bhubaneswar l friday l may 20, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late CITY EDITION Relief as Indonesia lifts ban on palm oil export In a major relief for India’s FMGC sector, exports will resume on Monday, almost a month after the ban went into effect Price fall in local market behind decision Domestic Supply triples: Widodo Indonesian President Joko Widodo said palm oil’s price has fallen from $1.35 per litre to about $1.17 since the ban, which was meant to increase its local supply and reduce the domestic price. The war in Ukraine, which accounts for nearly half of the world’s sunflower oil, had put pressure on the global supply of cooking oil, making palm oil prices jump ■ ■ Once Indonesia announced its export ban, the price of palm oil shot up 200%, putting pressure on India, which imports about 8.5 million tonnes of the commodity annually Indonesian leader said the ban has helped triple the supply of palm oil from 64,500 tons to 2,11,000 tons per month 60% of world’s palm oil comes from Indonesia CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Parliament, assemblies free to legislate on it; experts fear it will trigger fresh face-off with Centre GST Council’s decisions not written in stone, rules SC M o n i k a Ya d a v @ New Delhi The Supreme Court opened a can of worms on Thursday when in the course of delivering a verdict in a case, it held that the GST Council’s recommendations have only persuasive value and are not binding. “The Parliament and the state legislatures possess simultaneous powers to legislate on GST. Article 246A of the Constitution does not envisage a repugnancy provision to resolve the inconsistencies between the Central and state laws on GST. The recommendations of the GST Council are the product of a collaborative dialogue involving the Union and states. They are recommendatory in nature,” the court observed. The bench made the observation while upholding a Gujarat High Court order to revoke Integrated GST (IGST) on ocean freight from Indian importers. It held that the IGST paid on ocean freight is unconstitutional and those who have already paid it will be eligible for refund. Some state finance minis- Dialogue in deralism “Indian federalism is a dialogue between cooperative and uncooperative federalism where the federal units are at liberty to use different means of persuasion,” the ruling said ters from non-BJP states had in the past questioned the authority of the GST Council and even termed the GST (in its current form and shape) as against the federalism. In May 2021, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan had berated the GST system and council saying they function with an omnipotent and all-encompassing mandate not envisioned in the Constitution. Tax experts believe the SC’s observation might increase the state vs Centre tussle on many GST issues. Mahesh Jaising, Partner, Deloitte India said, “This would have far reaching impli- cations on various other matters where states are not in agreement with the decisions of the GST Council, especially in light of the compensation period coming to an end in June.” Article 279A of the Constitution specifies that the GST Council will only make recommendations to states and the Centre on taxes, cesses and surcharge levied by them, which may be subsumed in the GST Act. However, Sushil Modi, who has played a crucial role in shaping the GST as a member of the council while he was finance minister of Bihar, says the court’s observation will not make much of a diff e re n c e. “ T h e S u p re m e Court’s ruling is not new. It is already there in the Constitution. There won’t be any adverse implication of this amendment as no state would like to deviate from the majority for the fear of being at disadvantage or being singled out,” he said. Odisha govt studying ruling E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Odisha gover nment on Thursday said it is studying the Supreme Court ruling that recommendations of the GST Council are not binding either on the Centre or the states thoroughly as it will have far reaching implications. The apex court ruling has raised questions on the entire tax structure, the government said in its reaction. A senior government official said the ruling will the change the entire framework. Tax on different items and laws legislated by the State governments on taxation are done as per the recommendations of the Council, the official said and added that nobody has deviated from these so far. He said that the ruling is being studied by the State government and it will take a view on this soon. Cylindrical structure found in Gyanvapi mosque resembles Shivalinga: Survey N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow A report of a court-ordered survey conducted in the Gyanvapi mosque on May 14-16, which was submitted to a Varanasi civil court on Thursday claims a black stone cylindrical , structure found in the middle of the wuzu (ablution) pond on the premises resembled a Shivalinga, highly placed sources said. As soon as the cylindrical structure became visible to the court-appointed commission, the plaintiffs and their lawyers started calling it a Shivalinga while the mosque authorities termed it a fountain that was defunct for years, the report adds. Sources citing the report said the mosque staff failed to give a definite timeline on when the fountain became defunct. Initially they claimed , it was not working for the last 20 years but then they scaled down the figure to 12 years. The mosque staff also failed to make it operational when requested to do so, they added. On top of the cylindrical structure is an half-inch thick white layer whose radius is 9 inch and has five equal parts. A narrow 63 cm deep hole was noticed at the centre of the cylindrical structure, but the survey team found no arrangement for a water supply pipe for the fountain to function. Sources claimed the cylindrical structure was 2.5 ft high with a radius of 4 ft at the base. The report says when layers of moss deposited over that structure were removed, its black colour became visible. The survey report also mentions the ground plan, zig-zag cuts inside domes of the mosque and the main mandaps, which matched the map of g round plan of the Aadi Visheshwar temple as printed in multiple books, said sources. During the survey, a swastik was found on the inner wall near the south pole of the main dome, sources added. Symbols of three damroos were reportedly spotted at the main gate of the mosque. In the northwest direction, a 15 ft x15 ft basement was spotted and it was reportedly covered with debris. Stones lying in the debris had images resembling the architecture of north Indian temples. Sources also claimed that the survey report referred to a 3 ft deep pond having 30 taps all around it. At a distance of 83 ft from the pond, an idol resembling Nandi was spotted by the surveyors. The report also mentions the images of trishul, snake, bells, betel leaves, elephants, bases for housing idols of deities the survey team found, said sources. Another report submitted by sacked advocate commissioner Ajay Kuamr Mishra of the survey conducted by him on May 6 and 7 mentions many symbols resembling the architecture of north Indian temples like lotus, snakes and idols on western wall of P7 the Gyanvapi mosque. report submitted 15-page report of court-ordered survey of Gyanvapi mosque submitted to Varanasi judge Three sealed boxes containing maps, chips of still photos and video clips of the survey conducted on May 6 and 7, and May 14 to 16 part of the documentation Eight 32 GB chips, 1,500 frames of still photographs and 10 hours of video recordings in the sealed boxes Now, court nod for case against Mathura mosque Lucknow: Amid the ongoing litigation on the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, a Mathura district court on Thursday allowed petitions seeking removal of the Shahi Idgah masjid abutting the Shree Krishna Janmabhoomi temple | P5
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