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‘Jason Bourne’: Flimsy plot with stylised action (IANS Movie Review, Rating: ***)

‘Jason Bourne’: Flimsy plot with stylised action (IANS Movie Review, Rating: ***)

By Troy Ribeiro

Film: “Jason Bourne”; Director: Paul Greengrass; Cast: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd, Bill Camp, Vinzene Kiefer, Stephen Kunken; Rating: ***

For those uninitiated with the Bourne franchise, “Jason Bourne” is the fifth film in the series and the fourth one with Matt Damon as the central figure after “The Bourne Identity” (2002), “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004) and “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007).

“The Bourne Legacy” which was released in 2012 featured Jeremy Renner as the lead.

So technically “Jason Bourne” picks up nine years later if we follow the timelines of reality. It is a stylistic action thriller mounted on a paper-thin plot with a lot of perfunctory chase sequences made up of shaky cam photography and snappy edits.

The plot revolves around the eponymous character, the CIA’s most lethal former operative on a revenge trail where he discovers something personal about his life that makes him the man he is today.

The narration begins with crisp scenes jumping locations from; Greece- Albanian border to Reykjavik in Iceland to the CIA Headquarters in Langley to McLean in Virginia to the Deep Dream Corporation Conference in the Silicon Valley in California, Rome and later to Athens.

It reveals how Bourne survived as a street fighter, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) Bourne’s former colleague hacks into a CIA mainframe and downloads a list of illicit programs onto a memory stick, The New CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) has a keen young analyst, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) who has located Nicky and suspects that she like Bourne, has deserted the CIA and is now in possession of a top secret file, whose public revelation “could be worse than Snowden.”

It is only after about twenty five minutes of visceral excitement which includes an action-packed riot scene and Bourne swears to “take down the corrupt institution that destroys the society,” that you actually get hooked.

Scripted by the Director Paul Greengrass and Editor Christopher Rouse, the plot development isn’t memorable. But what they deliver are waves of thrilling action-packed sequences, to the point of insanity. And, it is worth the wait to see the action presented on screen. It is too competent to be discarded as outstandingly bad.

The effort fuses high production values with well-choreographed and exciting action which includes some real stunts and real car chases. Some CGI frames do seem tacky though.

On the directorial front, Greengrass’ style is very realistic and even though he uses a shaky cam, it is executed in a specific manner which is not disorienting. He ensures that Barry Ackroyd’s camerawork with mid-shots and close-ups, jerks and dives to thrilling effects during the climactic sequence. The motion gives the feeling of actually being physically hit before descending into a blurry mishmash where the human combatants are no longer visible. The snappy edits, at times, flare your nerves.

On the performance front, Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, with the addition of Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander and Vincent Cassel play very professional yet flawed, one-dimensional characters to perfection. And they have their tense character moments too.

Overall the film ends on a flat note with quite a bit of promise for the future.

Troy Ribeiro,Film,”Jason Bourne”,Director Paul Greengrass,Cast,Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, Riz Ahmed, Ato Essandoh, Scott Shepherd, Bill Camp, Vinzene Kiefer, Stephen Kunken,IANS

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DELHI, India, Judiciary, North India

LG has primacy over Delhi’s administration: HC

LG has primacy over Delhi’s administration: HC

New Delhi:

In a major setback to the Arvind Kejriwal government, the Delhi High Court on Thursday said that the Lt. Governor (LG) is not bound by the aid and advice of the Delhi government’s council of ministers.
A division bench of Chief Justice G.Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath ruled that Delhi government notifications must be issued after consulting the LG.

“Policy direction can’t be issued without communicating to Lt. Governor,” the bench said.

The court said that it is constitutionally correct that Anti-Corruption Branch cannot initiate investigation against central government officials.

The court’s judgement came on nine different petitions arising out of the spat between the LG and Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government over the power to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues.

–IANS

New Delhi,Arvind Kejriwal,Delhi High Court,Lt. Governor,LG,Delhi government’s council of ministers,division bench,Chief Justice G.Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath,Delhi government,Anti-Corruption Branch,Aam Aadmi Party,IANS

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Business Economy Finance, Finance, India

India moves closer towards GST, bill gets Rajya Sabha nod

India moves closer towards GST, bill gets Rajya Sabha nod (Roundup)

New Delhi:

India moved a major step closer towards a unified goods and services tax regime across the country, with the upper house of Parliament passing the relevant Constitution amendment bill on Wednesday, in what is seen as the most radical indirect tax reform since independence.

