Morning Digest: Council decides to keep petroleum products out of GST regime; France recalls Ambassadors to U.S., Australia over submarine deal, and more

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs the 45th GST Council meeting in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on September 17, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

GST Council not for inclusion of petroleum products: Finance Minister

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has decided to keep petroleum products out of the GST regime, while consumers will have to keep paying the Compensation Cess levied on products like automobiles till March 2026 instead of July 2022 as originally envisaged at the time of rolling out the indirect tax regime.

AUKUS | France recalls Ambassadors to U.S., Australia over submarine deal

France said late on September 17 it was immediately recalling its Ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after Australia scrapped a big French conventional submarine purchase in favour of nuclear subs built with U.S. technology.

India sets record with 2.5 crore COVID-19 jabs in one day

Over 2.5 crore doses of COVID vaccine have been administered by midnight on September 17 making this the highest single day vaccination tally so far. In his tweet Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “Congratulations India! India has created history on PM Narendra Modi’s birthday. By administering more than 2.50 crore vaccine doses, a golden chapter has been written in the history of the country, and the world. This day belongs to the health workers.”

Kabul drone strike was a mistake, admits top U.S. military commander

A top U.S. military commander has conceded as a "mistake" the drone strike by the American forces in Kabul last month, targeting ISIS-K terrorists days after a suicide bombing at the city airport, that killed 10 civilians, including up to seven children.

Nipah death in Kerala | The other virus amid a raging pandemic

Mohammed Hashim was wheeled into the chaotic casualty ward of the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode in north Kerala from a private hospital on August 31. “It was around 12.50 p.m.,” recalled Abdul Kareem (name changed), a healthcare volunteer. “Hashim (12) was on oxygen support, which was taken back by the private hospital staff. I fixed another oxygen mask on his face. Hashim was having seizures as if he was epileptic.”

Higher judiciary set for biggest reshuffle in recent times

Initiating probably one of the largest shuffles in the higher judiciary in recent times, the Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, is learnt to have recommended the transfer of judges across 14 of a total 25 High Courts in the country.

Challenges loom for Gujarat’s ‘all new’ Cabinet

The BJP’s experiment in Gujarat of dropping all Ministers of the erstwhile Vijay Rupani Cabinet is likely to face challenges as the State heads towards crucial Assembly polls next year.

Council raises GST on low-cost footwear, garments to 12%

In its first physical meeting in two years, the GST Council on Friday effected several long-pending tweaks in tax rates including an increase in the GST levied on footwear costing less than ₹1,000 as well as readymade garments and fabrics to 12% from 5%.

Railways planning major restructuring

The Indian Railways, the country’s largest employer and transporter, is heading for a major restructuring plan that could lead to the closure of major establishments, merger of decades-old organisations and private participation in running of its schools and hospitals.

Uddhav Thackeray’s ‘future colleague’ remark sparks speculation

Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday raised speculation about a BJP-Sena reunion after he alluded to senior BJP leader and Union Minister Raosaheb Danve as a probable “future colleague” during a public function in Aurangabad.

Xi Jinping calls for a ‘moderate’ Afghanistan

China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday called on the new government in Afghanistan “to adopt prudent and moderate” policies and said its neighbours should encourage Kabul to do so, with Beijing stepping up its diplomacy with countries in the region, including Russia, Pakistan and Iran.

FDA advisory panel rejects widespread Pfizer booster shots

An influential federal advisory panel has soundly rejected a plan to offer Pfizer booster shots against COVID-19 to most Americans. The vote on September 17, 16-2, was a blow to the Biden administration’s effort to shore up people’s protection against the virus amid the highly contagious delta variant.

U.S. President Joe Biden unveils plan to cut methane emissions

With about a month and a half to go before the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), the UN climate conference in Glasgow, U.S. President Joe Biden announced the Global Methane Pledge, a U.S.–EU-led effort to cut methane emissions by a third by the end of this decade. Mr. Biden made the announcement at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), hosted virtually by the White House on Friday, in which leaders from several countries and the EU, as well as UN Secretary General António Guterres and (India’s ) Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, participated.

United Nations extends Afghan mission mandate for six months

The UN Security Council voted on Friday to extend the UN mission in Afghanistan for six months, and called on the Taliban to create an inclusive government. The 15-member Council acted in a resolution passed unanimously on the UNAMA political mission, which deals with development issues, among others, not peacekeeping.

Davis Cup: Prajnesh loses to Virtanen

Otta Virtanen defied his ranking of 419, played a solid game and defeated the 165th-ranked Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-3, 7-6(1) as host Finland took a 1-0 lead in the Davis Cup World Group tie at the Espoo Metro Arena on Friday.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 3:45:14 AM |

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