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Skipping Niti Aayog “against the spirit of federalism”: Arun Jaitley

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that certain non-BJP chief ministers skipping the Niti Aayog meeting in New Delhi was “against the spirit of federalism”.

File Photo.
File Photo.

“Those who chose to boycott (Niti Aayog meeting) must introspect whether not attending the meeting is in tune with the spirit of federalism,” Jaitley said at a press conference here after the Aayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded.

Jaitley said 16 chief ministers were present at the meeting.

Nine chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal and Akhilesh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh were among those who boycotted the meeting of Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog.

Also missing was Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, but Jaitley said he could not attend because of some other engagement.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who is in the US for treatment, was represented by trusted aide and former chief minister O. Paneerselvam.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were among the attendees.

(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)