23052022-TTC-01.qxd 5/23/2022 12:48 AM Page 1 13 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 6 NO.141 | 16 PAGES | ~5.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 SL CABINET PROPOSES TO CLIP PRESIDENT’S POWERS WORLD /thetribunechd PILGRIMS VISITING VAISHNO DEVI TO GET RFID TAGS SOON J&K A BALANCING ACT WEIGHING IN KEY PRIORITIES INFOCUS BJP ENDED ‘CULTURE OF CORRUPTION’ IN NE: SHAH BACK PAGE monday | 23 may 2022 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com Govt-Oppn slugfest over cut in fuel taxes FM clarifies excise reduction borne by Centre, won’t hit states I Maha, Kerala, R’sthan slash VAT Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 22 The Central Government and the Opposition traded charges a day after the former cut fuel taxes in order to check the raging inflation that has eroded savings and squeezed household budgets. While the Congress termed the cuts “trickery”, BJP president JP Nadda appealed to all states, “particularly those which have not passed on the benefits of rate cut announced in November 2021 to their citizens, to rise above politics and reduce VAT”. Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Kerala decreased VAT on petrol and diesel while some other states appeared reluctant, citing their inability to take more strain on revenue. Launching a fierce attack, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi compared petrol prices between May 1, 2020, and the present to say that “the government must stop ■ Punjab made big cut in Nov, ■ As per the Centre-state tax-shar- no fresh announcement yet ing formula, 41% of taxes collected by the Centre go to the states ■ These do not include collections from levy of cess; most of the tax on petrol and diesel is made up of cess ■ 25 states and UTs had cut VAT post-Nov 2021 reduction in excise duty to give further reprieve to consumers ■ States ruled by non-NDA parties like Maharashtra, Andhra and West Bengal did not do so ■ West Bengal to cut fuel tax if Centre lifts ‘economic blockade’ on the state ■ Goa not to reduce VAT as it ‘might hurt the economy’ ■ Karnataka to consider reduction in fuel tax FUEL TAX REDUCED CUT FALLS UNDER ROAD CESS TN ALREADY FACING LOSSES Excise duty cut on petrol & The Centre never consulted states when diesel has entirely been made in it increased the taxes and TN is already road and infra cess, as was also incurring ~1,000 cr loss due to the the case in Nov 2021. FM November tax cut. P Thiagarajan, TN FINANCE MINISTER ❝ fooling citizens. People deserve genuine relief from record inflation”. Reacting to the BJP’s demand, BJD MP Amar Patnaik said there was “limited scope” for revenue collection by states as they “already by one rupee, 41 paise of that rupee belongs to the states”. Following a series of tweets by Sitharaman, he retracted, saying: “The entire burden of the reduction falls on the Centre. To that extent, I stand corrected.” Sitharaman also said the tax collected had helped the Modi government spend Rs 90.9 lakh crore as developmental expenditure over the past eight years as against Rs 49.2 lakh crore spent by the UPA during its decade in power. Sitharaman took on both Chidambaram and the TN FM with a primer on levies on petrol and diesel. The excise duty reduction on petrol and diesel has entirely been made in road and infrastructure cess (RIC). This was also the case in November 2021 when tax on petrol was cut by Rs 5 and that on diesel by Rs 10, she said. The total revenue implication to the Centre on these two duty cuts was Rs 2.20 lakh crore a continued on page 9 STATES DITHERING IN NUMBERS STATE Maha Kerala R’sthan PETROL ~2.08/L ~2.41/L ~2.48/L DIESEL ~1.44/L ~1.36/L ~1.16/L ❝ have a narrow revenue-raising space” in the form of VAT. Tamil Nadu said the reduction was “partial” and felt “it is neither fair nor reasonable to expect states to reduce their taxes”. Faced with Opposition crit- icism that the reduction in excise duty would reduce the share of states in central taxes, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said this was done in road and infrastructure cess wherein the collection was not shared with states. An immediate outcome was that former Finance Minister P Chidambaram retracted his tweet which stated that “FM’s exhortation to states is meaningless. When she cuts central excise Fight for remunerative prices: KCR to farmers Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service PacersUmran, Arshdeep pickedfor T20Is vs SA New Delhi: J&K pace sensation Umran Malik on Sunday earned an India call-up for the coming five-match T20 International home series against South Africa starting June 9. Punjab Kings’ death overs specialist Arshdeep Singh has also earned his maiden national call-up.