YK MYK EARLY JUNE DATA SHOWS UNEMPLOYMENT TO RISE FURTHER OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA SUNDAY, 13 JUNE, 2021 PG- 8, YEAR— 8, ISSUE— 29 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) THE BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL MATCH IN PARIS: DJOKOVIC NATION Morning India Trinamool lashes out at Modi Government on Coronavirus tax issue PRIYANKA AICH BHOWMICK KOLKATA: Even though GST was reduced, Corona medicines and many products used to treat Corona patients were not tax free. 5 per cent tax is also levied on vaccination. In this contentious issue the Trinamool Congress targeted the Centre. On behalf of the party, Bratya Basu and Shukhendu Shekhar Roy held a press conference on Saturday. The ruling Trinamool Congress in Bengal called the BJP Government at the Centre as anti-people. Mamata Banerjee demanded that the products used in the treatment of coronavirus should completely be taxfree. The Centre should have accepted that demand. Instead, the Central Government took an antipeople stance. At the press conference, Bratya Basu said, "On May 9, Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter demanding that no tax be levied on all products related to Coronavirus treatment. Today, the Central Government said, they will take GST for ambulance services. They are maintaining taxes on all life-saving medicines. It's ridiculous. The Central Government is making joke with people. Despite repeated requests from our Chief Minister, they are collecting taxes. Once again they proved that their Government is an anti-people Government. No civilised country can impose tax on such products. " Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said, "Our Chief Minister sent a letter to the Prime Minister on May 9. Where she wrote the necessary Covid medicines and equipment should be tax-free. The Centre did not respond. Unfortunately, even it was not declared tax-free today. Ambulances are also being taxed at 12 per cent. This is the anti-people policy of the Government. We are protesting fiercely. The tax policy should be reconsidered immediately in response to the request of the Chief Minister. It is an anti-people position. Never before in history had it happened. The Central Government cannot be so irresponsible during this pandemic situation. We blame this Government for the pandemic. We strongly protest against this anti-people policy. And I am appealing to the Central Government to withdraw all taxes from all medical supplies related to COVID-19." In fact, Trinamool leaders have pointed out that the Central Government's decision to reduce GST on products used in Coronavirus treatment is also a result of Chief Minister Mamata's pressure. However, they are not satisfied. They will also agitate in the coming days to demand complete tax exemption for these products. Moreover, at the 44th GST Council meet on Saturday, lead by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, decided to waive tax on COVID medicines and all medical products on the day. Heparin, Remdesivir and any medicine recommended by the Union Ministry of Health for COVID treatment has been reduced from 12% to 5%. 5 per cent GST is still in force on COVID vaccine. GST on ambulances has been reduced from 26 per cent to 12 per cent. In response to the Chief Minister's letter, Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted that if the vaccine became tax-free, the burden will fall on the common man. ‘No exemption to mainstream media from New IT Rules’ NEW DELHI: All mainstream media, including print and electronic, will have to comply the provisions of IT Rules, 2021 with immediate effect without exemption as the government has refused to exempt them from the ambit of the new digital media rules. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has said that the rationale for bringing the websites of the organisations under the ambit of the law is "wellreasoned". "Making any THE GOVT'S exception of the CLARIFICATION nature proposed CAME AS THE will be discrimiNATIONAL natory to the BROADCASTERS digital news ASSOCIATION HAD publishers who RECENTLY WRITdo not have a TEN TO THE I&B traditional MINISTRY URGING TV/print platIT TO "EXEMPT form," the minAND EXCLUDE" istry said in a THE TRADITIONAL clarification to TELEVISION NEWS digital news MEDIA FROM NEW publishers, pubRULES. lishers of online curated content or OTT platforms and associations of digital media publishers. The government's clarification came as the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) had recently written to the I&B ministry urging it to "exempt and exclude" the traditional television news media and its extended presence on digital news platforms from the ambit of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, saying they are already "sufficiently regulated" by various statutes, laws, guidelines, codes and regulations. MORE ON PG 5 MAX 26 C MIN 22 C GST Council cuts tax rate on Covid essentials No relief on vaccination, 5 pc tax to continue Rainfall may occur. AT A GLANCE MEHUL CHOKSI DENIED BAIL BY DOMINICA HC NEW DELHI: The Dominica High Court has denied bail to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in the case of illegal entry into the island country after his mysterious disappearance from neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda where he is staying as a citizen since 2018, local Caribbean media reported. The high court on Friday (local time) gave the ruling by concluding that Choksi was a "flight risk", did not have any ties with Dominica and the court could not impose any conditions which will stop him from leaving the country, news outlet AntiguaNewsroom said. NEW DELHI: Amid calls for lower levies on items and