07122017-CT-01.qxd 12/7/2017 12:52 AM Page 1 c m y b cHANDIGARH TRIBUNE THURSDAY | 7 DECEMBER 2017 | CHANDIGARH Principals’ meet Temporary affiliation Vijender to defend title Parents and teachers need to join hands to address challenges related to students’ safety. P2 Panjab University refuses temporary affiliation to 6 colleges for 2016-17 and 2017-18. P4 Boxer Vijender to defend his middleweight title against Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu. P6 FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY | MAX 24°C MIN 10°C | YESTERDAY MAX 23.2°C MIN 11°C | SUNSET THURSDAY 5.22 PM SUNRISE FRIDAY 7.05 AM Despite GST cut, no change in FMCG prices; firms to blame UT Administration finds serious lapses in levy during special survey, orders stern action against violators GST & AFTER Nitin Jain Tribune News Service ISTOCK Chandigarh, December 6 A majority of the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) firms have increased the base price of their commodities to deny consumers the benefit of a major reduction in the GST (Goods and Services Tax) on such items. Not only this, the prices of rice and pulses also remained unchanged even after these essential commodities were fully exempted from the GST. These were among the serious lapses found by the UT Administration during a special survey conducted across the city after the GST Council slashed the GST slabs on various commodities at its 23rd meeting held in Guwahati on November 10. After the GST was brought down from 28 per cent to 18 per cent on the FMCG, companies raised the base price and the MRP (maximum retail price) of such commodities was not slashed following which the consumers were still made to pay the same price without getting the benefit of 10 per cent GST cut on the FMCG, a top UT officer told The Tribune here today. Taking serious note of the lapses, which had deprived consumers of the the benefit of the GST cut, the UT Excise and Taxation Department and the Food and Civil Supplies Department have been asked to take stern action against the violators. During the survey, conducted on the directions of Deputy Commis- ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES The prices of rice and pulses also remained unchanged even after these essential commodities were fully exempted from the GST. sioner Ajit Balaji Joshi, five joint teams swooped down on restaurants, FMCG wholesalers, supermarkets and kiryana dealers to check whether bills were being issued and the correct GST rate was being charged or not to extend the benefit of tax reduction to the consumers. The survey of restaurants found that an eating joint at Panjab University, Student Centre, Sector 14, was charging 18 per cent GST instead of 5 per cent on food. The checking of FMCG dealers brought to the fore that the parent companies of the FMCG had increased the base price after the reduction in GST rates from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and the FMCG companies had not slashed MRP of goods following which the tax reduction benefit was being pocketed by the companies and not passed on to the consumers. The teams also visited registered taxpayers, who were dealing in the supply of rice and pulses and examined the prices of rice and pulses prior to and after the implementation of the GST. “It was noticed that there was no change in the prices of rice and pulses even after these essential commodities were exempted from the GST,” the officer disclosed. Under the GST regime, essential commodities like wheat, pulses, rice, unbranded atta (wheat flour), suji, maida, besan and salt were exempted from the GST while other essential commodities like sugar, tea, edible oils and spices were taxable at the rate of 5 per cent. At its 23rd meeting, the GST Council had reduced the rate of tax from 28 per cent to 18 per cent on different FMCG like shampoo, washing powder and detergent, leaving only 50 items taxable at the rate of 28 per cent. One of the major reductions of the GST was on food served at restaurants and eateries, which was brought down from 18 per cent to 5 per cent without input tax credit. “The departments concerned have been asked to initiate strict legal action against the violators,” the officer said. Chaos on roads leaves commuters in lurch Amit Sharma Tribune News Service A traffic jam near the Kalagram traffic lights on Wednesday. NITIN MITTAL ANOTHER PHOTO ON P6 Chandigarh, December 6 The busy Madhya Marg stretch between the Transport light point and the Housing Board light point, connecting Chandigarh with Panchkula, remained jammed for vehicular traffic for a couple of hours during the afternoon while the roads separating Sector 29 and 30, Sector 27 and 28 and Sector 46, 47, 48 and 49, besides several other busy junctions remained clogged during the peak hours in the evening, leaving commuters stranded. Madhya Marg was blocked by some protesters at the Kalagram light point, which blocked vehicular traffic when the schools got off, leaving several school buses and other routine vehicles stranded on the busy road. People heading towards Mani Majra and Panchkula, who were stuck in the jam, had to face a harrowing time. The police later diverted the traffic heading to the Housing Board light point towards the Modern Housing Complex from where the traffic was again diverted towards the Housing Board light point. Mandeep, a commuter who was heading towards Panchkula, said it took him almost an hour and a half to reach the Housing Board light point from Sector 26. Although traffic cops were present at intersections, it took Dy Commissioner in contempt loop Saurabh Malik Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 6 Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi has landed himself in contempt loop for his failure to decide a 99-year-old retired Army officer’s plea under the Senior Citizens Act. High Court issues show-cause notice on 99-yr-old ex-Army officer’s plea As the case came up for hearing this morning, Justice Rajan