30032017-TT-01.qxd 3/29/2017 10:33 PM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday, march 30, 2017 uttarakhand chandigarh | gurgaon | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 87 | 18 pages | ~3.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd Recover ~97 cr spent on ads by AAP govt: L-G New Delhi: Delhi LieutGovernor Anil Baijal has ordered recovery of Rs 97 crore allegedly “splurged” by the AAP government on advertisements in violation of Supreme Court guidelines. He also ordered an inquiry into spending on advertisements projecting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP and asked the Chief Secretary to fix responsibility. The reimbursement will have to be done within a month. PTI GST regime step closer to July 1 rollout Lok Sabha passes four supplementary legislations after negation of amendments by Opposition Ravi S Singh & Mukesh Ranjan Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 29 The Lok Sabha today passed four Bills to give effect to a pan-India Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allayed apprehensions by members with regard to institution of the GST Council and the definition of agriculturists, which purported to bring them in the tax ambit. SC: No sale of BS-III vehicles from April1 Four-tier structure for pan-India tax ■ GST Council has recommended a four-tier tax structure — 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. On top of the highest slab, cess will be imposed for first five years on luxury, demerit goods to compensate states for loss The four supplementary legislations — Central GST Bill, 2017; Integrated GST Bill, 2017; GST (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017; and ■ Central GST (CGST) law has pegged the peak rate at 20 per cent and a similar rate has been prescribed in the State GST (SGST) law, taking the peak rate to 40 per cent. It will come into force only in financial exigencies UT GST Bill, 2017 — were passed after negation of a host of amendments moved by the Opposition parties. A fifth Bill will be passed by the state Game for it Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 29 The Supreme Court today banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from April 1, the date fixed for BS-IV emission norms to come into effect. A Bench headed by Justice MB Lokur rejected the plea of automobile companies to give them reasonable time to dispose of over eight lakh BS-III vehicles lying in their factories and showrooms. It is estimated that companies have a stock of 8.2 lakh BS-III vehicles: 96,724 commercial ones, 6,71,308 twowheelers, 40,048 threewheelers and 16,198 cars. “The number of such vehicles may be small compared to the overall number of vehicles in the country but the health of the people is far, far more important than the commercial interests of the manufacturers or the loss that they are likely to suffer in respect of the socalled small number of such vehicles,” the Bench said. It said: “The manufacturers of such vehicles were fully aware that eventually, from April 1, they would be required to manufacture only BS-IV compliant vehicles but for reasons that are not clear, they chose to sit back and declined to take sufficient pro-active steps.” The Bench took note of Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar’s submission that quality fuel for BS-IV compliant vehicles would be available across India from April 1. As the news of the ban broke, shares of many automobile companies nosedived. The verdict came on the Environment Pollution Control Authority’s plea seeking a ban on the sale and registration of BS-III compliant vehicles after April 1. BS-III and BS-IV emission norms were implemented in India in 2005 and 2010, respectively. continued on page 11 ❝Congratulations to all the countrymen over passage of the GST Bills. New Year, New Law, New Bharat ❞ Narendra Modi, PRIME MINISTER Assemblies for the legislative process to complete the rollout of the GST regime. On the GST Council, which is empowered to fix tax rates, Jaitley said it was not aimed at compromising legislative independence of Parliament and state legislatures, as the legislative control would still remain as it is. The governments at the Centre and the states will incorporate them in their respective Financial Statements and Budgets. Hence, the final control will continue to be vested in them, he added. With regard to objections from the Opposition on the term “agriculturist” being defined under the GST, Jaitley said it was for the limited purpose of their registration. “The farm products will not be taxed,” he insisted. On why the Bills were brought under the rubric of “Money Bill”, he cited provisions of the Constitution. It enjoins that any tax matter will be under this category or will be deemed to be so. continued on page 14 Capt: Banks won’t harass farmers Bill on prohibiting defaulters’ land auction in Budget session Chandigarh, March 29 Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said lending agencies, including banks, had been directed not to issue auction notices to farmers for failure to repay loans. Assuring that the banks would not be allowed to confiscate their land, he said a Bill would be tabled in the Budget session to prohibit ‘kurki’ (auction of farmers’ land in case of default). “I will ensure no farmer is Rejects automakers’ plea for more time Satya Prakash /thetribunechd harassed in case of non-payment of loan. It will not happen,” he said. On CCL (cash credit limit), he said the government would negotiate with banks and that CCL funds from the Centre were expected any time. He reiterated that the Vigilance Bureau would probe the Rs 31,000-crore foodgrain scam. “An investigation by a third-party auditor would first be done.” The scam was detected by the RBI last year which found that the government had taken loans (known as CCL) from 30 banks for procuring wheat and paddy. However, the funds were either diverted or the grains not delivered to the FCI. On pruning the security cover of politicians and officers, the CM said this was being done as per the threat perception and Centre guidelines. The VIP culture would end, he reiterated. — TNS Phone, job, debt waiver in first year Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service BJP MP Rupa Ganguly kicks the ball at an event to promote football ahead of FIFA U-17 World Cup to be hosted by India later this year Footballs were presented to MPs by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. The Sports Ministry aims to take football to 11 m children across India PTI Chandigarh, March 29 The Punjab Chief Minister today said that despite the constraints faced by his government, which has inherited empty coffers, the three promises made to the people of Punjab, entailing major financial implications, would be met in the first year of the government — the youth would be given smartphones, one person in each household a job and farmers a debt waiver. “I am aware the state is in a financial mess. Even though we will come out with a ‘White Paper’ on the state’s fiscal health by the Budget session in June, we are looking at out-of-thebox ideas to fulfil these promises,” Capt Amarinder said. Sources say the govern- ment is in talks with a leading telecom company that will supply basic smartphones and will earn revenues through the use of its cellular network. For the best way to settle farm loans, a three-member committee of experts is being set up. The CM said his government would table a Bill in the next session to pave the way for waiving the farm debt. HC: Probe was shoddy, why not retry five ’84 riots cases R Sedhuraman Legal Correspondent New Delhi, March 29 The Delhi High Court today said retrial appeared necessary in five cases pertaining to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the Delhi Cantonment area as there were serious lapses in the investigation. Witnesses and complainants were not examined properly by trial courts, leading to acquittal of the accused, it said. A Bench comprising Justices Gita Mittal and Anu Malhotra also directed the Delhi Government to express its view by April 20 on the need for ordering a reinvestigation into the complaint of Jagir Kaur, whose husband Joga Singh was killed by a rioting mob, by the CBI or any other independent agency. “While recording this prima facie view, we make it clear that it shall be open to the (acquitted) persons to raise jurisdictional objections. A final view shall be taken after hearing all concerned,” the HC said in the 80-page order. Among those acquitted in these cases were Vidyanand, Balwan Khokhar, Mahender Singh Yadav, Dhanpat, Ved Parkash, Ramji Lal Sharma and Shiv Charan. The HC has taken suo motu notice of the acquittals of the accused in the five cases. On March 25, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to submit files pertaining to 199 cases that were closed by the newly appointed special investigation team. In the HC, the CBI had placed the trial court records in support of its appeal against the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and other accused. continued on page 11
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).