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Delhi Golf Club’s bank account frozen for non-payment of tax

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The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has frozen the bank account of the Delhi  Golf club for non-payment of property tax amount to Rs.769 crores approximately.

The club turned a deaf ear to the repeated reminders by NDMC to clear the outstanding tax payment after which the club’s account in RBL Bank was frozen.

An official member of NDMC claimed that at least six to seven legal notices were sent to the club to clear their dues which went unanswered. The most recent one was sent in November the previous year. As per the bylaws of the NDMC Act 1994, the council approached the club’s bank to recover Rs.269.24 crore but the bank soon sent a letter informing that their wasn’t enough balance in the account for payment.

A number of calls and messages to the office bearers of the Delhi Golf Club were also left unanswered. ” We sent them a final reminder last year before their bank account was attached. We informed the club the long pending dues, which have accumulated over several years. We gave them ample time to clear their dues but the administration was not ready to respond” said the NDMC official.

The Delhi Golf Club and NDMC have been involved in a long-standing legal battle over non-payment of taxation.(inputs from agencies)

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‘Special Corona Fee’ on Liquor Helps Boosting Revenue

Corona fee sends major liquor stocks plunging

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Delhi Government increases 70% taxes on liquor. Pixabay

Stock prices of major liquor stocks, including United Spirits and Radico Khaitan plunged on Tuesday after the Delhi government imposed a 70 per cent ‘special corona fee’ on the sale of alcohol in the city.

Other states like Andhra Pradesh have also raised taxes on liquor as all possible avenues of boosting revenue are being explored to fight Covid-19 outbreak.

Around 11.30 a.m., shares of Radico Khaitan, the maker of Magic Moments and Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky, were at Rs 303.85, lower by Rs 12.75 or 4.03 per cent from its previous close.

Stocks of United Spirits were at Rs 527.65 per share, lower by Rs 13.95 or 2.58 per cent from the previous close. United Spirits produces the brands Black Label, Black Dog and ‘Smirnoff’ vodka among others.

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Stocks of United Spirits were at Rs 527.65 per share, lower by Rs 13.95 or 2.58 per cent from the previous close. Pixabay

Further, the scrip of United Breweries, the maker of the ‘Kingfisher’ brand of beer, also fell around two per cent. Around 11.30 a.m. it was trading at Rs 948.55, lower by Rs 21.55 or 2.22 per cent from the previous close.

In an order issued late on Monday night, the Finance Department imposed the fee, describing it as the 70 per cent of the maximum retail price on all categories of liquor sold through retail licensees for consumption “off” the premises.

Read More: Equal Distribution of Tools is the Ultimate Measure of Success in COVID Battle: WHO Director-General

“The Delhi government has levied a Special Corona Fee — 70 per cent of the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) — on all categories of liquor from the consumer at the Point of Sale by the retail vend licensees for consumption off the premises, which will be further reimbursed to the Government,” the order signed by Deputy Commissioner (Excise) said.

The liquor industry, however, has said that the move would have negative impact on the industry economy.

Vinod Giri, Director General of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) said that such steep hike in levies could be counter-productive in the long run. (IANS)

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University Corruption EXPOSED: Retrenchment Was Like a COVID-19 Attack

For 69 lecturers of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), the door was shut against them since May 11, 2018 – two years ago.

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University of Trinidad and Tobago has declared that lecturers’ teaching load (as opposed to work-load, which would have included research and service) was the main criterion used to select teaching staff for retrenchment. (Representational Image). Flickr

By Dr Kumar Mahabir

University
Dr. Mahabir is a former Organization of American States (OAS) Fellow and the recipient of a Government National Award for Education.

Schools, colleges and universities worldwide have been closed since March 11, 2020 when COVID-19 was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global pandemic.

But for 69 lecturers of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), the door was shut against them since May 11, 2018 – two years ago. Like the outbreak of COVID-19, there was no warning. These lecturers were ambushed with retrenchment letters in the middle of the semester while teaching students in class.

