Daily Archive: January 1, 2019

Meet New CIC Chief Sudhir Bhargava

New Delhi:Sudhir Bhargava, former Secretary in the Ministry of Social Justice, on Tuesday took oath as the ninth Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission (CIC).

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Bhargava at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, a communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

Bhargava has been an Information Commissioner in the CIC since June 2015.

The government last month appointed Bhargava as the new Chief Information Commissioner along with four new Information Commissioners to the CIC, taking its total strength to seven.

The panel was functioning with three members against the sanctioned strength of 11, including the Chief Information Commissioner.

The CIC is the highest appeal body under the Right to Information Act.

Like all his predecessors, Bhargava is a retired bureaucrat. The previous chiefs have all had Central service background.

After the retirement of Chief Information Commissioner R.K. Mathur and Information Commissioners Yashovardhan Azad, Sridhar Acharyulu and Amitava Bhattacharyya, the panel was left with three Information Commissioners, prompting activists to approach the Supreme Court on the issue of vacancies.

MP to withdraw ‘political cases’ after Mayawati’s threat

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government will withdraw all the “political cases” filed by the previous BJP government against workers of political parties and Dalit activists, Law Minister P.C. Sharma said on Tuesday, January 1.

The announcement came a day after BSP chief Mayawati issued an ultimatum to new Congress governments in the state and in Rajasthan that her party will withdraw support to them if they do not revoke cases filed against “innocent people” during the April 2 Bharat Bandh of last year called by Dalit groups.

“We (Congress) have been fighting (against the BJP government). Irrespective of any party those who have been fighting the BJP government which had sent people to jail… those political cases will be withdrawn,” Sharma said.

On Monday, Mayawati issued a statement saying if the newly elected governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan do not act swiftly and withdraw the cases against innocent persons framed in Bharat Bandh, the Bahujan Samaj Party may have to reconsider extending outside support to the Congress governments.

Last week, Sharma had indicated that the government was drafting a proposal to withdraw “politically motivated” cases against political and trade union leaders filed during the BJP’s rule during the last 15 years.

The BSP has two members in the 230-member Assembly in which the Congress has 114 MLAs and is two short of the majority mark.

The Samajwadi Party has one MLA and has also extended support to the government. There are four independents.

In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress has 99 members and its pre-poll ally Rashtriya Lok Dal has one MLA. There are six BSP MLAs and 13 independents.

The Congress had supported the protest in April 2018 against the changes to the SC/ST Act brought in by the Supreme Court which were later nullified by a legislation passed in Parliament.

Items which will attract lower GST rate of 5 per cent include marble rubble, natural cork, walking sticks and fly ash blocks.

Music books and forzen and preserved vegetables have been exempted from GST.

Bank services to Jan Dhan Yojana account holders will also not attract the GST.

Nearly 1,250 goods and services have been categorised under the four tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent under the GST regime.

A total of 17 items and six services have been reduced which will result in a revenue impact of Rs 5,500 crore for the full fiscal.

Taking cement and automobile parts away from the 28 per cent slab would mean a combined revenue loss of Rs 33,000 crore, which the Council felt is “too steep” to be considered at this juncture, Jaitley said.

This major tax rationalisation ahead of the 2019 general elections comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently promised to bring 99 per cent the goods under the 18 per cent or lower GST slab.

Dailyhunt

How To Make Beans Salad

Ingredients Of Mixed Beans Salad
For the salad:

  • 3 Cups Mixed boiled beans (choose from rajma, chawli, chick peas, hara chana)
  • 1/2 Cup Spring onions, sliced
  • 3/4 Cup Tomatoes (diced)

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, grated
  • To taste Salt and pepper

For garnish:

  • 2 Tbsp Coriander, chopped

How to Make Mixed Beans Salad
1. Mix well all the ingredients together.
2. Add in the dressing and mix well.
3. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

Dailyhunt

LPG cylinder becomes cheaper from Today

Domestic cooking gas (LPG) price was cut by Rs 5.91 per cylinder Monday, the second straight reduction in a month’s time due to tax impact on reduced market rate of the fuel.

A 14.2-kg subsidised LPG cylinder will cost Rs 494.99 in the national capital from midnight tonight as against Rs 500.90 currently, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer, said in a statement.

