Lucknow, Jan 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trusted bureaucrat Arvind Sharma, who took voluntary retirement from service earlier this week, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lucknow on Thursday.
According to party sources, Sharma could be one of the BJP candidates in the Vidhan Parishad polls in the state.
Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh welcomed Sharma, who hails from Mau district and belongs to Bhumihar caste, into the party on Thursday.
Talking to reporters, Sharma said that he was happy to join the party and would work for the welfare of the people.
Singh said that the party would benefit from Sharma's experience and expertise.
Sharma joined Modi as the Secretary in October 2001. He continued to work with him in the PMO from 2014 onward as well and took over as the MSME secretary in April 2020.
A low-profile officer, Sharma is known for delivering time-bound results.
He earned Modi's trust as the secretary in his CMO and successfully handled the 'Vibrant Gujarat' campaign to get investment to the state.
He served in his PMO for six years.
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has announced that it will launch a nationwide movement against the present Goods and Services Tax (GST) system which it claims has become "extremely complicated" because of several "arbitrary" amendments.
According to CAIT, the GST has become a hurdle in the smooth retail trade because of the complexities and arbitrariness of its provisions.
In a statement on Sunday, the traders' body said that it will convene a three-day conference of trade leaders of all states from February 8-10 at Nagpur to chalk out the future course of action. About 200 prominent trade leaders from across the country are likely to participate.
"Post-Covid, the retail trade is fighting hard for its survival and in such a situation, the GST system has become a devil for the business community due to several arbitrary amendments. In such a scenario, we have decided to oppose such amendments tooth and nail," the CAIT said in a statement.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that implementation of various programmes of the central Government have become a cause of severe pain for the traders, of which GST is one of the causes.
The present GST violates its basic fundamentals which were announced at the time of its implementation in 2017, he said.
"In place of 'Good and Simple Tax', it has become an obnoxious and complicated taxation system," he said.
Khandelwal added that the CAIT conference will also discuss e-commerce and the proposed e-commerce policy, empowering women entrepreneurs, appraisal of Mudra Scheme, easy availability of finance for traders, among others.
He was of the view that the retail trade stands neglected, although it generates an annual business turnover of Rs 80 lakh crore. As many as 8 crore traders in the country employ around 40 crore persons.