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014 and amendments were first declared approved by a voice vote. Following a division called by Deputy Chairperson P.J. Kurien and electronic voting, it was declared approved by a two-thirds majority.

While the AIADMK had walked out earier, 203 members present voted in favour of the main bill.

The bill will now go again to the Lok Sabha for its nod since the government had moved some amendments to get political parties, notably the Congress, on board.

The passage on Wednesday was preceded by some heated debate, with the opposition demanding that subsequent bills on the subject be brought as financial bills, as opposed to money bills, so that the upper house gets a chance to debate and vote on them.

The government only assured that it will follow the spirit of the Constitution in this regard.

The new regime — the idea for which was mooted some 13 years ago — seeks to subsume all central indirect levies like excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax, as also state taxes such as value added tax, entry tax and luxury tax, to create a single, pan-India market.

Some items, notably potable alcohol and petroleum products, will be outside its purview for now.

“This is one of the most significant tax reforms in India’s history. It was, therefore, important for building a political consensus to the extent possible,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, as he initiated the debate on the bill.

“The enactment of the GST Bill will bring abut the best economic management of the country as it will empower the states and increase revenue of states and the central government. It will give a boost to the economy at this critical stage,” he added.

Following the passage by the Lok Sabha, at least 50 percent of the states will have to ratify it for it to become law. This apart, while the Centre will have have to take Parliament’s nod again for its version of the GST, states too will need to do the same, which may not be a quick process.

To reach a compromise, the government had to concede to two main demands of the Congress — scrap the proposal to levy a 1 per cent additional duty so that states get compensated for at least two years and make the dispute resolution mechanism stronger and empowered.

But the third demand — of specifying the GST rate in the bill itself was not acceded.

The Congress party, nonetheless, said this was a request that remained. “Today we may not put the rate in the Constitutional amendment bill but we will have to put it in the central bill,” said P. Chidambaram, former Finance Minister and the main speaker for the Congress during the debate.

“The empowered committee is the one which arrived at a 15.5 per cent revenue neutral rate and came to the conclusion that 18 per cent should be the appropriate GST rate. The Congress did not suggest the 18 per cent rate — 18 per cent came out of your report,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.

His reference was to the committee currently chaired by West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra.

“If we charge 24-26 per cent, it will defeat the very purpose of GST. Services represent 57 per cent of India’s GDP. It will be hugely inflationary. It’ll lead to evasion,” he said. “Take the case of soft drinks, whether a rich man buys it or poor man buys it, the tax is the same.”

Jaitley said since the rate is scheduled to be decided by the GST Council, which will have the representation of all states and the central government, this matter should be left to it. “We must trust the responsibility of states towards the people,” he said.

Even though the idea of a pan-India GST was first mooted in 2003, it was seven years later that a formal bill was first introduced. But this lapsed when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was voted out and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government took over.

In 2014, a recast bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 19, and was passed by it five months later on May 6, 2015. The bill was then referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha for examination which submitted its Report on July 22, 2015.

Following consultations, some amendments were moved and the bill sailed through in the upper house on Wednesday after nearly eight-hour debate. The final voting ended well past 9.30 p.m.

–IANS

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Sport

Chase hits ton as Windies defy Indian bowlers (Tea Report)

Chase hits ton as Windies defy Indian bowlers (Tea Report)

Kingston:

Roston Chase led the way with a defiant century as West Indies continued to frustrate the Indian bowlers, reaching in 319/6 in their second innings at tea on the final day to raise their hopes of drawing the second Test against India at the Sabina Park Stadium here on Wednesday.
At the break, Chase was batting on 112 runs with 14 boundaries and a six studding his 212 ball stay in the middle.

Jason Holder was battling on at the other end, unbeaten on 21 runs off 41 deliveries with three hits to the fence.

The hosts now have a lead of 15 runs with the final session of the Test remaining.

Chase’s gritty knock saw him write his name in the record books as he became the first West Indies player since the legendary Garfield Sobers to take a five-wicket haul and score a century in the same Test.

Incidentally, Chase’s milestone comes just one day short of 50 years since Sobers’ historic effort.

The only West Indies wicket to fall during the post lunch session was that of Shane Dowrch — a virtual gift by umpire Ian Gould to leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

Dowrich had misread a relatively straight delivery from Mishra. The ball took the inside edge before hitting the pads and the umpire left Dowrich angry and distraught when he raised his finger in response to a rather hopeful appeal from Mishra.

