The hotel industry or the hospitality industry which is also a key driver of the economy was hit due the arbitrary structure. Further, the 18% tax on AC, Non-AC restaurants resulted in lesser customer turnout eventually impacting the business.
The 23rd edition of GST council rolled out biggest ever overhaul yet. It removed as many as 178 products from its 28% tax slab and brought them under 18%, 12% and 5% slab. The tax slab of over 200 products were changed.
Effect of GST on Hotel and Restaurant industry:
As per the initial structure GST applicable was as follows:
|Establishment Type and Services||GST Rate Applicable|
|At establishments with turnover of <INR 75 lakh||5% (Composition Scheme)|
|Non-AC restaurants not serving alcohol||12%|
|Non-AC restaurants serving alcohol||18%|
|Restaurants with AC or Central heating (whether serving or not serving alcohol)||18%|
|Partly AC and partly non-AC restaurants (includes those serving and those not serving alcohol)||18%|
|AC Restaurants inside 5-Star Hotels||18%|
The hotel industry or the hospitality industry which is also a key driver of the economy was hit due the arbitrary structure. Further the 18% tax on AC, Non-AC restaurants resulted in lesser customer turnout eventually impacting the business.
Adarsh Shetty, the President of AHAR-Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said that this tax structure affected 90% of his business operations. He said, “As per the GST regime, whichever higher percentage is applicable to the establishment; the same percentage will be applicable to the all services provided by it. So, the AC/ Non-AC/ takeaway will come under 18%. We had no justification for the customers as to why same tax percent was levied despite differences in services provided.”
According to Shetty’s estimate, his business suffered 30% losses in last four months.
The latest overhaul:
As per the latest tax structure introduced in the 23rd GST council meeting, the tax percent has been drastically reduced to 5%. This will surely help revive the industry reeling under GST pressure. But it is hard to predict how much time will the industry take to revive after the implementation of the 5% GST.
The economic scenario of India is complex with 1.3 Billion people contributing to it through formal and informal sectors. The latest GST overhaul though definitely welcoming, the question that arises is, for how many more times the economy will run on this ‘trial and error’ formula.
Nationalised banks fail to protect nation’s money
The government should prune its stake in state-owned banks to a considerable extent. This is as per the directive of the chief economic advisor Mr. Arvind Subramanian. This has been reiterated by Assocham, the industry lobby as also the country’s Central Bank and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Needless to say that it has the backing of various expert opinions and editorials over the years.
The twenty-one banks in which the Government has majority stakes are bundled with bad loan that currently stands at nine lac crore and could well surge ahead if the onus is not directed in shrinking the pile. Nineteen of the twenty-one banks have posted an aggregate loss of Rs16,433 crores during the October – December 2017 period. The SBI which is otherwise considered to be profitable reported a loss of Rs 2416 crore reportedly as bad debts during the third quarter.
The need to scale down equity stems from a variety of grounds namely
The higher echelons of the bank administration are focused on political compulsions and rarely on critical administrative issues. The onus is squarely on providing loans or loan waivers to the farmers including various other welfare schemes. The stooges of the ruling dispensation then share bulk of the pie leaving very little of the funds for the common man.
While it requires a herculean effort for the man on the street to expedite a home loan from a nationalized bank a business tycoon can avail of the same by a mere phone call. Nevertheless, the defaulters are few in the case of the middle class when compared to the volume of the funds which is colossal in case of the elite class.
The nationalized banks hardly have the funds for housing or educational loans and even if they do have the process is painstakingly high and complicated. This is largely due to the absence of agencies designated to collect relevant documents for submission to the banks. This could compress the time frame for the processing of the loan and also cut down the frequency of the customer’s bank visits.
The loans are disbursed only to business conglomerates that either earns the bank’s trust or the trust of its employees with dishonourable intentions!! Manpower allocation is thereby limited only to a selective few businesses. This class of men are however treated with care and reverence lest they hurt their political masters. The loans are availed repeatedly while the payback is scarce. Vijay Mallya with Rs 9000Cr, Nirav Modi Rs 11000Cr, Vikram Kothari Rs 3700Cr and a host of other names that are shielded to avoid public wrath form part of the elitist group!!!
The government has upped the ante by sanctioning 2 lac crore as recapitalization plan for PSBs. However, it is yet not known whether the funds are meant to fill the coffers of the Ambani’s or Adani’s. Nevertheless, the custodians of the PSBs – the politicians in power have access to enormous funds that is passed on to ailing businesses at a cheap rate of interest. They leverage this resource and pass on the bill to the taxpayer. Finally, the accountability lies squarely on the fragile shoulders of the heads of the PSBs while the politician walks away scot-free.
