Morning Brief: GST Council Trims Key Tax Rates; Rs 60,000 Crore Submarine Push; Theresa May’s New Cabinet
Brief: GST Council Trims Key Tax Rates; Rs 60,000 Crore Submarine Push; Theresa May’s
New CabinetFinance Minister Arun Jaitley. (GettyImages)

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

GST Council Trims Key Tax Rates: The GST Council lowered tax rates on 66 items after industries and states complained that the goods will become too expensive when the new indirect taxation system kicks in from 1 July. The panel reduced the rates for nearly half of the 133 items on which representations had been received, which included hybrid cars, sanitary napkins, telephone bills and ships manufactured in the country. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that reducing the tax rate meant a revenue impact for the government, but lower tax incidence could help improve tax buoyancy and keep inflation low.

Maharashtra Announces Farm Loan Waivers: Farmers in Maharashtra called off their strike after the state government announced a loan waiver on Sunday for them and decided to form a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief. The government also agreed to raise the price of milk. "We have agreed on the blanket loan waiver in principle and the criteria will soon be fixed. Apart from this, the loans of small and marginal farmers have been waived with immediate effect. Regarding other farmers, a committee will fix a criteria based on which further waiver will be sanctioned," Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said.

Government To Launch Rs 60,000 Crore Submarine Plan: Moving swiftly after unveiling a major policy for defence manufacturing in the country, the Union government is now all set to roll out the process for a Rs 60,000-crore submarine programme. The Defence Ministry is likely to issue the 'expression of interest' for the project soon, to kick-start the process for the mega deal, official sources said. The project is set to be the first one to be launched under the ambitious strategic partnership model finalised last month which aims to rope in leading private players for defence production.

NEET-Like Test To Recruit Judicial Officers: The central government has proposed to the Supreme Court an examination similar to that of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) to recruit judges to the lower judiciary. Besides the NEET model, the Law Ministry has also proposed that a "centralised examination" could be held by a "recruitment body" for selection of candidates and it can work under the supervision of the Supreme Court. The ministry has suggested various models to the apex court so that vacancies in the subordinate courts are filled up fast.

Don’t Want Another Stint: Rohatgi To Centre: The Union government may soon have to look for the country's top law officer as Mukul Rohatgi has written to the government saying he is not interested in continuing as the Attorney General (AG). He said he had enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the government and the bureaucracy during the three-year period as AG, but now wants to get back to private practice. "Even if I return to private practice, my services will be available to the NDA government, BJP and its leaders as and when needed," Rohatgi said.

Blow To AIADMK Merger Hopes: Rebel All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam on Sunday announced dissolving a seven-member panel formed in April to hold merger talks with the rival AIADMK (Amma) faction headed by Chief Minister K Panaliswami. The Panneerselvam camp, which presently has 12 MPs and 11 legislators, also said that the Panaliswami faction has not honoured their demands of expelling party chief VK Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dinakaran. "They've not sought CBI probe into Jayalalithaa's death," said Rajya Sabha lawmaker V Maitreyan, who was a member of the now dissolved committee.

Theresa May Unveils New Cabinet: British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed her close ally Damian Green as her first secretary of state as she unveiled her new Cabinet after the shock election results threw up a hung Parliament, forcing her to form a minority government. The Prime Minister had already confirmed that five of her top-most Cabinet posts will remain unchanged. The Cabinet appointments are seen as May's attempt at surrounding herself with as many allies as possible against the backdrop of a brewing rebellion within party ranks after the Conservatives suffered heavy losses in the 8 June general election.

Nadal Makes History, Wins Record 10th French Open Title: Rafael Nadal glided to a record 10th French Open title on Sunday, demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a brutally one-sided final which also earned the Spaniard a 15th Grand Slam crown. Nadal, 31, triumphed 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 to become the first man in history to win the same major 10 times. His collection of grand slams now stands just three behind great rival Roger Federer, a staggering statistic coming just a year after he quit Roland Garros with a wrist injury.


The Evolving State Of Indian States: Each state will have to evolve a different path based on its topography, its business mix and its initial financial position. States that are constrained by both current and future resources will have to fundamentally rethink their economic model. Other states, where debt burdens are low, could choose to invest wisely for the future.

We Don’t Need More Mandsaurs: The outbreak of violence in Mandsaur was coming. The farmers’ agitation began in Maharashtra on 1 June and the very next day, spread to Madhya Pradesh. For farmers protesting in Mandsaur and in many parts of the country, farm loan waivers are not a cure for a festering wound – just first-aid.

Which Businesses Will Define The Current Decade? E-commerce is the only obvious candidate, but is still unprofitable, and given the economics of the business, unlikely to turn profitable anytime soon. We are still looking – and that is just another problem with the 2010s.

Why Are Telecom Firms In The Doldrums? Most of the foreign partners of our telecom firms are afraid of infusing capital. Instead of undercutting prices among themselves, India’s telecom firms will be better off if they offer innovative products and services.


The South Kashmir Rage: What Went Wrong? South Kashmir with its real estate and people cannot be relegated in importance. This game will eventually be won through the wisdom of experience which clearly says, you cannot ignore the people.

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

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