— PTI Chandigarh, May 22 Three non-BJP CMs — K Chandrashekhar Rao (Telangana), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi) and Bhagwant Mann (Punjab) — shared a platform here on Sunday to pay tribute to farmers who died during the anti-farm laws stir as well as the Galwan Valley martyrs. Amid sloganeering, the Rao urged the farmers to launch a nationwide stir to demand a constitutional guarantee on IN BRIEF 6-yr-old falls into borewell in Hoshiarpur, dies GARHDIWALA: A six-year-old boy died hours after falling into a 300ft borewell in a Hoshiarpur village on Sunday. He was pulled out after 8 hours and taken to a hospital where he was declared dead. INSIDE Dominica drops illegal entry charge against Choksi NEW DELHI: In a relief to PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi, the Dominica government has dropped “all charges” related to his illegal entry from Antigua and Barbuda in May last year. BACK PAGE Goa-origin Mascarenhas elected to Aus Parliament NEW DELHI: Goa-origin Zaneta Mascarenhas (Labor Party) has been elected to Australian Parliament from Perth. She is the first woman to hold inner Perth seat of Swan in its 101-year history. TNS Jolt to BJP as LS MP Arjun Singh returns to TMC In a setback to the BJP in West Bengal, Lok Sabha member from the Barrackpore constituency Arjun Singh on Sunday joined the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). BACK PAGE NEW DELHI: 3-member panel to probe Ramban tunnel collapse New Delhi, May 22 The Centre has constituted a committee of three experts to look into the reasons for the recent collapse of a part of under-construction tunnel in Ramban on the Jammu-Srinagar highway and suggest remedial measures. The panel will give its report by the month-end. “Further action will be taken based on the report of the committee,” said an official statement issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The members of the committee are IIT-Delhi professor JT Shahu, MD of FGS Consultants Vinod MSP for all crops. He challenged decision of the Centre on prepaid smart meters for farm consumers, a simmering issue in Punjab. Kejriwal said his government was under pressure from the Centre to convert stadiums into jails and send protesting farmers there, “but we withstood the pressure.” Rao, Kejriwal and Mann distributed cheques for Rs 3 lakh each to kin of the deceased farmers and Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of Galwan martyrs. MORE INSIDE Chief Ministers Bhagwant Mann, Arvind Kejriwal and K Chandrashekar Rao disburse relief to the kin of farmers, who died during the Delhi stir, at a function in Chandigarh on Sunday. NITIN MITTAL ASIA CUP DAY1:INDIATAKEON ARCHRIVALS PAK ■ Indian men’s hockey team will open its title defence against archrivals Pakistan in Jakarta on Monday ■ The team will be led by veteran Birendra Lakra, who came out of retirement after the Tokyo Olympics ■ Asia Cup provides Indian team a platform to test its bench strength ahead of Birmingham C’wealth Games Birendra Lakra, captain ■ Pakistan, on the other hand, is looking to make the cut for the 2023 World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar ❝ Any match against Pakistan is always charged up. But if we become too excited, junior players may come under pressure. So we need to take it as a normal match. SV Sunil, VICE-CAPTAIN Quad to take up global concerns, Indo-Pacific Tribune News Service New Delhi, May 22 The second in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit in Japan will provide an opportunity to leaders of the four countries to review the progress of the grouping’s initiatives and exchange views on developments in the IndoPacific region as well as on global issues of mutual interest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday. In a pre-departure statement before his visit to Tokyo from May 23 to 24, the PM mentioned that he would have bilaterals with US President Joe Biden, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and the newly elected Australian PM Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the Quad summit. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia. “I will hold a bilateral meeting with President Joseph Biden, where we will discuss further consolidation of our multi-faceted bilateral relations with the US. We will also continue our Modi to hold bilaterals with Biden, Albanese PM Modi leaves for Tokyo. PTI dialogue on regional developments and contemporary global issues,” said the predeparture statement. In March this year, PM Modi had hosted Kishida for the 14th India-Japan Annual Summit during which Tokyo continued on page 9 IEDs were meant for targeting trains, Unable to repay loans, hotels among public places: Ludhiana blast accused 163 Kangra properties stare at auction PK Jaiswar Lalit Mohan Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Amritsar, May 22 Trains and public places were the intended targets for planting improvised explosive device (IEDs) so as to cause blasts and disturb peace in Punjab. This