Gupta of the High Court issued a notice to Joshi to show cause why further proceedings should not be initiated against him in view of the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act. Justice Gupta also made it clear that the Bench would, on the next date of hearing, consider whether his presence was required to assist the court. The development took place on the contempt of court petition filed by Lt Col Pyara Singh Sarang (retd) against Joshi. Appearing before the Bench, his counsel alleged violation of the order dated November 6 passed by the writ court. In its order, the court had taken note of the submissions made by the counsel for the petitioner that the retired Army officer was more than 99 years of age. He had filed an application under Section 22 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, for eviction of unauthorised occupants. The application was with the respondent, who had fixed it for hearing on November 9. His grievance was that his case was not making any headway as the respondent was not deciding his application, despite the fact that he was more than 99 years of age. The writ court had disposed of the petition with a direction to the respondent to try and decide the application on the date already fixed before him or by the month-end. Seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Joshi, his counsel told Justice Gupta’s Bench that the petitioner’s application was still pending even though the period for deciding the plea had been prescribed by the High Court. He added that the respondent had “disobeyed the orders passed by this court”. Taking a stern view of the matter, Justice Gupta fixed the case for further hearing soon after the court reopens in the second week of January following the winter break. Poaching in the wetland area will also be dealt with strictly. A FILE PHOTO Sukhna to be declared wetland Encroachments in catchment area to invite strict action Ramkrishan Upadhyay Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 6 Encroachments in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake will be strictly dealt with as the Chandigarh Administration has started the process to declare the lake a wetland under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, notified by the Centre. The rules have strict provisions to protect the wetland. The decision to declare Sukhna Lake as a wetland is likely to be approved at the first meeting of the Chandigarh Wetland Authority, constituted recently by the Administration. The authority has been formed under the chairmanship of the UT Administrator. The committee has 15 members. The Adviser to the Administrator has been appointed the vice-chairman of the authority. An officer of the Administration said once Sukhna Lake was notified as a wetland, several activities would be prohibited within the wetland, including encroachment of any kind, setting up of any industry and expansion of the existing industries, manufacture or handling or storage or disposal of construction and demolition waste covered under the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, c m y b 2016, and hazardous substances covered under the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989, or the Rules for Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro-organisms Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989, or the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and TransBoundary Movement) Rules, 2008, electronic waste covered continued on p4 them over two hours to bring the situation back to normal. In the evening, several city roads were blocked due to repair works and non-functional traffic signals when the vehicular traffic was at its peak after the office time. A traffic jam was witnessed on the roads separating Sector 29 and 30 and Sector 27 and 28 in the evening. Commuters were stuck for around 30 minutes. “There was total chaos on the road,” said Abhinav, who was heading towards Sector 32 from Sector 27. Though traffic cops were seen manning the traffic, commuters complained of total chaos, which led to serpentine queues of vehicles stretching up to 2 to 3 km. Jail inmate thrashed in police van Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 6 A 36-year-old man, who was arrested under preventive measures, was allegedly thrashed by inmates in a police van on the way to the District Courts, Sector 43, from Burail Jail on Tuesday. The inmate was seriously injured and was later hospitalised. The victim, Sanjay, a resident of Colony No. 4, was arrested under preventive measures on November 30 following a family dispute and he was sent to jail. The victim was being brought from jail along with other inmates, who were supposed to be produced in the District Courts, in a police van when he was badly thrashed. The victim’s brother, Ajay, said, “Inmates started thrashing continued on p4 Hit by tipper, man dies Lalru: A 52-year-old man was crushed to death under a tipper here in the wee hours of Wednesday. The deceased has been identified as Gurmail Singh, a resident of Batoli village near Lalru. The tipper driver fled from the spot, leaving the vehicle behind. The victim was working as a security guard at a gas plant in Lalru and was going back home after finishing his night shift. OC Madan gets charge of P’kula SE Panchkula: Superintending Engineer, Ambala MC, Ramesh Madan has been given the additional charge of the Panchkula MC. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar had on December 1 suspended the SE of the Panchkula MC, DK Mangla, for “incompetency”. TNS Tremors felt in city Chandigarh: Tremors were felt in Delhi, Chandigarh and other parts of North India as an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale struck Uttarakhand on Wednesday evening. A statement from the IMD said, “The epicentre of the earthquake was Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand with a magnitude of 5.5 and a depth of 30 km.” TNS
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