Dowrich played a marvellous innings of 74 runs with six boundaries and a six and gave Chase excellent support from the other end. The duo piled on a 144-run partnership to frustrate the Indian bowlers.

The Indians bowled quite well though their efforts did not bear much fruit.

Earlier, West Indies reached 215/5 in their second innings at lunch.

Riding on contrasting half centuries from middle order batsmen Jermaine Blackwood (63) and Chase, the hosts recovered from the early jolts, which they received on Tuesday.

Starting the day from a precarious 48/4 after a rain-marred fourth day, Blackwood dominated the proceedings to not only get to his 50 in just 41 balls but more importantly set up a 93-run fifth wicket stand with Chase to deny the Indians any early inroads.

After the pacers failed to break the partnership, India skipper Virat Kohli turned towards his premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who did not disappoint and sent Blackwood packing for a 54-ball 63. Blackwood’s explosive knock composed of nine fours and two sixes.

Since then Dowrich joined Chase in the middle and the right-handed duo managed to keep the Indian bowlers at bay.

Earlier on Tuesday, only a little less than 16 overs could be bowled as incessant rains forced an early close of play with the visitors on the driver’s seat needing just six wickets to win the second Test.

India, in their first innings declared on 500/9 after bundling out the hosts for a paltry 196.

India lead the four-match series 1-0 after winning the first match at Antigua by an innings and 92 runs.

Brief Scores: West Indies 196 & 319/6 (Roston Chase 112 not out, Jason Holder 21 not out, Shane Dowrich 74; Mohammed Shami 2/63, Amit Mishra 2/85) vs India 500/9 declared.

–IANS

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World

Trump denounced by another Republican Congressman

Trump denounced by another Republican Congressman

Washington:

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said on Wednesday that he doesn’t see how he can endorse his party’s nominee for the White House, Donald Trump, in the wake of the week’s events.
“I’m an American before I’m a Republican,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room”.

“I’m saying for me personally, how can I support that? Because he’s crossed so many red lines that a commander in chief or a candidate for commander in chief should never cross.”

Kinzinger, who has openly hesitated to embrace Trump as his party’s standard-bearer, said he went to Cleveland hoping to “at least mildly endorse the Republican front-runner.”

But in the aftermath of Trump’s comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin and the parents of fallen Muslim American soldier Capt. Humayun Khan, the third-term Illinois congressman said that he doesn’t “see how I get there anymore”.

“I’m a Republican because I believe that Republicanism is the best way to defend the United States of America,” Kinzinger said, adding that Trump “throws all of these Republican principles on their head.”

But Kinzinger said he would not support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and was contemplating writing in a candidate on his ballot come November 8, CNN reported.

The second high-profile stand against Trump comes a day after Richard Hanna, a Republican congressman from New York who is retiring after this term, announced on Tuesday he would vote for Clinton in November.

–IANS

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World

Woman killed in London mass stabbing (Update)

Woman killed in London mass stabbing

London:

One woman was killed and five others were injured in a mass stabbing in central London’s Russell Square on Wednesday night, police said.
According to London Metropolitan Police, the suspect, a 19-year-old man was arrested at 10.39 p.m., after a Taser was discharged by an officer, the BBC reported.

Police said mental health was a “significant factor” in the incident that took place in a busy area close to the British Museum and home to many hotels and restaurants popular with tourists.

“Early indications suggest mental health is a significant factor in this case and that is one major line of inquiry,” the Guardian quoted Mark Rowley, an assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan police and Britain’s most senior counter terrorism officer as saying early Thursday morning.

“But of course at this stage we should keep an open mind regarding motive and consequently terrorism as a motivation remains but one line of inquiry for us to explore,” he added.

Police were called at 10.33 p.m. on Wednesday night to reports of a man injuring people with a knife.

The victim, a woman in her 60s, was treated at the scene but was pronounced dead later, the BBC said.

Police said there would be an increased police presence on the streets of London from Thursday morning “for reassurance and safety”.

The incident came after authorities earlier on Wednesday announced London would increase its presence of armed police after recent terror attacks in Europe.

In the terror attacks of July 7, 2005, the underground subway line running close to Russell Square was hit by the most devastating of the four bombs that killed 52 people and injured over 700 others.

–IANS

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World

Chemical gas attack kills 7 in Syria’s Aleppo

Chemical gas attack kills 7 in Syria’s Aleppo

Damascus:

At least seven people were killed and 20 others suffered suffocation and breathing difficulties from chemical gas attack in Aleppo, state news agency SANA said on Wednesday, citing a Russian observation centre.
The Nour Addien al-Zinki rebel group on Monday fired rockets filled with poisonous gas on the government-controlled Salahuddien district in Aleppo, Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.