This is the second straight monthly reduction in LPG rate. On December 1, subsidised LPG price was cut by Rs 6.52 per bottle.

IOC said non-subsidised or market priced LPG rates have been cut by a steep Rs 120.50 per cylinder “due to fall in price of LPG in international market and strengthening of US dollar-rupee exchange rate.”

It will now cost Rs 689 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi.

Old ATM and Credit cards will stop working from Today

If you are using an old ATM/debit or credit card then you need to visit your bank immediately. This is because old ATM/debit or credit swipe cards will stop working starting January 1, 2019.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2015 had issued a directive to all bank across India mandating them to get rid of old magnetic stripe cards. This is because magnetic stripe cards can easily be skimmed and misused by criminals. As per the RBI directive, all magnetic stripe cards were to be replaced by EMV chip cards by December 31, 2018.

According to the RBI directive, all magnetic stripe cards were to be replaced by EMV chip cards by December 31, 2018. The decision to upgrade to new EMV chips was because magnetic chip cards could easily be skimmed and misused by criminals.

What are EVM Chips:

The EMV chips look similar to the chip on a SIM card and are placed close to the top of left edge of a credit or debit card. EMV chip card protects against counterfeit (skimming) card fraud. EMV chip card and PIN protects against both counterfeit (skimming) and lost and stolen card fraud.

Get New EMV chip card for Free:

It must be noted that the process of replacing the old stripe card with EMV chip card is absolutely free and people can get it done for free in few minutes. Individuals can also request an EMV card via internet banking while one can also get the new EMV card delivered to your registered address by applying at your bank’s home branch.

The RBI had asked all the banks to issue only chip-based and PIN-enabled debit and credit cards with an aim to protect customers from frauds. If you still haven’t changed your ATM/Debit card or credit card, you can visit your bank branch and get it upgraded as early as possible. The new EMV card will come with a new PIN. Individuals need to activate the new card at the home bank’s ATM for the first time.

Mass consumption items cheaper from the New Year with GST cut

New Delhi: Items of mass consumption items got cheaper from the New Year on Tuesday, January 1, after the government notified the reducted GST rates decided by the GST Council at its meeting here late last month.

At its 31st meeting on December 22, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley agreed to cut tax rates on 23 goods and services.

Computer monitors, TV screens, video games, lithium-ion power banks, retreaded tyres, wheelchair accessories and cinema tickets are among products that have been removed from the highest 28 per cent bracket of the GST regime.

Among the items consumed by the common man, only cement continues to remain, alongwith luxury and ‘sin’ goods, in the 28 per cent bracket as the GST Council brought down the rates of all other categories of goods in a further rationalisation that left only 27 items in the highest tax slab.

Second-hand tyres, video games, digital cameras, video camera recorders, monitors and TV screens up to 32 inches and lithium battery power banks will now attract 18 per cent GST.

The GST on wheelchair accessories has been brought down to 5 per cent from the existing 28, which will also allow the payment of input tax credit that is not possible with zero tax, Jaitley told reporters here following the Council meeting.

Airconditioners, dishwashers and large screen TVs have been left untouched at the highest rate.

While the GST on third party insurance on goods-carrying motor vehicles has been cut from 18 to 12 per cent, cinema tickets up to Rs 100 have also been granted a similar reduction. Movie tickets costing more that Rs 100 have been brought down from 28 to 18 per cent.

Items which will attract lower GST rate of 5 per cent include marble rubble, natural cork, walking sticks and fly ash blocks.

Music books and forzen and preserved vegetables have been exempted from GST.

Bank services to Jan Dhan Yojana account holders will also not attract the GST.

Nearly 1,250 goods and services have been categorised under the four tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent under the GST regime.

A total of 17 items and six services have been reduced which will result in a revenue impact of Rs 5,500 crore for the full fiscal.

Taking cement and automobile parts away from the 28 per cent slab would mean a combined revenue loss of Rs 33,000 crore, which the Council felt is “too steep” to be considered at this juncture, Jaitley said.

This major tax rationalisation ahead of the 2019 general elections comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently promised to bring 99 per cent the goods under the 18 per cent or lower GST slab.