came to light during the interrogation of drugs and arms trafficker Surmukh Singh and his courier Dilbagh Singh (alias Baggo), who were arrested by the special task force (STF) in connection with the December 23 Ludhiana court blast. The STF was on trail of persons involved in cross-border drugs and arms smuggling when it found their involvement in retrieving the IED used in the Ludhiana court Dharamsala, May 22 Two years of Covid recession and the declining tourist footfall have taken a toll on hotels and other commercial properties in Kangra with 163 of these either being sealed or on the verge of it for faltering on loan repayment. As per data collected by The Tribune, most of these properties comprise hotels, which are facing action under the Sarfaesi (Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest) Act, 2002. The banks have approached the district authorities to get these properties auctioned to recover their dues. The Ludhiana court complex after the blast in December 2021. FILE ~5 LAKH FOR PLANTING EXPLOSIVES ■ Dilbagh Singh, who owns 4 acres across the barbed border fence, used to retrieve for Surmukh consignments from near the International Border after these were blast. Besides Surmukh and Dilbagh Singh, it nabbed three other persons, including Sawinder Singh (alias dropped there by drones ■ They used to get ~5 lakh from ISI-supported groups for retrieving and planting IEDs and ~2 lakh for retrieving a heroin consignment Bhola) of Dhanoe Khurd village, Harpreet Singh of Dhanoe Khurd and a juvenile, continued on page 9 HOTELIERS BLAME IT ON STATE GOVT ■ Banks sealed the properties and listed them for auction after they turned NPAs ■ Hoteliers blame Covid and declining tourist footfall for poor business ■ They also put onus on Himachal Pradesh Government for ‘failing to promote’ the tourism sector This week, two famous hotels were sealed in Dharamsala under the Act, which empowers banks and other financial institutions to take over and auction properties that turn NPAs (non-performing assets) after loans are not repaid. The orders to seal the properties are given to the banks by district magistrates. Kangra Deputy Commissioner Nipun Jindal said proceedings in bad debt cases were carried out on the request of banks and the 163 cases may have piled up over the past year. The Upper Dharamsala Hotel and continued on page 9 Panipat textile exports down 60%, courtesy Ukraine war, rise in yarn prices Mukesh Tandon Tribune News Service Shukla and a representative of the DG (BR). Ten workers died in the mishap that took place on Thursday night. The statement said kin of the deceased workers would get a compensation of Rs 16 lakh each. It is yet to be determined whether the incident occurred due to work being executed or due to natural reasons, the statement added. — TNS Panipat, May 22 The Russia-Ukraine war, hike in cotton yarn prices and freight charges have hit Panipat’s export business by up to 60 per cent this year. Cancellation and halting of orders has put exporters in trouble. Panipat generally has around Rs 45,000-crore annual turnover, including Rs 15,000 crore from exports alone. Around 450 units functioning here export hand- THE INDUSTRY THE BLOW ~45,000-cr annual turnover ~330 ~190 18% per kg is the cotton yarn price; up from the earlier ~160/kg per kg price of open-end yarn; up from ~120/kg hike in the production cost due to the increased freight charges of Panipat textile industry ~15,000 cr out of this comes from exports only ~8,000 cr likely reduction in exports, if the situation does not improve 450 textile export units functional in Panipat loom products, blankets, bed sheets, cushions and hundreds of other items all over << A textile unit in Panipat. FILE the world. Lalit Goyal, president of the Panipat Exporters’ Association, said Today’s issue is of 16 pages, including four-page Jalandhar Tribune. cotton yarn prices had increased to around Rs 330 per kg from Rs 160 per kg earlier. Open-end yarn, which was earlier available at Rs 120 a kg, had gone up to Rs 170-190 a kg now, he said. The slowdown in exports started in the beginning of this year. There were hardly any fresh orders from overseas buyers. The previously placed orders were also cancelled or held up by them, Goyal asserted. “If the situation doesn’t improve in the coming days, textile exporters will lose business worth around Rs 7000-8000 crore this fiscal. That will be a big setback for Panipat-based exporters,” he said. Ashok Gupta, vice-president of the association, said skyrocketing freight charges had increased the production cost by 15-18 per cent. “The economic conditions in America and Europe have led to a slump in demand, thus adversely affecting the Panipat textile industry. If the situation doesn’t improve, employment crisis will also set in,” he said.
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).