Morning briefing: Two-day parliament session likely to pass GST Bill

GN Bureau | August 14, 2015



A two-day special session of parliament is likely in September to pass the Goods and Services Tax Bill, seen to be a crucial piece of tax reform linked to the Modi government's effort to improve ease of business and boost revenues. finance minister Arun Jaitley told the media that the Cabinet committee on political affairs on Thursday chose not to prorogue parliament, keeping the door open for both houses to meet at short notice before the winter session begins in November. The government seems to be counting on support for GST from almost all major political parties including AIADMK, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal and even the Left to push the law. "The Left parties supported the bill in Lok Sabha," Jaitley said.

Seven-layer security with cop at every 40 meters deployed in Delhi for I-Day
An extraordinary seven-layer security cover will be thrown over the capital from Friday night with the security agencies reporting a threefold increase in threat perception for the 69th Independence Day. There will be an armed policeman at every 40 metres on Saturday. Four drones will be deployed in central Delhi to keep a watch and helicopters will patrol the entire route. There will be 1,400 cameras at strategic locations and no vehicle will be allowed to come within a 1km radius of the PM.

Pak court sentences six to death for Peshawar school massacre
A military court in Pakistan has sentenced six men to death after convicting them of involvement in the Taliban massacre of 134 children at an army-run school in Peshawar. The six defendants - civilians convicted of aiding six gunmen who attacked the army school - confessed before the court.The sentences are the first known convictions for the December massacre in the northwestern city after parliament in January approved military courts to try accused militants.

Maharashtra to reject all RTI applications on Yakub's hanging
The  Maharashtra government will not reveal any information regarding the execution of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The state government has received several RTI applications seeking details of Memon’s execution. Many want to know the amount spent. But the home department has decided not share any information about Memon’s hanging by invoking Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act. It specifies potential exemptions, such as information that could pose a threat to national security.

Ambani brothers pact on spectrum sharing soon
With the government allowing spectrum sharing, Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Reliance Jio Infocomm are set to ink a pact that will enable the Mukesh Ambani-owned telco to offer fourth generation (4G) services over the 800 MHz band across 10 circles. The airwaves sharing pact will allow Reliance Jio to access 10 MHz of contiguous 4G bandwidth in Mumbai, UP-East, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Northeast, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

Flaw exposed: Facebook cancels Indian-Origin Harvard student's internship
After he exposed a security flaw, which the company was aware of, Facebook cancelled its internship. Aran Khanna, an Indian-origin Harvard student's internship was cancelled after he developed an app that pointed out the privacy flaws in the popular social media's messenger service. Khanna's browser application called Marauder's Map used data from Facebook Messenger to map where users were when they sent  messages. The app "capitalised on a privacy flaw that Facebook had been aware of for about three years: the Facebook Messenger app automatically shared users' locations with anyone who they messaged," a report said. Khanna tweeted about the app on May 26 and soon it went viral. However, within three days, Facebook asked him to disable the app and then withdrew its internship offer to him. Khanna detailed the experience in a case study published this week for the Harvard Journal of Technology Science.

'Godwoman' Radhe Maa to be questioned over dowry harassment allegations
Radhe Maa, who calls herself a godwoman, will be questioned today by the Mumbai Police on a dowry harassment complaint by a woman. Radhe Maa was denied anticipatory bail by a court in Mumbai on Thursday. A  32-year-old woman has alleged that she has been "mentally and physically tortured" by her husband's family at the instance of Radhe Maa and that the godwoman Maa may "escape to Bangkok."

Chennai engineer held for sharing child porn on WhatsApp
A Chennai-based engineer has been arrested for allegedly sharing pornographic photographs of a child on his company employees WhatsApp group on July 29. The complaint was filed by a woman colleague who is a member of the group. The investigators have recovered the mobile phone allegedly used for filming and uploading the obscene pictures.

Tata Sons increase AirAsia India stake to 41%
Tata Sons has increased its stake in AirAsia India to 41 per cent from 30 per cent, with a corresponding reduction in the share of Telestra Tradeplace's Arun Bhatia to 10 per cent from 21 per cent.  The Tata Group may increase its stake in the Chennai-based carrier to 48 per cent eventually. Meanwhile, the airline's board has promoted Mittu Chandilya to managing director & chief executive's post from CEO and accepted the resignation of chief financial officer Vijay Gopalan. The CFO's post is likely to go to a Tata Group representative now.

Sensex up over 150 points, Nifty reclaims 8,400
The S&P BSE Sensex surged over 150 points in trade on Friday shrugging off mixed cues from other Asian peers. At 10 am Sensex was 27,703 up 153 points. The 50-share Nifty index reclaimed its crucial psychological level of 8400. The market mood was good, with every six out of 10 BSE stocks trading in the positive terrain.

Cong demands expunging of allegations by Sushma against Rajiv Gandhi
The Congress on Thursday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan demanding expunging of allegations made by  Sushma Swaraj against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Sushma specifically responded to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's charge that she had got money to help Lalit Modi by telling him to ask his "mamma" as to "how much money had been taken from Quattrocchi" and "why did 'daddy' (Rajiv Gandhi) get released the killer of 15,000 people (in Bhopal gas leak)," an apparent reference to Union Carbide boss Warren Anderson.

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