19022023-TT-01.qxd 2/18/2023 11:24 PM Page 1 123 CHANDIGARH | GURUGRAM | JALANDHAR | BATHINDA | VOL. 143 NO. 49 | 18 PAGES | ~7.00 | REGD. NO. CHD/0006/2021-2023 ESTABLISHED IN 1881 HIMACHAL PRADESH AXAR SCORES 74 AS INDIA FIGHT BACK AGAINST AUS IN DELHI TEST SPORT /thetribunechd DATING APPS: FINDING COLLEGIUM SYSTEM NEAR LIFE PARTNER NOT TOP PERFECT, SAYS FORMER CONCERN SPECTRUM CJI LALIT BACK PAGE NIA IMPOUNDS 3 CARS USED BY TERRORISTS IN KASHMIR J&K sunday | 19 february 2023 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com Centre to clear entire GST dues worth ~16,982 crore to states Pinegrove School SCAN TO VIEW Cuts tax on liquid jaggery, rationalises fee for delayed filing of returns Tribune News Service IN BRIEF ED raids 22 sites in UP over scholarship scam NEW DELHI: The ED conducted raids across 22 locations in six districts of Uttar Pradesh in connection with alleged bungling of scholarship funds worth ~75 crore by some educational institutes. BACK PAGE Nikki murder: Gehlot’s father among 5 held NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police have arrested Sahil Gehlot's father, his two cousins and two friends in connection with the killing of 23-year-old Nikki Yadav of Jhajjar. The police claimed Gehlot had married the victim in 2020. BACK PAGE New Delhi, February 18 The Union Government has announced the release of the entire pending GST compensation of Rs 16,982 crore for June 2022 to states. The Centre will release the amount from its own resources and it will be recouped from future compensation cess collections, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while briefing the media after the 49th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council here on Saturday. Headed by Finance Minister, the GST Council comprises Finance Ministers of states and UTs (with a legislature). Of the three GoM reports that were taken up, only one, headed by Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, was largely adopted while differences persisted on the setting up of a GST appellate tribunal as the states wanted DUTY ON SHARPENERS SLASHED TO 12% ■ GST on liquid jaggery, which is 18%, will be nil if sold loose & cut to 5% if prepackaged and labelled ■ For pencil sharpeners, duty reduced to 12% from the current 18% DIFFERENCES OVER GST APPELLATE TRIBUNAL ■ Centre will release GST amount from its own resources & recoup it from future compensation cess collections ■ Of three GoM reports taken up, only one, headed by Haryana Dy CM, largely adopted ■ Differences persist on setting up of a GST appellate tribunal as states want more say in matter Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the 49th GST Council meeting in New Delhi. PTI more say in the matter. The third GoM report on online gaming could not be taken up as its chief and Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma is busy with the elections. Sitharaman also said Rs 16,524 crore to six states which had submitted the Accountant General’s (AG) certificate would also be released. Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are among the six states which have submitted the AG certificate. The GST Council also reduced the tax on several items, including “rab” (liquid jaggery) and pencil sharpeners. It also rationalised the late fee for delayed filing of annual returns. It also decided to tax services provided by courts and tribunals under the reverse charge mechanism. However, no decision could be arrived at by the fitment committee on SUVs and MUVs. The GST rate on liquid jaggery, which is 18 per cent, will be nil if sold loose or will be reduced to 5 per cent if prepackaged and labelled. For pencil sharpeners, the duty continued on page 6 Tele: +91 98050 04115 EAM S Jaishankar with Australian PM Anthony Albanese in Sydney. ANI Soros opinionated, dangerous: EAM Tribune New Service New Delhi, February 18 Addressing a session with Australian Minister Chris Brown at the Raisina-Sydney Dialogue, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said billionaire George Soros was “old, rich, opinionated and dangerous, who thinks his views should determine how the entire world works” and that such persons “actually invest in resources in shaping narratives.’’ Responding to a question, the EAM said: “People like him MEDDLING A WORRY We are a country that went through colonialism, we know the dangers of what happens when there’s outside interference… it worries us. S Jaishankar, EAM ❝ think an election is good if the person they want to see wins and if the election throws up a different outcome, they will say it is a flawed democracy and the beauty is that all this is done under the pretence of continued on page 6 Canberra must be vigilant against radicals: Jaishankar New Delhi, February 18 While underlining the need for Canberra to be vigilant against radical activities targeting the Indian community, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday noted that India-Australia ties were on track. At a meeting with Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong in Sydney, Jaishankar raised the issue of radical activities. Walls of two temples in Australia were daubed with anti-India slogans recently. Also, there was a clash between Sikh separatists and the pro-New Delhi diaspora in Melbourne. BACK PAGE Get poll-ready, voters will decide real Sena: Uddhav 12 more cheetahs from S Africa find home in Kuno Park; count 20 Tribune News Service Tribune News Service PROJECT CHEETAH New Delhi, February 18 In a major boost to the country’s ambitious Project Cheetah, 12 wild cats were released into quarantine enclosures at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. With their arrival, the number of these wild cats has gone up to 20. These South African big cats will be kept in the quarantine enclosures for at least a month before 2-8 age group of spotted felines 7 are male, five female 3 of them born in June 2020 8-10 years average life span New Delhi, February 18 Riled by the Election Commission (EC) move to allocate the original Shiv Sena name and symbol to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction, Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday asked supporters to gear for the elections ahead saying the people will decide which party is the real Sena. Addressing workers outside his residence in suburban Bandra from a car sunroof, Uddhav said, “The thief (reference to Shinde) has hurtled a stone at a beehive but he has no idea of the sting of honeybees.” Uddhav accused the EC of bias saying “never before in such disputes has a single faction been allotted the original symbol. The symbol has always been kept under a freeze but slaves of the Prime Minister have done it. Get ready for elections,” said the former CM, a day after NCP chief and his senior ally Sharad Pawar said allocation of symbol to Shinde faction did not matter. The allocation comes ahead of the impending elections to Day later, addresses party cadre A cheetah from South Africa at an enclosure at Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh. PTI ■ An IAF transport aircraft with 12 cheetahs from South Africa landed in Gwalior on Saturday Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai. TAKE NEW SYMBOL ❝ It’s the EC’s decision; there can be no discussion. Accept it and take a new symbol. Sharad Pawar, NCP CHIEF the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Uddhav also told workers that had nothing to offer to them and asked them “are you scared?” When they replied in the negative, Uddhav asked them to prepare for the elections. ■ From there, the felines trans- ported to Kuno National Park, 165 km away, in IAF copters ■ Eight cheetahs kept in sepa- rate quarantine enclosures at KNP four in two bomas in pairs , they are moved into acclimatisation bomas. A consultative workshop, involving international cheetah experts, scientists, veterinarians and forest officials will be held on February 20 at the national park. Last year, eight cheetahs were translocated from Namibia. Officials said the eight cheetahs were now in a hunting enclosure where they can interact with each other, and will soon be released into the wild. The relocation of 12 cheetahs from South Africa comes three years after the idea was mooted by the Centre, making it the world’s first intercontinental translocation project that aims at continued on page 6 ~120 cr heroin seized after gunfight at Pak border Delhi Dy CM Sisodia called Tribune News Service Gurdaspur, February 18 The BSF and the Punjab Police, in a joint operation, seized 22 kg of pure-grade heroin, two foreign-made pistols, six magazines and 242 rounds of ammunition after a gunfight with Pakistani smugglers along the International Border in Gurdaspur’s Dera Baba Nanak in the wee hours today. BSF DIG Prabhakar Joshi for questioning in excise ‘scam’ DERA BABA NANAK AREA NOTORIOUS FOR ‘CARRIERS’ ■ Villages near the IB are notori- ous for housing ‘carriers’ ■ A ‘carrier’ is an individual who collects contraband from near the border and delivers it to another person not known to him ■ This person has his face covered with a piece of cloth, thus making him unidentifiable to the ‘carrier’ ■ A ‘carrier’ is paid anything between ~2 lakh and ~3 lakh per delivery by his handlers ■ The police find it hard to break this supply chain as all characters are detached from each other pegged the value of the heroin at about Rs 120 crore. This is the largest consignment of dope confiscated in recent years from the area. Joshi and Batala SSP Ash- wini Gotyal were among the first to reach the spot. “We continued on page 6 New Delhi, February 18 The CBI has summoned Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia for questioning on Sunday in connection with the alleged excise policy scam nearly three months after filing the chargesheet in the case, officials said today. Sisodia has been named as an accused in the FIR registered by the CBI, but his name did not figure in the chargesheet. Arrested businessmen Vijay Nair and Abhishek Boinpally are among the seven accused named in the chargesheet. It is alleged