The dismissal letters gave them seven days to take their personal property and vacant the premises. They were caught off-guard with mortgages, loans, rent and bills to pay as well as families to feed. They were suddenly without a job and medical insurance.

The stay-at-home retrenchment order was triggered to these “surplus” lecturers who had become “redundant” in the university’s “restructuring exercise.” Was their forced quarantine justified? Let’s look at the facts and revelations, using my situation as a case study.

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Lecturers at University of Trinidad and Tobago were ambushed with retrenchment letters in the middle of the semester while teaching students in class. (Representational Image). Pixabay

My teaching load was higher

In all its internal and external releases, University of Trinidad and Tobago has declared that lecturers’ teaching load (as opposed to work-load, which would have included research and service) was the main criterion used to select teaching staff for retrenchment.

UTT’s disclosure to my Freedom of Information (FOIA) application after I was dismissed states that I was carrying a teaching load of 70.8%, excluding Practicum. However, there were other Assistant Professors who had considerably lower teaching load percentages, but were not selected for retrenchment. 

Some of them had scores as low as 15%, 28%, 35%, 38%, etc. In fact, of the 20 Assistant Professors who were retained, only two (2) or 10% had higher teaching load percentages than mine. 

Although my teaching load percentage (70.8%) was higher than most of my former colleagues, who were retained, I should have earned yet a higher teaching score had it not been for an error and contradiction on the part of UTT. 

University of Trinidad and Tobago’s disclosure to me after I was fired reveals that the PRACTICUM courses I taught were not counted as part of my teaching load. However, the same PRACTICUM Term 2 courses (PRAC 1002 and PRAC 2002) were counted for my colleagues, Additionally, a PRACTICUM Term 3 course (PRAC 2001) was counted for others but not for me.

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These errors and contradictions by UTT are important to note because the university has declared that lecturers’ teaching load was the main criterion used to select teaching staff for retrenchment.

These errors and contradictions in computing the teaching load scores for me constitute bias, inequality, unfairness and injustice in selecting me for retrenchment. These mistakes and paradoxes resulted in my dismissal which caused me grave humiliation, pain, suffering, stress, trauma and rejection as well as loss of income, status, dignity, pride and institutional affiliation.

Was this Programme really being phased out?

In many of its releases and correspondences, University of Trinidad and Tobago has stated that I and other lecturers were retrenched because the Secondary School Specialisation courses which they taught were being phased out as part of the university’s restructuring exercise. 

At the dismissal meeting at the Centre for Education Programmes (CEP) at UTT, administrator Dr Judy Rocke also told the assembled lecturers that all Secondary School Specialisation courses were being phased out, resulting in us being “redundant” in the university’s “restructuring exercise.” The following facts reveal that this statement is not true.

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Lecturers at University of Trinidad and Tobago were suddenly without a job and medical insurance. (Representational Image). Pixabay

These same courses were timetabled for a NEW cohort of students during the new semester which began in September 3, 2018. These Secondary School Specialisation courses are taught from Year 2. One of these courses which was not phased out for the new Year 2 student-intake was ANTH 2001- Caribbean Cultural Anthropology, which I taught. After my retrenchment, I was replaced by a lecturer who was not qualified to teach ANTH 2001. 

Substitute lecturers not qualified

The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) made the following written disclosures to me, dated August 23, 2019.  Its Executive Director, Dr Eduardo Ali, stated that my substitute lecturer was “not qualified to teach” ANTH 2001.  Additionally, Dr Ali stated that another substitute lecturer teaching the course TVOC 2003: Job Task Analysis in Semester 1 during the Academic Year 2018-2019 at CEP was also “not qualified to teach the said course”.

Also Read- E-Learning Takes Over in the Times of Coronavirus Pandemic

I began my tenure at UTT as an Assistant Professor in January 2007 – longer than most of my former colleagues, who held Ph.D. degrees in CEP. My latest Performance Management and Appraisal Process (PMAP) appraisal score dated October 3, 2017 was 95 out of 100. This score was given, approved and endorsed by my immediate supervisor, Dr Judy Rocke, who paradoxically selected me for dismissal. 