The employee promotions are seldom based on performance but lean on seniority and age. Neither are they fired for nonperformance, unlike privately run banks where the onus lies solely on the merit. While taking sensible and calculated risk augments your career growth any attempts at deceit that is detrimental to banking norms will lead to losing one’s job. In PSBs both the stick and the carrot is missing. The result is a culture where the employees’ actions are not aligned with the bottom line.
Our PM can cry himself hoarse and blame Mrs Gandhi for her error in the nationalization of banks in 1969 and creating a budget constraint for banks. This has led to the once formidable PNB to be swindled to the extent of a few thousand crores of rupees!
How Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother saved him from Pakistan’s crooked plot
As American Fiction writer and Blogger N. K. Jemisin had put it “There is no greater warrior than a mother protecting her child”. Today, India can’t stop talking about one such warrior mother who saved her child from giving out a false confession.
Back when Pakistan government finally agreed to give the visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, India also pressed for the issuance of a visa to Kulbhushan’s mother as well. After months of application-rejection play up Pakistan issued a visa to Kulbhushan’s wife and mother. While a ray of hope shone in the lives of Kulbhushan’s family members; Pakistan did not miss out on the opportunity to portray this as “Humanitarian” approach. Little did anyone know that Pakistan had cruel intention behind this entire set-up.
The Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meet with his family was a trap laid down by Pakistan to force the former into confessing the crimes he did not commit. However, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother thwarted Pakistan’s plot.
On December 25, when Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife reached Islamabad to meet him, they were subjected to emotional and mental harassment right from the beginning. The media was allowed to fling insensitive questions at them, their religious faith was hurt in the name of “security”. But, Pakistan exhibited its coarseness when it did not allow the family to meet Kulbhushan in person and barred them from talking in their Mother Tongue-Marathi.
According to a Times of India report, Kulbhushan Jadhav greeted his mother with confessing that he was an Indian spy who worked with RAW. Strangely enough, he also confessed that he has engineered various terror plots across. However, his mother who was meeting her son after almost 21 months couldn’t believe the words coming from her son. She furiously interrupted him and asked why is he not telling the truth. She said, “Why are you telling all this? You were doing business in Iran from where you were abducted. You must tell the truth.”
The report mentioned that it was learnt from the sources that Pakistan has hatched the plot to use Jadhav’s statement as his confession. It is evident from the proofs that Kulbhushan and his family was made to sit on either sides of a glass wall. They were only allowed to communicate through intercom and in English. Jadhav’s mother after returning to India also told that it Kulbhushan was visibly under stress and the atmosphere was intimidating.
The sources also told the daily that part of Jadhav’s alleged “Confession” were handed to him by Pakistan Army and ISI. However, Jadhav’s mother interrupted which might have foiled pakistan’s plan to use the video recording of Jadhav’s statement in ICJ.
The Ministry of External Affairs still believes that Pakistan possibly play a doctored version Kulbhushan Jadhav and his mother’s conversation. But, it is also relieved by the fact that, his mother’s timely intervention may push Pakistan to do a cut-paste job.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday addressed the Parliament. She said, “We had suspected a notorious motive behind Pakistan retaining Jadhav’s wife’s shoe. And now, the Pakistani media channels are reporting that a metallic substance has been found in her shoe. If this is not the limit of coarseness, then what is?”
However, Pakistan’s foreign ministry brushed aside the allegations as “baseless and twisted.”
Plastic-free Maharashtra in 5 months, is it really possible?
After the deluge of 2005, the government was alarmed to the issue of plastic. But even the restrictions haven’t been able to curb the use of plastic. So while the decision to go completely plastic free is welcoming but is it really feasible for people of Maharashtra?
From a water bottle to straw, from electronics to cartons, from stationery to jars; one thing that is common in these is Plastic. There is no denying that plastic has become an integral part of our lives. Literally everything we use has some amount of plastic in it. It is the reality of today that the hazardous material is now omnipresent.
According to a study conducted in 2010-11, the amount of plastic in waste generated in Mumbai alone was 10%. In the following years it dipped to 9%. However, the use of plastic hasn’t reduced.
The Maharashtra Government has now planned to go completely plastic-free. After the deluge of 2005, the government was alarmed to the issue of plastic. But even the restrictions haven’t been able to curb the use of plastic.
So while the decision to go completely plastic free is welcoming but is it really feasible for people of Maharashtra?
We talked to environmentalist Vishal Tibrewal from My green society who has been working to spread awareness about going organic. “Going 100% plastic free is not really difficult task. We do not need to look outside to find any alternative to plastic. Instead of Plastic bottle we can use metal bottles. Rather than using plastic bags, we can use cloth bag,” Tibrewal said. He further added that people also need to participate in such steps taken by the state government and help the environment.
The state government’s effort to limit the use of plastic is not easy to enforce. In the past too, the state had tried to curb use of the plastic bags, but it did not succeed. For such a step to succeed, there ought to be a participation from the members of society. Awareness campaigns combined with penalties may help achieve the objective of reducing non-biodegradable waste
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