medicines required in Covid19 treatment, the GST Council on Saturday decided to slash rates of several Covid-relief items to 5 per cent from existing 12-18 per cent levels, although it kept the much talked-about tax rate on vaccines unchanged at 5 per cent. Addressing the media post the GST Council meet, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the council agreed to go with the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) that was single point agenda on the council on Saturday. She said that while rate of tax on various Covid relief medical items has been reduced, no change had been made in 5 per cent GST rate on vaccines but it would not impact the public as vaccination is being provided for free. Sitharaman said that Centre will be paying and receiving 75 per cent of all the tax collected on it, which will be further distributed with states. She had earlier said that exempting vaccines from GST Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Saturday. ANI INSIDE PVT HOSPITALS USED ONLY 17.05% OF TOTAL COVID VAX IN MAY PAGE 5 would deny input tax credit on raw material and supplies that could impact its pricing. As part of Covid relief measures, the 44th meeting of the GST Council reduced GST rate on Remdesivir to 5 per cent from 12 per cent and that of medical grade oxygen to 5 per cent. The council has also reduced the rates on Amphotericin B, medicine used for black fungus and brought it to nil level exempting 5 per cent rate. The tax rate on Tocilizumab, used for treatment of Covid-19 has also been waived off. The previous tax rate was 5 per cent. The rate on anti-coagulants like Heparin has also been slashed to 5 per cent. Further, the council headed by the Finance Minister also decided that the tax rate on any other drug recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Department of Pharma. BKU stands with Bengal rape victim’s family, action should be taken as per law: Rakesh Tikait MI NEWS SERVICE BARBORA KREJCIKOVA BEATS PAVLYUCHENKOVA TO CLINCH MAIDEN FRENCH OPEN SINGLES TITLE PARIS: Czech Republic tennis player Barbora Krejcikova on Saturday fought an intense battle to become the first woman from her country to clinch the French Open singles title since Hana Mandlikova in 1981. Krejcikova defeated Russian tennis star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to lift her maiden singles major trophy. TOKYO OLYMPICS: PM MODI EXPECTED TO GIVE OFFICIAL SEND-OFF TO INDIAN CONTINGENT NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to give an official send-off to the Indian contingent participating in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Sources told ANI that the Indian contingent might leave any day after the send-off. Prime Minister Modi had given a send-off to Indian athletes bound for Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2016 and had interacted with them. "We are discussing the plan of send-off and Prime Minister is expected to do the send-off. As of now dates are not decided yet but it could be between July 10-15 and the contingent may leave any day after the send-off," a source said. PULITZER PRIZE Indian-origin scribe wins award for exposing China’s Uyghur Muslims detention camps NEW YORK: Indian origin journalist Megha Rajagopalan, along with two contributors, has won the Pulitzer Prize for innovative investigative reports that exposed secretly built China's mass detention camps for Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. The award in the international reporting category that Megha Rajagopalan shared with two colleagues - Alison Killing and Christo Buschek from an internet media, BuzzFeed News, was announced on Friday by the Pulitzer Board. This was the first Pulitzer for BuzzFeed WEATHER TODAY News, a digital news publication founded in 2014. While, another journalist of Indian origin, Neil Bedi, won a Pulitzer in the local reporting category for investigative stories he wrote with an editor at the Tampa Bay Times exposing the misuse of authority by a law enforcement official in Florida to track children. Rajagopalan and her colleagues used satellite imagery and 3D architectural simulations to buttress her interviews with two dozen former prisoners from the detention camps where as many as a million Muslims from Uighur and other minority ethnicities were interned. According to The Pulitzer Prizes' official website, Megha Rajagopalan is an award-winning international correspondent for BuzzFeed News, based in London. She has been a staff correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in China and Thailand as well as in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and before that, she was a political correspondent for Reuters in China. She has reported from 23 countries in Asia and the Middle East on stories ranging from the North Korean nuclear crisis to the peace process in Afghanistan. Her work has been translated into seven languages, been taught in classrooms at Columbia and NYU. On the issue of alleged assault on Delhi Police officers by protesters at Singhu border, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday defended protesting farmers, adding that the intention of the Police and Government is to instigate farmers. "They (Police) must have been in civil dress and farmers might have mistaken them for channel people (media) who portray their movement in a bad light. We do not engage in violence. Police and Government want to instigate farmers. If they (Police) have been visiting the site for days, contact should have been established. They can file FIR, but there should be something to write in it," Tikait said. Two Special Branch (SB) officers were allegedly assaulted by a group of protesting farmers at Singhu Border, informed Delhi