My skills and qualifications are more diverse than those of most of my former teaching colleagues. My M.Phil. degree is in the Humanities (Literatures in English) and my Ph.D. is in the Social Sciences (Anthropology). 

Dr. Mahabir is a former Organization of American States (OAS) Fellow and the recipient of a Government National Award for Education.

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Transparency Documentary Series Review: Unique and Talks About the Working of AAP

The impact of the film might have been much greater if writer-director Munish Raizada had shortened its length and focused on a single issue

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One must congratulate Munish Raizada for making Transparency: Pardarshita. Twitter

By Suyog Zore

First of all, one must congratulate Munish Raizada for making Transparency: Pardarshita. Making a documentary film, let alone a six-part documentary series, on politics in India is not an easy task.

Raizada has made a documentary series on one of the biggest uprisings India has seen after the freedom movement and the Emergency, the Jan Lokpal andolan, also known as the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement. He tries to find answers to how the uprising was planned, how it gave rise to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and how the party that came to power in the national capital territory of Delhi with the promise of transparency slowly went off track.

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Transparency is a six-part documentary series written, directed and produced by Munish Raizada, who was himself a member of AAP at one time. In the documentary, he traces AAP’s journey from its inception to now. In this process, he meets old colleagues of party founder and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as well as others who joined and then left the party.

The first episode, titled Dream Game, deals with how the Anna Hazare movement was organized by people like Kumar Vishwas, Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and some other activists. The episode is very informative and tells us how no movement takes place on the spur of the moment. It takes a lot of time, dedicated people and a lot of effort to create a successful movement like Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Andolan.

Transparency
Transparency is a six-part documentary series written, directed and produced by Munish Raizada, who was himself a member of AAP at one time. Twitter

The third episode focuses on how the IAC came to be formed and what it did. Both these episodes focus on how Arvind Kejriwal used the popularity of the movement as a launch pad for his own political career. Raizada interviews Kejriwal’s former friends and activists like Shazia Ilmi, Kapil Mishra and Kiran Bedi who testify that Kejriwal harboured political ambition from the start. It should be noted, however, that all of these former friends are now part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the foremost rival of AAP in Delhi.

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Raizada uses real footage from the Jan Lokpal movement and from AAP’s formation and victory in the Delhi assembly election of 2015. He juxtaposes visuals of the euphoria among Delhi’s citizens when AAP came to power for the first time with the current situation and tries to find out where things went wrong.

The most important episode of this documentary is number 4, which is titled The Mask. The episode is split into two parts, 4A and 4B. In this two-part episode, Raizada meets many long-standing associates of Kejriwal and tries to dissect his personality. The documentary claims that Kejriwal, who has a proven track record as an activist in the public domain, has a different personality for insiders of the Anna agitation and the Aam Aadmi Party.

Raizada also tries to find answers to many questions like why did AAP stop showing its list of donors on its website and why the party never implemented an internal Lokpal. However, Raizada expects the viewer to be familiar with the Indian political scenario and how things were in those days and that’s why the episode may not interest those who have not kept themselves up-to-date with politics in India. But then, someone who isn’t familiar with Indian politics may not invest six hours of his life in this documentary either.

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The length of the series is the biggest problem with this documentary. Almost six hours long, it is stuffed with too much information to process. By the time you reach the final episode, you are likely to have forgotten some important information from earlier episodes. Maybe if Raizada had focused his effort more sharply on the issue of transparency in AAP and dug out more information, it might have made greater impact.

Also Read- Social Distancing and Lockdown are The Strongest Vaccine: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Another problem is Raizada’s fixation with dramatization. As he mentioned in an interview with Cinestaan.com, he had initially planned a feature film on the subject but later dropped the idea. Perhaps he could not completely let go of the thought, however, because he uses elements from the typical commercial template, like a melodramatic background score, to hammer his message home. All it does is dilute the authenticity of the documentary.

Despite these flaws, Transparency: Pardarshita is a brave and praiseworthy effort. 

You can watch Transparency series here: https://transparencywebseries.com/

Copyright: Cinestaan.com