Withdrawal of AFSPA
The Center’s decision to withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) totally from Meghalaya as well as from eighth out of sixteen police stations in Arunachal Pradesh with effect from March 31 is a welcome move as insurgency-related incidents in the North-east have come down by 85% from almost two decades ago. It is a boost from tourism industry point of view as well as connectivity point of view as the North-east States comprise a critical pillar of the Government’s Act East policy which aims to make these States serve as a bridge between the rest of India and Southeast Asia.
All cash and no GST in Delhi market
On 01-05- 2018, I went to buy an electrical item from Bhagirath Palace (Delhi) which is the biggest wholesale market of electrical and other goods. The wholesale dealer monopolizing in the item (may be manufacturer himself) stated the price as rupees 2,700. In tune with cashless economy, I asked to accept payment through credit-card, which was refused by the dealer. Then I offered payment through cheque for which I offered reference of two other renowned dealers or delivery of the goods only after my cheque would have been cashed. But the dealer was very much hesitant in mode of payment other than cash. However, ultimately after my great pursuance and self-introduction, he hesitantly accepted my cheque. But I had to pay a sort of penalty of rupees 486 in form of GST at the rate of 18-percent which could be have been saved if I would have made payment in cash.
Two aspects emerged from the episode. Firstly, it is clear that wholesale traders are doing business mainly in unaccounted cash with no GST-invoice given. How can we fulfill the dream of Prime Minister for a cashless economy in such a situation which is largely common in every trade. The Central Government should make it compulsory for all those registered under GST to get credit-card machines installed at all their outlets.
Second is the large-scale GST evasion through cash-sale with GST imposed like a sort of penalty for all those insisting on invoices. Central and Delhi Government should take all possible steps to ensure that invoices may be compulsorily and voluntarily given by dealers without even being asked for. It may be considered as a non-bailable offence if some one is found selling items without invoice.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal,
Dariba, Chandni Chowk
Atal Pension Yojana
The Pension Fund regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has eased norms for families to collect pension under the Atal Pension Yojana Scheme upon death of a family member. Under the new provisions it is not necessary for family to show the original certificate, even a bank authorisation would do.
Earlier rules for settlement of death cases (before the age of 60 years) under APY, sought multiple documents from the spouse or the nominee along with the claim. Among the documents to be submitted were the original death certificate, KYC of spouse or nominee, proof of bank details for spouse or nominee and proof of relationship of subscriber with claimant.
PFRDA has now said that requirement of original death certificate need not be insisted upon. However, a copy of the death certificate duly verified by the concerned bank branch as a true copy is suffice to process the claims. It is highly praisewortly to note that the above simplification with help to reduce the processing time for settlement of death cases and increase the efficiency of operation to the satisfaction of the all associated stockholders.
Satish Kumar Sarma,