Benefits of RCEP Agreement

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is a proposed Free Trade Agreement between ten ASEAN member states and their six Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners namely India, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and Republic of Korea, is expected to provide market access for India’s goods and services exports and encourage greater investments and technology into India. It would also facilitate India’s MSMEs to effectively integrate into the regional value and supply chains. On the other hand, India is not a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) which is a grouping of twenty-one countries in the Asia Pacific region with an aim to deepen and strengthen economic and technological cooperation amongst APEC member countries.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, C. R. Chaudhary, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

***

Agri Export Zones

The concept of Agri Export Zone (AEZ) was introduced in 2001, through EXIM Policy 1997-2001, to take a comprehensive look at a particular produce/product located in a contiguous area for the purpose of developing and sourcing the raw materials, their processing/packaging, leading to final exports. The concept hinged primarily on convergence of existing Central and State Government schemes to take care of financial interventions required at various stages of value chain; partnership among various stakeholders viz. Central Government, State Government, farmer, processor, exporter etc.; and focus on targeted products and areas to identify required policy interventions. All these activities did take place in certain respects in the notified Agri Export Zones. In December 2004, an internal peer review conducted by Department of Commerce concluded that the notified AEZs had not been able to achieve the intended objectives. It was decided that there will be no creation of new AEZs, unless there were strong and compelling reasons. No new AEZs have been set up after 2004. All the notified AEZs have completed their intended span of 5 years and have been discontinued.

In all 60 Agri Export Zones (AEZ) were notified by the Government till 2004 – 05.  State-wise details are given below:

LIST OF NOTIFIED  60 AGRI EXPORT ZONES IN 20 STATES

State S. No. AEZ Project Districts

 

Assam (1)

 

01 Fresh & Processed Ginger Kamrup, Nalbari, Barpeta, Darrang, Nagaon, Morigaon, KarbiAnglong and North Cachar districts.
Andhra Pradesh including Telangana (5)

 

02 Mango Pulp & Fresh Veg. Chittoor District.
03 Mango and Grapes Districts of Ranga Reddy, Medak & parts Mahabobnagar districts.
04 Mango Krisha District.
05 Gherkins Districts of Mahboobnagar, Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Warangal, Medak Ananthapur and Nalgonda.
06 Chilli Guntur
Bihar (1) 07 Lychee, Vegetables & Honey Muzaffar-pur, Samastipur, Hajipur, Vaishali, East and West Champaran, Bhagalpur, Begulsarai, Khagaria, Sitamarhi, Saran and Gopalganj.
Gujarat (3) 08 Mango and Vegetables Districts of Ahmedabad, Khadia, Anand, Vadodra, Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Bharuch and Narmada.
09 Value Added Onion Districts of Bhavnagar, Surendranagar, Amreli, Rajkot, Junagadh and Jamnagar.
10 Sesame Seeds Districts of Amerali, Bhav-nagar, Surendra-nagar, Rajkot, Jamnagar
Himachal Pradesh(1) 11  Apples Districts of Shimla, Sirmour, Kullu, Mandi, Chamba and Kinnaur.
Karnataka (4) 12 Gherkins Districts of Tumkur, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Hassan, Kolar, Chitradurga, Dharwad and Bagalkot.
 13  Rose Onion Bangalore Urban

Bangalore (Rural), Kolar

14 Flowers Bangalore(Urban)

Bangalore(Rural), Kolar, Tumkur, Kodagu and Belgaum

15 Vanilla Districts of Dakshin Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga, Kodagu, Chickamagalur.
Jammu & Kashmir (2)

 

16 Apple Districts of Srinagar, Baramula, Anantnag, Kupwara, Badgaum and Pulwama.
17 Walnuts Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama, Budgam, Kupwara and Srinagar.,

Jammu Region,  Doda, Poonch, Udhampur, Rajouri and Kathua.

