GST rate on various mass consumption items reduced to 18 per cent
The GST Council on 10 November 2017 reduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate on a wide range of mass consumption items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.
The council reduced the list of items attracting 28 per cent GST to just 50 from 227 previously. It slashed the GST rates on 177 goods ranging from chewing gums to detergents.
All types of chewing gum, chocolates, preparation for facial make-up, shaving and after-shave items, shampoo deodorants, washing powder detergent and granite and marble will now attract 18 per cent GST rate.
While, Luxury goods like washing machines, air conditioners and other items like paints and cement have been retained in the 28 per cent tax bracket.
Union Government revises House Building Advance rules for government employees
The Union Government has revised the House Building Advance (HBA) rules for Central Government Employees incorporating the accepted recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.
The total amount of advance that a central government employee can borrow from the government has been revised. The employee can now borrow up to 34 months of the basic pay subject to a maximum of Rs. 25 lakhs (Rs. Twenty Five Lakhs only), or cost of the house/flat, or the amount according to repaying capacity, whichever is the least for new construction/purchase of new house/flat.
The HBA amount for expansion of the house has also been revised to a maximum of Rs.10 lakhs or 34 months of basic pay or cost of the expansion of the house or amount according to repaying capacity, whichever is least. The earlier limit was Rs 1.80 lakhs.
India re-elected as member of UNESCO's executive board
India was re-elected as the member of UNESCO’s executive board on 9 November 2017.
The election was held at the 39th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in Paris. The executive board is the top decision- making body of the international organisation.
The General Conference consists of the representatives of the member states of the organisation. It meets every two years and is attended by member states and associate members along with observers for non-member States, intergovernmental organisations and NGOs.
Government to provide 100 foreign students full scholarship to study Ayurveda
The Union government has announced that it would be providing full scholarship to 100 non-Indian students if they study Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) in any of the public institutions across India.
The announcement was made by Ayush Minister Sripad Naik who is on a three day visit to UAE to participate in the first ever International Ayush Conference and Exhibition in Dubai.
The main aim behind the initiative is to encourage and popularise the alternative system of medicine.
UNHCR to receive Mother Teresa Award 2017 for social justice
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was on 9 November 2017 named as the recipient of Harmony Foundation's Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice 2017 for its exceptional work worldwide.
Harmony Foundation's 2017 theme is 'Compassion Beyond Borders' and UNHCR efforts aptly fit into this theme.
UNHCR beautifully epitomizes the theme with heroism of its workers and volunteers who tirelessly work in crisis areas globally. The UNHCR provides humanitarian aid to innumerable people internally displaced by conflicts and helps stateless people all over the world.