Cabinet Reshuffle, Jail For Beedi Tycoon, Congress signals GST rethink: Morning Brief, January 22, 2016

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 22, 2016 12:50 PM +05:30 IST
Cabinet Reshuffle, Jail For Beedi Tycoon, Congress signals GST rethink: Morning Brief, January 22, 2016

Good morning, Swarajya readers.

What you need to know today

Beedi tycoon jailed. Nisham Muhammad had rammed his Hummer into a security guard two years ago over a delay in opening the gates of his Sobha City apartments. The Thrissur court sentenced him to rigorous life imprisonment and asked the prosecution to initiate criminal proceedings against his wife Amal for perjury. She had been a prosecution witness but turned hostile.

Congress signals GST rethink. Kamal Nath said in Davos at WEF that his party is willing to forego its demand to put a cap on GST rate in the constitution but suggested government should agree to it in principle. However, he was firm on removing 1% additional levy for interstate movement of goods.

Cabinet Reshuffle clouds gathering. As per this ET report, PM Modi is all set to press the reset button on government’s leadership. Arun Jaitley may be moved to Defence Ministry. Piyush Goyal, who is being groomed for a big role according to ‘sources’, may get the Finance portfolio. Of course, all this reshuffle grapevine should be enjoyed with a bag of salt.

Other Notables

Foreign Secretary talks with Pak. S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart will soon meet for the first round of talks. Terrorism by Pakistan-based outfits will be the main agenda. Talks will be held on a mutually convenient date.

Full maternity benefits to surrogacy mothers in Maharashtra. It will be the first state to do so. All women in government jobs who have a baby using a surrogate mother can now take 180 days of maternity leave

Pay your taxes, rich people. Thomas Piketty’s advice for India’s elites is to open their wallets to remove inequality. The french economist hopes that the tax-to-GDP ratio which is currently a paltry 11% increases to 30-50% levels seen in the US. Communist China has been more successful than Indian parliamentary elites in collecting taxes from the rich, he said. But, Mr. Piketty, it helps when you don’t have democracy and in the US, more people pay taxes because the threshold is much lower. Though a fairer tax regime is in order, robbing peters to ramp up tax collections is not the solution.

Prashant Kishore onboard. He may lead the campaign of Congress leader and former CM Capt. Amarinder Singh in Punjab to which he has given his in-principle approval.

Putin gave assassination order? An inquiry into the murder of ex-Russia spy Alexander Litvinenko has found that his assassination order was ‘probably’ given by President Putin. The UK has accused Russia of breaching international law. Traces of Polonium-210 were found on Alexander’s teapot, which indicates state involvement as it has to be made in a nuclear reactor.

3 Opinion pieces you shouldn’t miss

And Diplomacy won: The fruits of the Iran Nuclear Deal, visible from this month, demonstrate the necessity and benefits of multilateralism.

India’s Export Crash: Make in India cannot be about handing out export crutches to the lame duck businesses.

More NGOs in India need to work with the Govt instead of opposing it: We cannot hope for good governance without civil society’s engagement. A well-functioning democracy needs everyone’s participation.

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