- CM approves a Rs 1,400 crore road project to link Bihar’s most interior riverine areas
- Bihar CM Nitish Kumar approved alignment of a two-lane state highway from Mansi (in Khagaria district) to Hardi-Chaughara (in Supaul district) to provide better road connectivity in the state’s most interior riverine part that exists in the bordering area of Khagaria, Saharsa and Begusarai districts. Major part of this riverine area remain submerged in flood waters for more than six months every year.
- The approved highway would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1,400 crore and it would have four major bridges on Bagmati, Katyayani, Kosi and dead Kosi rivers.
- This state highway would also provide direct connectivity to famous temple of Katyayani where people still have to go by boats.
· Fourth Edition of Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi
- Fourth Edition of Raisina Dialogue was organized by Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.
- The Theme of the Dialogue was “A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes”.
- The Raisina Dialogue whose first edition was held in 2015 is India’s flagship annual geopolitical and geostrategic conference.
Gk bit : Raisina Dialogue
- Organized along the lines of the Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore, and co-hosted by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and the Observer Research Foundation, it takes its name from the Raisina Hills, where India’s seat of power resides.
- The Dialogue, since its inception, has attracted academics, scholars, researchers, students, journalists and even politicians who are either interested—or are working—in the field of international relations, geopolitics, security, nuclear issues and Indian foreign policy. That is evident with the fact that even the first edition of the dialogue involved about 120 international participants from 40 countries, while the second edition attracted 250 foreign participants from 65 countries.
· GST exemption limit doubled to give relief to small businesses
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley raised the annual turnover for availing composition scheme to Rs 1.5 crore from Rs 1 crore effective from April 1, 2019, to provide relief to small businesses underGoods and Services (GST) regime.
- TheGoods and Services (GST) exemption limit has been doubled to Rs. 40 lakh annual turnover and Rs 20 lakh for northeastern states.
List of Items Removed from 28%, 18% & 12% GST Slab
- GST Rate Reduced from 28% to 18%
TVs and Monitor screen of up to32 inches screen size ● Pulleys, transmission shafts, and cranks, gearboxes etc., falling under HS Code 8483 Re-treaded or used pneumatic tires of rubber; ● Power banks having lithium ion batteries note that Lithium-ion batteries are currently at 18% ● Parts and accessories for the carriages for disabled persons ● Digital cameras and video camera recorders
- GST Rate Reduced from 28% to 5%
Parts and accessories for the carriages for the disabled person
- GST Rate Reduction on Other Goods (18% to 12%)
Cork roughly squared or debagged ● Articles of natural cork ● Agglomerated cork
- GST Rate Reduction on Other Goods (18% to 5%)
- GST Rate Reduction on Other Goods (12% to 5%)
Fly ash Blocks
GST Rate Reduction on Other Goods (5% to 0%)
- Vegetables in the state of uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water while being frozen, branded and are in a unit container
- Vegetable briefly preserved under the mixtures of sulfur dioxide gas, in brine, in sulfur water or in other preservative solutions but unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption.
- GST on Solar Power Generating Plant and Other Renewable Energy Plants
Prescription of GST rate of 5% on renewable energy devices & parts for their manufacture (biogas plant/solar power based devices, solar power generating system (SGPS) etc) [falling under chapter 84, 85 or 94 of the Tariff] or other equipment being used in such plants attracting GST.
Clarification on certain items having 5% GST supplied along with construction services applicable to the solar power plants
- GST Rate Reduction on Services
Services by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holder coming under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
Third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles down from 18% to 12%
Gk bit– Composition scheme
- Composition scheme is a convenient way for the small taxpayers in order to escape from too many GST formalities and pay the tax at a fixed rate based on their business turnover.
- Under this scheme, a taxpayer will pay tax as a percentage of his/her turnover during the financial year without the benefit of Input Tax Credit. The floor rate of tax for CGSTand SGST shall not be less than 1%. A taxpayer opting for composition scheme will not collect any tax from his/her customers.
- When the eligible taxpayer is opting for the Composition Scheme under GST, a taxpayer has to file a summarized returns on a quarterly basis, instead of three monthly returns (as is applicable for normal businesses).
- Turnover must be below (from 1st April 2019) 1.5 Cr (Rs. 75 Lakhs for North-Eastern States)
- Applies only to the Intra-Statesupplies
Traders will have to pay 1% tax.
Manufacturers will have to pay 2% tax.
Restaurant businesses will have to pay 5% tax.
- However, no input tax credit (ITC)will be made available.
· India’s Mary Kom becomes world’s top woman boxer
- Mary Kom, who had become the first ever woman boxer to win six world championship titles in November last year, has been ranked number one by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in the light fly (45-48kg) category.
- The 35-year-old tops her weight division with 1700 points.
- Ukraine’s 22-year-old boxer Hanna Okhotais ranked second, with 1100 points.
· Malala Yousafzai has written a new book titled We are Displaced
- Malala Yousafzai,the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist, has written a new book, titled We are Displaced, charting her experiences travelling the world and visiting refugee camps. Publishers Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Hachette India said that her travels through the refugee camps led her to reconsider her own displacement.
- In We are Displaced, Malala not only explores her own story of adjusting to a new life while longing for home, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her various journeys, girls who have lost their community, relatives and often the only world they’ve ever known.
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