Morning Brief: GST Clears Big Hurdle; Cash Crunch Easing; NATO Obsolete, Says Trump
Brief: GST Clears Big Hurdle; Cash Crunch Easing; NATO Obsolete, Says TrumpFinance Minister Arun Jaitley. (GettyImages)

Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

GST Clears Big Hurdle; Roll Out On 1 July: The Union government and the states managed to hammer out a consensus over the contentious issue of division of administrative control over tax assessees at the ninth meeting of GST Council on Monday. States have also agreed on 1 July 2017 as a realistic date to roll out the new indirect tax regime, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Cash Crunch Easing; ATM Withdrawal Limits Raised: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday raised the ATM cash withdrawal limit to Rs 10,000 per day but left the weekly ceiling of Rs 24,000 unchanged. The central bank also increased the withdrawal limit for current accounts to Rs 100,000 per week from Rs 50,000 earlier. The changes would kick in with immediate effect, it said.

Big Thumbs Up From Moody’s For India’s Economy: India will remain one of the fastest growing major economies globally in 2017 and the government will likely achieve its fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal year ending 31 March, Moody's Investors Service said on Monday. The global credit rating agency added that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth will moderate in the first half of the year as the economy adjusts after demonetisation.

Rising Income Inequality: According to a study released by rights group Oxfam, India’s richest one per cent now hold 58 per cent of the country’s wealth. The figure is higher than its global equivalent of about 50 per cent. The study also showed that only 57 billionaires in the country have the same wealth ($216 billion) as that of the bottom 70 per cent population.

WhatsApp Privacy Policy Under Scrutiny: The privacy policy of WhatsApp has come under the scanner of the Supreme Court, which sought on Monday a response from the Centre, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Facebook and its Indian subsidiary on a plea challenging the messaging service provider’s decision to share 160 million Indian users’ data with Facebook.

Kejriwal Summoned Over Bribe Talk: The Election Commission on Monday issued a notice to Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on a speech he made in Goa on 8 January that reportedly exhorted people to accept bribes from other parties. In another development, the top court has sought answers on a public interest litigation which has accused the Kejriwal government of illegally diverting Rs 900 crore from the building construction workers' welfare fund for other purposes.

Akhilesh Yadav Wins Party Symbol: Dealing a huge blow to Samajwadi Party (SP) founder and patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav ahead of the UP election, the Election Commission ruled on Monday that the Akhilesh Yadav faction is the SP, which is entitled to the party symbol, a bicycle. The faction led by Mulayam will have to go to the polls under a new name and symbol.

Alok Kumar Verma Emerges Frontrunner For CBI Chief’s Post: Delhi Police commissioner Alok Kumar Verma, a 1979 batch Indian Police Service officer, has emerged as the frontrunner for the post of director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), government sources said, adding a formal announcement is expected soon.

NATO Obsolete, Trump’s New Salvo: Just a few days before his inauguration as the 45th President of the US, Donald Trump launched a series of broadsides in interviews with European media. He said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is “obsolete”, Germany’s Angela Merkel made a “catastrophic mistake” on refugees, Brexit will be “great” and the US could cut a deal with Russia.


Civic And Policy Lessons From Bandhan: V Anantha Nageswaran examines Bandhan: The Making Of A Bank by Tamal Bandyopadhyay. It is an engrossing tale of detail, of transformation of a simple not-for-profit activity into a full-fledged bank.

How India’s Government Finances Stack Up Against Peers: Here’s a comparison how India’s fiscal deficit, and government expenditure, debt and revenue (as a percentage of GDP) stack up with its global peers.

From Plate To Plough: Growth Amidst Gloom: With the Agriculture GDP bucking the trend of decline in other sectors, can the government help the farmers sustain this growth?

Crises And Critical Points: The drought in Tamil Nadu and Cyclone Vardah provoked deep public discussions about the need to rethink infrastructure development and disaster preparedness.


Urjit Patel And DeMo: Time To Debunk False Binary Over RBI Autonomy Or Lack Of It: It would have been easy for Patel to claim autonomy and become the darling of the media. That he did not seek to do so speaks volumes for his real credibility.

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

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