that the Delhi Government’s policy to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge refuted by the ruling AAP — TNS . Sirsa cops cull 20-year records, identify Unusually warm Feb, mercury 7 to11°C above normal 210 drug smugglers active in district At 14.4°C, highest-ever min temp Tribune News Service Deepender Deswal Tribune News Service Sirsa, February 18 The police have identified 210 peddlers, who have been active in the smuggling and supply of drugs and narcotics in the district in the past two decades. The Kalanwali police station has the highest 35 peddlers under its lens, while the Rori police station in Ellenabad subdivision has 34. Sirsa is one of the worst affected districts in Haryana in drug abuse and peddling of narcotics. The police maintain that the district shares its borders with two states — Rajasthan and Punjab – due to which it becomes easier for drug cartels to KALANWALI HAS MAX 35 POLICE STATION NO. OF POLICE PEDDLERS STATION Dabwali Sadar 14 Dabwali City 20 Kalanwali 35 Sirsa Civil Lines 1 Bara Gudda 19 Sirsa City 30 NO. OF PEDDLERS Sirsa Sadar Rori Ding 7 34 9 Nathusari Chopta 7 Ellenabad 16 Rania: 6 | Odha 12 615 CASES LAST YEAR ■ Registered 615 cases under the NDPS Act in 2022 ■ Nabbed 1,415 persons for peddling drugs/illicit liquor ■ Sirsa SP Arpit Jain promises strict action against them operate from the district. According to sources, drug traffickers use Sirsa district as a transit route to supply banned substances via the county’s north-eastern states from the notorious “Golden Triangle” region which forms parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. The sources said the police scanned records of cases registered under the NDPS Act and identified 210 persons, who had been facing at least three cases under the NDPS Act. A dossier of these persons is being prepared by the police after which they plan to take act tough against them. Data compiled by the police from 13 police stations in the district reveals that with 35 peddlers, Kalanwali is on top followed by Rori (34) and Sirsa Sadar (30). Two continued on page 6 New Delhi, February 18 In an unusual development, several states in the country, including Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi, have been witnessing record high temperatures in the month of February, with both minimum and maximum settling 7 to 11 degrees Celsius higher than normal. Bhuntar, a town in Kullu district of Himachal, recorded a maximum of 29.7 degrees Celsius on Saturday, setting a new record for February, a Meteorological Department official said. “The above normal temperature ranged from 5-9 degrees Celsius last week, which rose to 7-11 degrees Celsius on Saturday. There has been a ANTARCTIC SEA-ICE COVER AT RECORD LOW ■ On Feb 13, 2023, Antarctic sea ice extent fell to 1.91 million sq km, as per the National Snow and Ice Data Center ■ This set a new record low, falling below earlier record of 1.92 million sq km on Feb 25, 2022 ■ This year represents only second year that Antarctic extent has fallen below 2 million sq km dry spell since February 12 in Himachal, which could be the possible reason for the abnormal rise,” said Dr RK Today’s issue is of 18 pages, including six-page additional pullout (Spectrum). Jenamani, a senior scientist from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). Bhuj in Gujarat has already recorded the maximum temperature of 40.3 degrees Celsius in February, viewed as an extreme weather condition, according to meteorologists. Delhi on Friday witnessed the warmest day of the season with the maximum temperature rising to 29.8 degrees Celsius, over 5 degrees Celsius higher than the normal of 24.2 degrees Celsius. “The maximum temperatures are in the range of 37-39 degrees Celsius over the interior parts of Saurashtra and Kutch and parts of southwest Rajasthan. These are in the range of 24-27 degrees Celsius continued on page 6 for February recorded in Shimla Subhash Rajta Tribune News Service Shimla, February 18 Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla on Saturday recorded its highest-ever minimum temperature for the month of February at 14.4 degrees Celsius, the previous high being at 14.2 degrees Celsius on February 23, 2015. The maximum temperatures, too, are running much higher than normal. Solan, for instance, recorded its highest-ever maximum temperature for the month at 29.5 degrees Celsius on February 16, surpassing the earlier highest of 28.5 degrees Celsius on February 26, 2021. 12°C ABOVE NORMAL IN DALHOUSIE ■ Min temp in Shimla on Saturday stood at 11°C above normal ■ In Dalhousie, the deviation from min normal temp was 12.1°C ■ Sustained higher temp could cause water woes this summer “The deviation in the temperature from normal is quite significant — at least 5 degrees Celsius. And the worrying part is that the trend of above normal temperature is likely to continue for the next two to three weeks,” said Surender Paul, Director, Meteorological Centre, Shimla. continued on page 6
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