Jharkhand (1) 18 Vegetables Districts of Ranchi, Hazaribagh and Lohardaga.
Kerala (2)

 

19 Horticulture Products Districts of Thrissur, Kollam, Ernakulam, Kottayaam, Alapp-uzha, Pathanum-thitta, Thiruvantha-puram, Idukki and Palakkod.
20 Medicinal Plant Wayanad, Mallapuram, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kollam, Pathana-mittha, Thiruva-nanthapuram
Madhya Pradesh

(5)

21 Potatoes, Onion

Garlic

Malwa, Ujjain, Indore, Dewas, Dhar, Shajajpur, Ratlam, Neemuch and Mandsaur.
22 Seed Spices Districts of Guna, Mandsaur, Ujjain, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Shajapur and Neemuch.
23 Wheat (Duram) Three distinct and contiguous zones :-

Ujjain Zone comprising of Neemach, Ratlam, Mandsaur and Ujjain

Indore Zone comprising of Indore, Dhar, Shajapur and Dewas

Bhopal Division, comprising of Sehore, Vidisha, Raisen, Hoshangabad, Harda, Narsinghpur and Bhopal.

24 Lentil and Grams Shivpuri, Guna, Vidisha, Raisen, Narsinghpura, Chhindwara.
25 Oranges Chhindwara, Hoshangabad. Betul.
Maharashtra (8) 26 Grape and Grape Wine Districts of Nasik, Sanghli, Pune, Satara, Ahmednagar and Sholapur.
27 Mango

(Alphonso)

Districts of Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Raigarh and Thane.
28 Kesar Mango Districts of Aurangabad, Beed, Jalna, Ahmednagar and Latur.
29 Flowers Pune, Nasik, Kolhapur and Sangli.
30 Onions Districts of Nasik, Ahmednagar, Pune Satara, Jalgaon and Solapur.
31 Pomegranate Districts of Solapur, Sangli, Ahmednagar, Pune Nasik, Latur, Osmanabad.
32 Banana Jalgaon, Dhule, Nandurbar, Buldhana, Wardha, Parbhani, Hindoli, Nanded.
33 Oranges Nagpur and Amraoti.
Orissa (1) 34 Ginger and Turmeric Kandhamal District.
Punjab (3)

 

35 Vegetables Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, Sangrur, Ropar and Ludhiana.
36 Potatoes SinghpuraZirakpur (Patiala) RampuraPhul, Muktsar, Ludhiana, Jullunder.
37 Basmati Rice Districts of Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Kapur-thala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahar)
Rajasthan (2)

 

38 Coriander Kota, Bundi, Baran, Jhalawar& Chittoor
39 Cumin Nagaur, Barmer, Jalore, Pali and Jodhpur
Sikkim (2) 40 Flowers

(Orchids) & Cherry Pepper

East Sikkim.

 

 

41 Ginger North, East, South & West Sikkim.
Tripura (1) 42 Organic Pineapple Kumarghat, Manu, Melaghar, Matabari and Kakraban Blocks.
Tamil Nadu (4) 43 Flower Dharmapuri.
44 Flowers Nilgiri District.
45 Mangoes Districts of Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Virudhunagar and Tirunelveli.
46
Cashewnut
Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Sivaganga.
Uttar Pradesh (4) 47 Potatoes Agra, Hathras, Farrukhabad, Kannoj, Meerut, Baghpat and Aligarh.
48 Mangoes and Vegetables Lucknow, Unnao, Hardo, Sitapur and barabanki.
49 Mangoes Saharanpur, Muzzfarnagar, Bijnaur, Meerut, Bhagpat and Bulandshahar.
50 Basmati Rice Districts of Bareilly, Shahajahanpur, Pilibhit, Rampur, Badaun, Bijnor, Moradabad, J B Phulenagar, Saharanpur, Mujjafarnagar, Meerut, Bulandshahar, Ghaziabad.
Uttarakhand (4)

 

51 Lychee Udhamsingh Nagar, Dehradun and Nainital .
52 Flowers Districts of Dehradun and Pantnagar.
53 Basmati Rice Districts of Udham Singh Nagar, Nainital, Dehradun and Haridwar.
54 Medicinal & Aromatic Plants Districts of Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Dehradun and Nainital.
West Bengal (6) 55 Lychee Districts of MurshidabadMalda, 24 Pargana (N) and 24 Pargana(s).
56 Potatoes Districts of Hoogly, Burdwan, Midnapore (W) UdayNarayanpur and Howrah.
57 Mango Malda and Murshidabad
58 Vegetables Nadia, Murshidabad) and North 24 Parganas.
59 Darjeeling Tea Darjeeling.
60 Pineapple Darjeeling, Uttar Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, C. R. Chaudhary, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

***