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GST in Pakistan?

Our Bureaus | Updated on March 08, 2018 Published on September 25, 2016

Arundhati Bhattacharya: A little preoccupied, perhaps?

During the week gone by, two issues hogged the headlines — the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council meet and the militant attack in Uri. Not surprising then that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was quizzed on these by mediapersons, who were waiting for his briefing on the first meeting of the GST Council, which he leads.

True to his suave self, Jaitley’s rebuttal was “Do they have GST there? ”, thus making it clear what not to ask.

Anxious moments

Anxiety was writ large across SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya’s face after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s quarterly performance meeting with bankers in the capital.

A print journalist who approached her for a comment on the meeting was politely told: “You should direct all your questions to my boss (read Jaitley).”

Many hacks thought her anxiety may have stemmed from Jaitley expressing concern at the meeting over the worsening NPA situation and banks’ inability — especially the SBI group — to make any meaningful progress in recoveries.

But, that may not be the real reason, if SBI insiders are to be believed. The real reason, according to some, is that the Centre is yet to take a final call on Arundhati Bhattacharya’s extension, with just a few days to go for her superannuation (in early October).

Refrigerator syndrome

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently said how India brings the perpetrators of the Uri attacks to book will be decided by the Government. He said the Government is serious about this, adding that it is like the “refrigerator syndrome” where the light glows when the door of the refrigerator is opened and shuts down with the closing of the door because of the push button. But in this case, Parrikar said, the push button is non-functional and the light continues to glow.

Tourism no-show

A short video showcasing India’s tourism potential to a galaxy of domestic and international investors at the first-ever ‘Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit 2016’ never saw the light of day. When the moment of truth came and film was announced by the compere for the event, nothing appeared on the giant screen, leaving those assembled very embarrassed. It was thanks to deft handling by the compere, who apologised for the “technical glitch” and quickly moved on to the next item on the agenda, that the situation was somewhat salvaged.

Guiding light

That many small countries attract more tourists every year than India does is now common knowledge. However, when Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh reminded the audience at the Incredible India investors’ summit of this, they had to sit up and take notice. One must hand it to Naidu for his passionate speech on tourism and its potential in India. Never to miss an opportunity, he used the occasion to make a strong pitch for investing in Andhra Pradesh, especially showcasing the potential around the abode of the almighty Lord Balaji. For Naidu, tourism seems clearly very close to his heart. He even went to the extent of saying that he was not averse to becoming a tourist guide in Andhra Pradesh after retirement! Now, how many CMs in India would be ready to do this?

Well managed, sirji!

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently said at an event that although his specialisation as a student in IIT was engineering, management remained one of his favourite subjects. He said in daily life it is important to be a good manager. He then went on to point out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proved it by promoting ‘Make in India’ as a global brand.

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Published on September 25, 2016
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