Here are the top 5 news updates of June 12, 2021:
Tax on medicines, some hospital equipment and other items needed in the fight against COVID-19 has been reduced by the Goods and Services Tax Council today. The tax cut is based on recommendations by a Group of Ministers amid the pandemic, whose crippling effects on the economy has also hurt household finance, the constitutional body that decides rates for the GST has said. While GST on Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B is slashed to nil from 5%, the rate on Remdesivir and anti-coagulants like Heparin is lowered from 12% to 5%. Meanwhile, 5% GST will continue on COVID-19 vaccines.
Amidst speculation of making further division of Uttar Pradesh and creating three separate states within, the Yogi government today denied any such move. The state government clarified that all rumors in this regard are baseless and no such proposal has been prepared. It may be mentioned that ever since Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reached Delhi to hold discussion over the ongoing political crisis in the state, rumors were rife regarding the division of country’s most populous state. It was circulated in a section of media that Uttar Pradesh will be divided in three states ahead of assembly polls.
Maharashtra politics saw a flutter on Friday as many sought-after political strategist Prashant Kishor met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and the duo broke bread over lunch in Mumbai. Now, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik has clarified that in the meeting no discussion on appointing Kishor as strategist of NCP happened. "Prashant Kishor met NCP chief Sharad Pawar yesterday. The meeting lasted for nearly 3 hours. There was no discussion on appointing him as strategist of NCP. Pawar sahab wants to unite Opposition parties. Efforts will be made towards this objective in coming days," Malik told news agency ANI.
The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) formed an alliance today for the 2022 Punjab Assembly election, with SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal heralding the tie-up as a "new day" in the state politics. Announcing the tie-up at a joint press conference with BSP's general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, Badal said, "Today is a new day in Punjab's politics, a historic day...a day of big turn in Punjab's politics." He said the SAD and the BSP will jointly fight the 2022 polls and future elections together.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today cautioned that the chances of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic were quite real, while he asserted that his government was preparing on a "war-footing" to combat it. Indications are coming from the UK on the fear of the third wave. Cases are rising there, despite 45 per cent of vaccination. So, we cannot afford to sit idle, he said. Kejriwal was speaking at an online event during which he jointly inaugurated 22 new PSA oxygen plants at nine hospitals across Delhi.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)