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200 Officers to be Relocated to Strengthen Ground Operations: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

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A man cries after seeing dead body of his family, who died in the Mumbai stampede
A man cries after seeing dead body of his family, who died in the Mumbai stampede accident. ians
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Mumbai, Sep 30: A day after 22 people died in a stampede on a railway foot overbridge in Mumbai, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said that 200 officers will be relocated from headquarters as field staff to enhance ground operations and that additional escalators are being sanctioned at crowded Mumbai stations.

“200 officers to be relocated from Head Quarters as field staff to strengthen ground operations and project implementation,” Goyal said in a series of tweets after holding a meeting with Railway Board officials here, in the aftermath of the accident at Elphinstone foot overbridge that killed 22 people.

He also said that to eliminate bureaucracy and delays, “I have empowered GMs to spend whatever is necessary on safety.”

Taking a lesson from the Friday stampede at Elphinstone station, Goyal said, “We are turning a 150 year old convention on its head, hereafter, FOBs (Foot Over Bridges) will be deemed mandatory not a passenger amenity.”

“Additional escalators sanctioned at crowded Mumbai suburban stations and thereafter for all high traffic stations,” added Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

At least 22 commuters were killed and 39 others injured on Friday when a horrific stampede broke out on a narrow railway foot overbridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel stations when hundreds took shelter there to escape pounding rain.(IANS)

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Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase

the government would start a three-digit consumer helpline number

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Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase
Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase. Flickr

Seeking consumers’ participation in curbing tax evasion, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on the eve of completion of one year of GST rollout on Saturday appealed to them to insist on bill for every purchase saying it would help the government check evasion and reduce tax rate on each item by as much as 4-5 per cent. He further said the government would start a three-digit consumer helpline number to enable them to lodge complaint against erring traders or any other kind of tax evasion.

Touted as the biggest indirect tax reform since Independence, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out last year on July 1. “I want to appeal to the people that they should demand a bill whenever they go to purchase any goods. If you start asking for a bill…if there’s awareness about this, then we can reduce rates by 4-5 per cent for every item (under GST),” Goyal told reporters here.

He said if any shop says that they will sell at a lower price if the consumer does not demand a bill, then the consumer should immediately file a complaint, he said. “We will soon provide a three-digit simple number which will work as a call centre where customers can complain. We will ensure full confidentiality of the complainant,” Goyal said. The endeavour will be to start the helpline number within 15-20 days, he said. A nationwide campaign too could be launched for creating consumer awareness about demanding bills for purchases made. “If everyone starts giving bill then competition will be on quality and customer service and not on ability to cheat the system,” Goyal said. He further said the government wants to reduce the burden of taxation on consumers but revenue needs to increase and support of states is also needed to cut rates where it is essential.

bills
bills owing. Flickr

With formalisation of economy, the government will have more elbow room to reduce rates, he said.

Also read: Out of Total Tax Fine of $15 billion, Apple Pays $1.77 billion to Irish Government

Goyal also assured small businesses if they face any trouble, then they can write to him and it would be resolved. He said amendments would be introduced to the GST law in monsoon session to increase composition scheme threshold from the current Rs 1 crore. The GST Council had last year decided to increase the threshold to Rs 1.5 crore and also decided to amend the law to increase the statutory threshold to Rs 2 crore. (IANS)

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