Morning Brief: Israel To Roll Out Red Carpet For Modi; GST Impact: 22 States Abolish Check Posts

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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

Israel To Roll Out Red Carpet For Modi: As Israel rolls out the red carpet for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the stage is set for a more comprehensive partnership between India and Israel. Modi, who is set to become the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel, is expected to strengthen defence, water, agriculture, disaster management, innovation, startups, business and people-to-people relations. In a departure from normal practice, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not only receive Modi at the airport today, but will accompany him throughout his three days in the country. Modi said that New Delhi and Tel Aviv need to cooperate more closely in battling the “global menace” of terrorism.

President Gives Go-Ahead For Kambala: In a major victory to Karnataka and Kambala enthusiasts, President Pranab Mukherjee promulgated the ordinance legalising the sport. A communication from the top office said that the President has approved the promulgation of the prevention of cruelty to animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. Now, Kambala is officially legal in Karnataka. In February, the Karnataka government had passed a bill to legalise Kambala, the traditional buffalo race as well as bullock cart race in the state. Earlier in June, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice had cleared the bill.

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Rains Wreak Havoc, Gujarat Death Toll Mounts To 31: Gujarat has recorded 31 rain-related deaths since the onset of monsoon, the state government said, as torrential rain battered the northeastern region of the country on Monday, triggering a flood-like situation in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya. "Heavy to very heavy rain" is very likely in Arunachal Pradesh, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Bihar and east Uttar Pradesh, said weathermen. More heavy rain has been predicted for Nagaland and Manipur, where a downpour had on Sunday triggered flash floods and landslides, and hit normal life.

GST: 22 States Abolish Border Check Posts: The rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) across India has been smooth with 22 states, including West Bengal and Delhi, abolishing border check posts. Eight other states, including Assam, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and some northeastern states, are also in the process of abolishing check posts, a Finance Ministry statement said. One of the key objectives of the GST, which came into effect from 1 July, was to make India a single market, where goods and services can flow seamlessly. According to a World Bank report, Indian economy could save up to Rs 2,300 crore in transportation which they lost annually due to truck delays at state check posts.

GST Will Help Double India’s Growth, Says Suresh Prabhu: Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday that the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) will double India’s the gross domestic product (GDP) in the next eight-nine years. Addressing an industry meeting in Coimbatore, he said, "The GST aims at increasing the number of taxpayers. And, as the tax revenue rises, the GDP will also increase. Our GDP is $2.5trillion today and in the next eight-nine years, it will grow to $5 trillion if our tax revenues increase. In 15 years, our GDP will become $15 trillion."

Nagaland Declared ‘Disturbed Area’: The Union Home Ministry has declared Nagaland as “disturbed area” for six more months under the Armed Forces, Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere without any prior notice. Official sources from the Ministry said killings, loot and extortion have been going on in various parts of Nagaland, leading to the extension of the “disturbed area” in the northeastern state for six more months beginning 30 June under the AFSPA.

Voting Rights For NRIs: New Push By Poll Panel: The Election Commission of India has told the Union government that it can conclude the process of introducing voting rights for non-resident Indians (NRIs) within three months of the law being introduced. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said the poll panel is ready to implement the one-way postal ballot system for allowing NRIs to vote, if the government gives the go-ahead. If it comes to fruition, NRIs belonging to states such as Kerala, Punjab and Telangana – which have large populations of NRIs – will stand to benefit.

Microsoft Planning To Lay Off Thousands, Says Reports: Technology giant Microsoft is planning to retrench thousands of its employees associated with its sales arm the world over. The move is said to be aimed at an organisational restructuring to refocus on cloud software sales. The reorganisation will include a merger between its enterprise customer unit and one or more of its SME focused divisions, a source told TechCrunch. The announcement is likely to be made sometime this week, according to Bloomberg.

MUST READ OPINIONS/COLUMNS

Modi In Israel: A Civilisational Bond Comes Of Age: India-Israel ties across the ‘full spectrum’ will be the focus of discussions during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Israel visit. Although it will focus on economic ties, Israelis would like India to eventually stand up for its friend in international fora.

Sikkim-Tibet Border: An Historical Perspective: There is no question of India bending to Chinese “demands”, it must stand its ground firmly. That would be a sufficient lesson for the Chinese that the Indian Army is no pushover and this is perhaps the only way to deal with a China that likes to flaunt its economic and military prowess.

Privatisation Versus Anti-Profiteering: Bureaucrats and politicians have enriched themselves through public sector enterprises at the taxpayer’s expense. Air India is a case in point. The government’s job is to allow the self-organising principle of human ingenuity and societies to play out and remove the hurdles.

The Changing Face Of Life Insurance In India: The business of insurance is moving away from protection to prevention. Technology advancements, the connected world and data is completely transforming the life insurance industry.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

What Does Modi Want From Netanyahu? Even though Prime Minister Modi’s Israel visit holds immense symbolic value, it is not merely for symbolic and sentimental purposes. Here’s why.

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

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