Russia had informed the US about the rebel use of poisonous materials in Aleppo, reported SANA.

Meanwhile, the rebels also accused the government on Tuesday of dropping barrel bombs stuffed with chlorine gas on the rebel-held town of Saraqeb.

Both sides have repeatedly traded accusations about the use of chemical materials in the battles.

SANA said seven people were killed and 41 others were wounded on Wednesday by fresh rebel shelling on the government-controlled parts of Aleppo.

Aleppo has seen intensified battles and violence recently with the government troops tightening the noose on the rebel-held areas in the eastern part, while the rebels unleashed several offensives to break government siege on rebel-held areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

SANA said the air force carried out 100 air strikes on rebel positions in the countryside of Aleppo on Wednesday, managing to foil a wide-scale offensive of the rebels, the third to hit within a couple of weeks.

–IANS

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World

Clinton gains a 10-point lead over Trump

Clinton gains a 10-point lead over Trump

Washington:

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has gained a 10-point lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump, who has attracted outrage over his comments about a Muslim Gold Star family, according to a new national poll.
Clinton leads Trump 49 per cent to 39 per cent in a head-to-head Fox News survey released on Wednesday. In a three-way race including Libertarian Gary Johnson, Clinton leads 44 per cent to 35 per cent, with Johnson claiming 12 per cent, CNN reported.

A CNN/ORC poll this week showed Clinton with a 9-point edge in a head-to-head matchup with Trump.

When Fox polled voters in late June — before both conventions — Clinton was up only six points, 44 per cent to 38 per cent.

Voters also weighed in on the controversy surrounding Trump after his comments on the Muslim family of a fallen US soldier.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents familiar with the comments declared Trump’s criticism in response to the family’s speech against Trump at the Democratic convention “out of bounds”, compared to 19 per cent who said it was “in bounds”.

Republicans are about evenly split on the back-and-forth, with 41 per cent saying similarly while 40 per cent of Republicans saying Trump’s response is “in bounds”.

Fox surveyed 1,022 registered voters from Sunday to Tuesday, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

–IANS

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Entertainment Films Shopping

Gemma Atkinson strips naked

Gemma Atkinson strips naked

London:

British actress Gemma Atkinson, who is making her Bollywood debut with the film “Fever”, has stripped completely naked.
Atkinson flaunted her body in a bid to make other women feel better about themselves, reports mirror.co.uk.

Taking to Instagram to show off a behind the scenes photograph from her naked shoot for Women’s Health magazine, Atkinson wrote: “This issue is about woman being comfortable in their own skin”.

“The one thing we have in common is our mutual support for females,” she added.

The “Devil’s Pass” actress hoped that she is able to inspire women to “love their bodies”.

“It took me a while, but at 31 I am happy within myself. Mentally and physically. I hope this picture inspires woman to love their bodies and embrace every freckle, every inch, every muscle every curve and every bloody stretch mark on it,” she added.

–IANS

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Education Environment Health S&T, Health

When Smoking Affects Your Relationships 🤔 (1 min read) — The Millionaire’s Digest

NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE - Part 131

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member: Nola Crow Founder & Owner of: 4373 Fashion Lane -Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member, Contributor, Makeup & Fashion Blogger Picture! We shared so much together. Then, I became sick and could no longer hang out. I tell you about my condition and it’s side effects. You listen intently and ask […]

via When Smoking Affects Your Relationships 🤔 (1 min read) — The Millionaire’s Digest

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Arts Culture Books Features

Shubha Mudgal to get Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award

Shubha Mudgal
Shubha Mudgal
New Delhi: New Delhi: Singer Shubha Mudgal during a candle light vigil for the victims of Uphaar Tragedy in New Delhi on Sep 12, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

Shubha Mudgal to get Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award

New Delhi:

Singer Shubha Mudgal will be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for her outstanding contribution towards the promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill.
Shubha Mudgal is a well-known Indian singer of Hindustani classical music.

The award will be presented to Mudgal at a special ceremony on August 20 at Jawahar Bhawan auditorium. The award carries a citation and cash award of Rs 10 lakh.

“The advisory committee of the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award in its meeting held on July 30 decided that 23rd Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award be given to Shubha Mudgal for her outstanding contribution towards the promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill,” said a statement issued by Motilal Vora, Member Secretary, Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award Advisory Committee.

