Saturday Morning News Brief, July 1

Saturday morning brief Jul 1 2017
Good morning!
Here’s everything you need to know to start your day…
The goods and services tax (GST) became a reality at the stroke of midnight with PM Modi billing it a ‘good and simple tax’. President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi pressed buttons in the historic Central Hall of Parliament to usher in the new regime, which promises to lower the tax burden by doing away with the cascading effect of 17 central and state taxes – apart from 23 cesses – and to facilitate free movement of goods across state borders. The launch happened against the backdrop of a boycott by Congress, Trinamool, Left, DMK, RJD and a few other parties.
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the bowlers fashioned India’s 93-run win over a lacklustre West Indies in the third ODI. Giving the visitors an unassailable lead in the five-match series, India overcame a bad start to post 251 for four on a slowish surface, largely due to the efforts of Dhoni (78 no off 79), Kedar Jadhav (40 no off 26) and Ajinkya Rahane (72 off 112). The Indian bowlers then proved too good for the inexperienced West Indies’ batting line-up, dismissing the hosts for 158 in 38.1 overs.
The first month of the monsoon season ended on a bright note, with a countrywide rain surplus of 4%. 29 meteorological subdivisions, out of 36 in the country, received normal or excess rain during the month. Just seven recorded deficient rainfall. A majority of the deficient areas are in the belt between east Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, including Bihar and Jharkhand. While central and south India recorded surpluses of 8% and 5% respectively, a major surprise was the bountiful rain in northwest India where the monsoon is yet to arrive.
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The NIA is planning to write to the government recommending closure of LoC barter trade with Pakistan. The LoC barter trade of 21 items, which happens from Salamabad and Chakkan Da Bagh trade facilitation centres (TFCs), was started in 2008 as part of confidence building measures but it is not serving that purpose, said top NIA sources, adding that there is large-scale under-invoicing and over-invoicing of products which is hurting the business of traders in Jammu and the Kashmir and several traders are just fronts for funding terrorists in the state.
IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh has reassured the staff that the airline won’t opt for Air India bid if it isn’t profitable. Ghosh wrote a mail to employees late Thursday night, saying: “we are not going to take on debts and liabilities (for acquiring AI) that could not be supported by the new restructured operations…Let me be very clear that if it is not profitable and does not add value to our employees, customers and shareholders, we will not embark on this journey.”
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