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New innings: Kamal Haasan to launch his party and flag

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Kamal Haasan will take out a rally from the house of late President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. About 10,000 people are expected to attend the rally.

The senior actor turned politician, Kamal Haasan will be launching his political party today in Madurai. He will also unfurl the flag of the party during this launch. According to reports, Kamal Haasan will take out a rally which will start from late President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s house in Rameshwaram and will conclude in Madurai, where Haasan will address the public as a party chief for the first time.

After the death of Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, political upheaval in the state destabilized the government. Post her death, the AIADMK, of which Jayalalitha remained a single power center, split into three factions. However, the two factions came together to form the government.

During the period of political turmoil, many actors expressed their wish to enter politics, including superstar Rajinikanth and actor Vijay, besides Kamal Haasan. However, Kamal Haasan will be the first among the three to launch his party. Recently, Kamal Haasan had met the Election Commission officials to register his party’s name and symbol.

According to some sources, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan are expected to mark their presence at the rally. Also, Haasan is expected to announce the key members of his party’s administration.

Kamal Haasan

Stage set for Kamal Haasan for his address to fishermen community.

The rally will take the first halt at Haasan’s native place, Ramanathapuram where he will deliver a speech to the crowd of approximately 2000 people or more. Recently, Haasan had paid a visit to Rajinikanth who is also keen on stepping in the politics and DMK chief Karunanidhi. Haasan had also met CPI’s R Nallakannu and Vijayakanth, the film-star who turned politician in 2005.

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Central government not in favour of slashing excise duty on fuel prices

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As mentioned by a senior official on Monday, the finance ministry is not in favour of cutting excise duty on fuel prices even though petrol prices hit a 55-month high in the national capital today at Rs 74.50 per litre, while diesel rates reached Rs 65.75. The finance ministry instead wants states to cut sales tax or Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel, he added.

It must be mentioned that the government wants to reduce fiscal deficit to 3.3% of the GDP in the current fiscal from 3.5% of the last fiscal. “Excise duty cut would be a political call, but is not advisable if we have to stick to the fiscal deficit glide path outlined in Budget,” he said.

“Every rupee cut of excise on fuel will result in a loss of Rs 13,000 crore to the government,” the official said, adding that the oil ministry has not yet officially asked for a cut in fuel excise duty.

State-owned oil firms, which have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, today raised petrol and diesel rates by 10 paise per litre each in Delhi, according to a price notification.

India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for half of the pump rates.

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Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry and 3 Northeastern states to rollout intra-State e-way bill from April 25

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Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Meghalaya are the 3 northeastern states to join

The GST council on Monday announced the third phase of the e-way bill system for the intra-state transport of goods. From April 25 this system will be further applied in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and Puducherry.

Till now the e-way bill system is applicable for intra-State transport in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

The union government issued a release and said: “E-way bills are getting generated successfully and till 22nd April 2018, more than 1.84 crore e-way bills have been successfully generated which includes more than 22 lakh e-way bills for the intra-State movement of goods”.

“With the roll-out of e-way bill system in these States/union territory, it is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, thereby eventually paving the way for a nation-wide single e-waybill system,” the government further added.

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Home Ministry withdraws AFSPA from Meghalaya, eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh

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NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry on Monday in its gazette notification has withdrawn the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) from the state of Meghalaya as well as eight police stations in Arunachal Pradesh.

The ministry has issued a statement that AFSPA has been revoked from all parts of Meghalaya and has been reduced from 16 police stations to eight, with effect from March 31, 2018.

Till September 2017, 40 percent of Meghalaya was under AFSPA.

The Congress member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering has been opposing the extension of the AFSPA in some parts of the state, saying it was “misused by the army”. Ering said that in the name of the Act, the army “harassed and tortured” villagers.

AFSPA is now applicable only to 8 police stations in Arunachal, down from 16 police stations in 2017. The Home Ministry has also enhanced the aid under the surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for militants in the northeast from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh. The policy will be applicable from April 1, 2018.

The government also relaxed the restricted area permit and protected area permit for foreigners visiting Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland. Restrictions, however, will remain for “countries of concern”, which include Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was enacted in 1958 to bring under control what the government of India considered ‘disturbed’ areas.

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