“The Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award is given on the occasion of the birthday of Rajiv Gandhi. It was instituted to commemorate the lasting contribution made by him to promote peace, communal harmony and fight against violence,” the statement added.

Former recipients of Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award include Mother Teresa, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Mohd Yunus, Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Dutt, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, among others.

–IANS

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States

All-party meeting held to protect Odisha’s interest on Mahanadi water

All-party meeting held to protect Odisha’s interest on Mahanadi water

Bhubaneswar:

An all-party meeting on Wednesday decided to form a joint committee to protect the interests of Odisha in the ongoing Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh.
The all-party meeting convened by Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra decided that the joint committee would be formed within seven days that would take steps to save Mahanadi water from Chhattisgarh.

“The joint committee would be formed within seven days. It would work to protect the interest of the state as far as Mahanadi water dispute is concerned. We will also submit a memorandum to the Governor on August 10,” said Mishra.

The memorandum would be addressed to the President of India.

The all-party meeting also asked the state government to push the centre constituting a tribunal to resolve the inter-state water dispute on Mahanadi river.

The all-party meeting was attended by several political parties including BJP and Congress. However, ruling BJD did not attend the meeting.

“This was not an all-party meeting. All like-minded people gathered there. Both state BJP president and PCC president did not turn up to the meeting,” said BJD spokesperson Pratap Dev.

Meanwhile, BJD workers on Wednesday detained all Chhattisgarh-bound goods trains for 30 minutes at railway stations across Odisha protesting construction of projects in the upper catchment of Mahanadi river by Chhattisgarh.

–IANS

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Business Economy Finance, Finance

Chidambaram again bats for 18% GST rate in bill

Chidambaram again bats for 18% GST rate in bill

New Delhi:

Just as the income tax rate can’t be levied at the whim of the executive, and needs legislative approval, the same must also hold true for the goods and services tax rate (GST), former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said here on Wednesday.
Batting for the GST rate to be incorporated in the relevant Constitution amendment bill itself — one of the main demands of his Congress party — Chidambaram also said an 18 per cent base rate for this pan-India levy was also the most appropriate.

“The empowered committee is the one which arrived at a 15.5 per cent revenue neutral rate and came to the conclusion that 18 per cent should be the appropriate GST rate. The Congress did not suggest the 18 per cent rate — 18 per cent came out of your report,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.

His reference was to the committee currently chaired by West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra.

“If we charge 24-26 per cent, it will defeat the very purpose of GST. Services represent 57 per cent of India’s GDP. It will be hugely inflationary if we raise it. It’ll lead to tax evasion,” said the former finance minister during a debate on the GST bill.

“Today we may not put the rate in the Constitutional amendment bill but we will have to put it in the central bill,” he said, wondering why such a step can’t be taken by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while moving the amendments.

Chidambaram said the reason why indirect tax has to be low is due to its regressive nature. “Take the case of soft drink, whether a rich man buys it or poor man buys it, the tax is the same,” he said.

The former finance minister’s remarks came after Jaitley moved what is called the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, for passage and initiated a debate on the subject. This bill will pave the way for the introduction of a pan-India GST regime.

Earlier, Chidambaram said he was glad that the government had accepted his party’s demand not to permit a 1-percent additional levy by some states, so that they can get themselves compensated for any revenue loss that they may incur due to the shift to GST.

The senior Congress leader said the idea of GST was uniformity and the creation of a single pan-India market, but the additional levy went against this very idea and needed to be withdrawn from the bill.

The GST bill, termed as the most radical tax reform since Independence, seeks to subsume all central indirect taxes like excise duty, countervailing duty and service tax, as also state levies like VAT, entry tax and luxury tax, to create a single, pan-India market.

–IANS

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Business Economy Finance, Finance

GST Bill should be passed after serious debate: Chidambaram

GST Bill should be passed after serious debate: Chidambaram

New Delhi:

Congress leader P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill should be passed after serious debate as it was far too important a measure to be passed on a partisan basis.
“If we pass, it will be on the basis of a serious debate. It is far too important a legislation to be passed on a partisan basis,” Chidambaram said while participating in the debate on the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Chidambaram, a former finance minister, said that the idea of the GST Bill was floated by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2005.

“It has taken 11 years (for the bill to be at stage of passing),” Chidambaram said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier moved the bill, considered India’s biggest tax reform legislation since Independence, for passage.

The bill has been pending in the Rajya Sabha after being passed by the Lok Sabha.

–IANS

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