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GST Council increasing cess on cigarettes on 3rd week exposes government’s unpreparedness

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
In the first 15 days of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley noted that the 28 per cent tax rate plus compensation cess on cigarettes when translated, the impact of cascading effect had not adequately factored in, resulting in windfall gain for the cigarette companies. After the council meet, keeping in mind the reduction in tax incidence on cigarettes, the GST Council on July 17, 2017 raised the compensation cess rates on the demerit good.

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NGT focus on Ganga River cleaning, while Meghalaya water bodies neglected

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
In a slew of directives National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned all construction activities within 100 metres of the Ganga River edge, which is observed as serious environmental issue, also prohibited dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river, ordering that every offender will be liable to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000 per default. Most significant of all declaring it (Ganga River bank) as “No-development zones” areas where no construction, including commercial or residential buildings can come up.
NGT took a serious note of the Government spending over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to cleanse the Ganga River which still remains a “serious environmental issue”. The NGT order on July 13, 2017 observed that there are considerable unutilized funds as of today, besides the huge funds that have been made available under the national project as declared by the Prime Minister wherein Rs 20,000 crore have been allocated for the five years commencing 2015-2020.

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Garo NGO extends support to protest against railways in Khasi Hills

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim

The decades old standoff pertaining to the construction of the railway network in the Khasi Hills region between the Khasi Students Union (KSU) and the state government received support from the Association of Democracy and Empowerment (ADE), Garo Hills, on July 14, 2017, as the NGO put its weight behind the protest against the upcoming rail connectivity to the region.
While lending its support to this opposition against the advent of railways into the Khasi Hills, the ADE opined that the Mendipathar railway station, located in Resubelpara Municipal Board Jurisdiction as a branch of the Barauni–Guwahati line which connects Dudhnoi in Assam and Mendipathar in Meghalaya, has done nothing to help the region grow but only brought an addition of cases of crime.

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As Northeast traders embrace GST, Meghalaya still unclear about implementation

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
Along with the rest of the nation, Northeast traders, amid confusion and initial reluctance, have accepted the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, whereas the respective officials are still facing teething problems in its implementation. Meghalaya perhaps is in the worst situation, where there is no clue how to implement the new tax. While some traders have stopped selling various items for the last two weeks, other preferred to shut their business establishment to avoid unwanted documentation to the taxation department.

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India-Bangladesh border talks should focus on road communication

Written by Meghalaya Times. Posted in Editorial

Thomas Lim
Meghalaya is playing host to the four-day dialogue on border issues between India and Bangladesh which began on July 12, 2017, with Dhaka complaining about illegal killings of Bangladeshis and illegal entry of Indians into Bangladesh. A 23-member delegation of the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) led by Additional Director General M. Zahid Hasan arrived here in Meghalaya. U.C. Sarangi, the Inspector General of the Border Security Force (BSF), led the Indian delegation at the annual meeting.

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