Morning Brief: Parliament’s Winter Session From 15 December; I-Tax Law Set For Revamp; ‘Butcher Of Bosnia’ Convicted

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 23, 2017 11:50 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: Parliament’s Winter Session From 15 December; I-Tax Law Set For Revamp; ‘Butcher Of Bosnia’ ConvictedThe Indian Parliament.

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

Parliament’s Winter Session From 15 December: After much public outcry by the opposition parties, the government is likely to convene the winter session of Parliament from 15 December, a day after Gujarat votes for the second phase of the assembly election. It is expected to continue until January 5, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs is understood to have decided at its meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected the charges of a truncated session. "We are going to ensure that a regular winter session is held, but the dates of elections and sessions don't overlap," he said. The Congress and Left parties have accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "sabotaging" the winter session of Parliament that usually begins in the third week of November.

Income Tax Law Set For An Overhaul: After an overhaul of indirect tax regime, the Union government on Wednesday decided to review the 56-year-old Income Tax Law to bring it in sync with the economic needs of the country. It has set up a seven-member task force headed by Arbind Modi to review the Income Tax Act, 1961 and draft a new Direct Tax Law. The terms of reference of the task force include drafting a new law keeping in mind the prevalent taxation system in other countries, international best practices and economic needs of the country. The government said in a statement that the task force will be allowed to set its own procedures for regulating its work and shall submit its report to the government within six months. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian will be a permanent special invitee in the task force.

Pakistan Trying To Stoke Communal Tension In India During Election Time, Say Officials: Senior government officials have said that Pakistan is trying to stoke communal tension in India, including in Gujarat, ahead of the assembly election. They believe the reason could be the neighbouring country's failure to achieve its desired goals in Kashmir. One of the officials said: "efforts are on to create tension in Punjab as well through funding from abroad and the government is on guard as the next six months could be dangerous." Another official said Pakistan is fighting a lot of 'unexpected' internal troubles, including in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, and is facing local opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic-Corridor. This comes at a time when local support for terrorists is waning in Kashmir and domestic tourist inflow has hit a record high this year. The appointment of an interlocutor for Kashmir, former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma, shows the Centre's intention to engage with the civil society groups in the state, officials said.

Union Cabinet Clears Ordinance To Revamp Bankruptcy Code: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and sent it for the President’s assent. It is expected to be placed before the Parliament in the winter session. “Some changes are proposed to the IBC, since this is being done by an ordinance and till it is approved, as a matter of propriety, we don’t give the details,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after a cabinet meeting. According to sources, this amendment is likely to streamline the process of selecting buyers of stressed assets. It is aimed at preventing wilful defaulters and promoters with past records of fraud from buying stressed companies cheap. The IBC that became operational in December last year provides time-bound and monitored resolution to insolvency of a company. Over 300 cases are already being monitored by the National Company Law Tribunal under this Code.

Pakistan Frees Hafiz Saeed: Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed has pledged that he and his followers will play a strong role for “Kashmir’s independence” after a judicial body in Pakistan on Wednesday ordered the release of the Mumbai terror attack mastermind. A judicial review board, comprising judges of the Lahore High Court, rejected a request from the government of Pakistan's Punjab, to extend Saeed's detention by three months. "The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case," the board said. The board rejected the plea to extend his detention on the grounds of insufficient evidence, reported Dawn newspaper. Saeed may walk free in a couple of days if the government does not detain him in any other case. According to a source in the Punjab government, the government is considering detaining him in another case.

Green Signal For 15th Finance Commission: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to set up the 15th Finance Commission that will decide on the distribution of taxes between the Centre, states and local bodies. The Finance Commission is set up every five years, and the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission are expected to be implemented from 1 April 2020. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission are keenly awaited as it will have an impact on the way the income from taxes is shared among Centre, states and local bodies. After the Cabinet decision, the government will have to issue a notification constituting the 15th Finance Commission and announcing its terms of reference. The recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission were implemented from 1 April 2015.

Hariri U-Turn: In a major U-Turn, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday said he had agreed to suspend his surprise decision to resign at the request of President Michel Aoun, pending talks on the political situation. Lebanon has been gripped by the political crisis precipitated by Hariri's resignation, including the question of whether the premier was being detained in Saudi Arabia, where he remained for two weeks after stepping down. Aoun had refused to accept Hariri's resignation while the premier was still abroad, and even accused Riyadh of having "detained" the prime minister. The new decision came hours after the premier landed back in Lebanon for the first time since announcing his resignation in a statement from Saudi Arabia on 4 November.

‘Butcher Of Bosnia’ Convicted Of Genocide: Yugoslav war crimes tribunal of the United Nations has convicted Bosnian Serb military chief general Ratko Mladic on Wednesday of genocide and crimes against humanity. Mladic, also known as ‘Butcher of Bosnia’, was sentenced to life in prison for atrocities during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war. A three-judge panel at the court formally known as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia convicted Mladic of 10 of 11 counts in a dramatic climax to a groundbreaking effort to seek justice for the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Mladic, 75, was found guilty of commanding forces responsible for crimes including the worst atrocities of the war – the deadly three-year siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica, which was Europe's worst mass killing since the Second World War.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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