incomplete. P2 CBI raid on petrol pump of Tito’s wife Kendrapara: The CBI sleuths raided the petrol pump of gangster Usman Ali alias Tito’s wife Benazir Bibi here in the presence of officials of Special Task Force (STF) on Thursday. The raids come after Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) sought CBI’s help on July 18 last year to probe into allotment of two petrol pumps in the name of Sayeed Brothers Filing Station at Kendrapara and ad hoc dealership of COCO (Company Owned Company Operated Retail Outlet) at Paradip to relatives of Tito. P6 CALLING the Indian Army a conservative organisation, Army Chief Bipin Rawat on Thursday said gay sex and adultery cannot be allowed among the forces. “In the Army it is not accept, able,” he said when asked about the Supreme Court’s verdicts decriminalising homosexuality and striking down a colonial-era adultery law. “The Army is conservative. We haven’t modernised. Neither have we westernised,” he replied to a question on Article 370. “Why didn’t we have this in the Army Act? It was not thought of. In the Army, we never thought this could happen.” On the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community, he said, “We are still dealing with them under... the Army Act. We are certainly not above the country’s law. The Supreme Court has said something. We will have to see how we can take a call.” TRIPLE TALAQ ORDINANCE AGAIN AFTER BILL WAS BLOCKED IN RAJYA SABHA With the ordinance set to expire on January 22, the Cabinet on Thursday agreed to a proposal to re-promulgate it, making the practice of instant triple talaq a criminal offence
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