West Bengal Current Affairs - 2019

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Amit Mitra appointed as Chairman of GST committee of State FMs

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has been appointed as the Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He was elected at the meeting of State Finance Ministers that was also attended by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He will succeed Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani who had to resign in November 2015 over corruption charges.

With this, he becomes second chairman of the committee which is tasked to frame rules for rolling out of the ambitious GST regime in the country.

By convention, the head of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST is always appointed from an opposition ruled state.

Amit Mitra is an economist by profession who had served as Secretary General of industry association FICCI before joining politics in 2011. He was appointed as Finance Minister of West Bengal government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

About Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • GST aims to bring uniform indirect tax regime throughout the country by subsuming central and state indirect taxes into single indirect tax.
  • It seeks to enhance fiscal federalism by removing indirect tax barriers across states and integrate the country into a common market, boosting government revenue and reducing business costs.

Veteran singer Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan passes away

Veteran singer Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal following old-age related ailments. He was 107.

He was a highly acclaimed Hindustani classical singer of Gwalior Gharana who had created around 2,000 compositions and was also a prolific writer and poet under the pseudonym Rasan Piya.

About Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan

  • Born in Uttar Pradesh in 1908 in a family of musicians. He was a descendant (16th generation) of Tansen, a classical music composer in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.
  • He had received his initial training from his father Chhote Yusuf Khan and uncle Bade Yusuf Khan and also from other elders of their family.
  • His traditional compositions have been recorded by reputed broadcasters and institutes like Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi, BBC and Iraq Radio etc.
  • Till his death, he was oldest performing musician of India. He was a resident Guru at ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata.
  • Awards and Honours: He was the oldest recipient of Padma Bhushan, conferred in 2013.
  • He was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Kashi Swar Ganga Award. In 2013, Government of NCT of Delhi has felicitated him with life time achievement award.