Police on Saturday. G H A Z I A B A D / K O L K ATA : Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday broke his silence on the alleged Tikri rape case against the protesters and said that BKU stands with the Bengali victim's family adding that action should be taken as per the law. Tikait stated that the one who has committed the crime will be punished by the law. "BKU is always there for the protection of women volunteers. In order to avoid any incident like this, we have kept separate barricading for men and women, even the camps here are different, the washroom is also completely different. We keep an eye on everything. Such incidents should not happen anywhere. Our women are sisters and if any woman tells us that they have any problem we take cognisance of that and get into the matter to rectify it," said Tikait. "After this incident, we have increased checking, we are tracking everything as who has come from where, We have told the police that if they find any suspicious person, the police can remove them from here," he added. "We have met the father of the victim, we have told them that the United Front is standing with them and they should file a complaint on the MAN HELD FOR FACILITATING SLAIN GANGSTERS IN KOLKATA BJP leader Rajib Banerjee meets TMC leader over possible return to parent party basis of whatever the girl has told them," he added further. In connection with the incident of misbehavior with the policemen by the farmers in the Singhu border, Rakesh Tikait says that he (police officer) will be in civil dress. For so many days, if the people of the police are coming there, then there should be contact among themselves, they must be showing the photos in a wrong way, this may be the reason. MI NEWS SERVICE CHANDIGARH/KOLKATA: Punjab police on Saturday arrested a man whose credentials and documents were used to hire a flat for the hideout of slain gangsters-turned-drug smugglers Jaipal Bhullar and Jaspreet Singh in Kolkata. The arrested person was identified as Sumit Kumar, a resident of Meham in Haryana. The development comes three days after Bhullar and Jassi were neutralised by the Bengal Police, after they fired on them when they had raided their flat in Kolkata. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Counter Intelligence and Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) Amit Prasad said they have arrested Sumit, a close associatecum-business partner of Bharat Kumar, who helped Bhullar and Jassi in escaping from Morena in Gwalior and arranged hideout for them in Kolkata after they killed two ASIs Bhagwan Singh and Dalwinderjit Singh in Jagraon on May 15. Bharat was arrested with 30 bore pistol and Honda Accord car from near Shambhu Border in Rajpura area on June 9. KOLKATA: A day after Mukul Roy joined Trinamool Congress leaving BJP, former Bengal Minister Rajib Banerjee, who had moved to the saffron party only months before the Assembly elections, met TMC leader Kunal Ghosh on Saturday fuelling speculations of his return to the old party. Banerjee, who unsuccessfully fought the elections on BJP ticket from Domjur, went to State TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh's residence in the northern part of the city where the two had long meeting which later both described as a "courtesy call". "Please do not try to look into this as something different. I had come to see one of my relatives who is staying in the same locality of Kunalda's. "This is nothing but a courtesy call. There was no political talk between us," Banerjee told reporters while coming out of Ghosh's home. Ghosh also echoed similar views. Though the two said that not much should be read into the meeting, speculations are rife that many TMC leaders who had crossed over to the saffron party before the Assembly polls are waiting for an opportunity to return to the parent party. Talking to reporters after Mukul Roy's homecoming, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said Friday, "we will consider the case of those who had left the TMC with Mukul for BJP and want to come back." It signalled that this might not be a lone case of defection from the BJP's Bengal unit. However, Banerjee had clarified that TMC politicians and workers who left to join the BJP just ahead of the April-May Assembly elections will not be taken back. When asked about his current position, Rajib Banerjee said, he has some reservations regarding the saffron party's principles. "I definitely have reservations about the principles of the party (BJP) and I have let my party leaders know about it... But today's meeting with Kunalda has no connection with that," he added. Incidentally, Banerjee earlier this week had warned members of his new party over a social media post that "people will not take kindly to threats of President's rule against a Government elected with a huge mandate". The vehicle in which Banerjee travelled to Ghosh's residence had several stickers and 'uttorio' (shawl) of the TMC. After quitting the TMC in January, Banerjee had claimed that he was forced to do so as a section of party leaders "humiliated him for airing his grievances over their style of functioning". Banerjee had served as Minister in the TMC Government both in 2011 and 2016. Several former TMC MLAs including Dipendu Biswas and Sonali Guha have in the recent past sent letters regretting their decision to join the BJP and sought to return back to the party fold. Guha, who at one time was considered close to Banerjee, made an impassioned plea on camera seeking the Chief Minister's forgiveness. Guha, a four-time legislator from Satgachia in South 24 Parganas, had also written in a letter "the way fish cannot stay out of water, I will not be able to live without you, Didi".