Delhi NCR Current Affairs - 2019

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GST council reduces Tax rates on Housing

The GST council has decided to slash the tax rate on under-construction residential properties and the affordable housing projects category.

Decision of GST council

  • The GST council has reduced the GST rate for under construction from the present 12 per cent to 5 per cent.
  • The GST rate for affordable housing category is now 1 per cent compared to the present 8 per cent.
  • The new rates will be applicable from April 2019.
  • For both under construction and affordable housing category the builders would not be able to claim the input tax credit (ITC) which they used to get when the tax slabs of 8 per cent and 12 per cent were applicable.
  • To ensure that the benefits of tax reduction are passed on to the consumers the government has created more conditions, especially for the affordable housing category.
  • Houses under the affordable housing category.are divided into two categories metro and non-metro.
  • In metro areas of Delhi NCR (limited to Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad), Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, the eligibility for affordable housing would be properties worth Rs 45 lakh and 60 sq metre carpet area and in non-metro cities it would be Rs 45 lakh and 90 sq metre.
  • The law committee has been mandated to frame the transition rules for those already in construction.
  • The government has created a safety net to ensure that the removal of input tax credit doesn’t drive the sector to the cash-based one, especially in black by mandating the builders selling houses under the normal and affordable category to procure a large percentage of their inputs from GST registered suppliers.

This decision of the GST council is expected to push demand and increase sales of under-construction properties. The new norms may even bring many more properties, even in the premium segment, into the affordable category.

SC bans dirty pet-coke, furnace oil in Haryana, Rajasthan, UP

The Supreme Court banned use of pet-coke and dirty furnace oil in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh from November 1, 2017 in a bid to reduce air pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

The apex court bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta was hearing on PIL filed in 1985 by environmentalist M.C. Mehta who had raised the issue of air pollution in the Delhi-NCR.

Pet coke and furnace oil has been already banned in Delhi since 1996 as they have been blamed for releasing deadly sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NO) fumes into air and polluting air.

Key Facts

SC order comes in response to recommendations of Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) which in its 72nd report had identified these two fuels as major source of pollution in NCR. It had found that Pet coke emissions are estimated at 72,000 ppm and that from furnace oil at 23,000 ppm.

The apex court also slapped Rs. 2 lakh fine on Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) for failing to come up with emission norms governing 35 hazardous industries such as fertilisers and manufacturing of nitric acid. It also has directed MoEFCC to notify standards for NOx and SOx for industry sector and industry has to comply with standards by December 31, 2017.

Significance of SC directive

It eliminates dirtiest industrial fuels in these three states surrounding Delhi and NCR region. It also mandates first ever stringent NOx and SOx standards for industry sector nationwide. It also eliminates in one stroke use of dirtiest bottom of barrel fuels from industrial units of neighbouring states and makes all industrial units across country liable for compliance with new emissions standards by December 31, 2017. This order will also have nationwide impact as entire industrial sector will have to comply with new standards for SOx and NOx that are not regulated currently in India.