Big Easy ready for showcase

first_imgBut he’d also like to see more done in areas of New Orleans where recovery hasn’t been so brisk. “We think it’s time to move past having this wonderful tourist ability, a great convention center, and a covered arena, and then you take your guests on tours of areas that have been devastated and where it seems like very, very little has been done,” Stern said. “We don’t understand it.” Hardaway apologizes again: Former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway apologized again for his anti-gay remarks, telling a Miami television station that he “didn’t mean” to say what he said in a South Florida radio interview last week. “I don’t hate gay people,” Hardaway said. “I’m a goodhearted person. I interact with people all the time. … I respect people. For me to say `hate’ was a bad word, and I didn’t mean to use it.” The game will come in the midst of a hectic two-month run for the city, with Mardi Gras squeezed among the Sugar Bowl, college football’s national championship game and the NBA All-Star Game. And given the Saints’ recent success, the possibility of an NFL playoff game in that span exists as well. NBA commissioner David Stern said he has been paying attention to conventions held in the city, “and the reports have been very positive and upbeat.” From the blinding lights of the Las Vegas Strip, the NBA makes its next stop for the All-Star Game in another city with a long history of knowing how to party: NewOrleans. After going most of the past two seasons without pro basketball, the hurricane-damaged city finally gets its home team back next season and hosts the league’s All-Stars, too. center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Difficult to accept Congress demand to cap GST rate: Jaitley

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said its difficult to accept demand of the Congress to cap GST rate in the pending Constitution Amendment Bill, but remained hopeful that it will get passed in the second half of the current Budget session.”Today, every state government, including all Congress ones, is in favour of goods and services tax (GST). You have every political party in Parliament which has said they will vote in favour,” he said at the India Today Conclave here.”In the Lok Sabha, the Congress walked out, every other party voted in favour. The Congress party now made a statement that it has only one issue about the Constitutional cap which is a little difficult because our tariff is not decided through Constitution amendment.”The GST Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha and is pending ratification by the Upper House, where the ruling NDA does not have a majority. After it is approved by the Rajya Sabha, the legislation needs to be approved by half of the 29 states so as to roll out GST possibly by October 1.Explaining the rationale, the finance minister said, it is extremely difficult to accept because every time you need to increase tariff in a given emergency, you have to amend the Constitution.The tariff needs to be decided by the GST Council and not by a Constitutional cap, he explained.”I think thats the only glitch that remains. I would still want the Congress party to come on board. I can easily see and this is going to happen at this stage of biennial election. The numbers are significantly changing and in any case, I am reasonably confident that the numbers in the Upper House now also are in favour of GST,” he said.advertisementThe constitutional amendment to GST, Indias biggest indirect tax reform since Independence, seeks to replace a slew of central and state levies, transforming the nation of 1.3 billion people into a customs union.The Bill is supported by all parties, barring the Congress, which has 67 MPs in the Rajya Sabha and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with 12 members.The Congress, the original author of the tax reform, is opposed to the current “flawed” version and wants GST rate to be capped at 18 per cent, a proposed state levy scrapped and an independent mechanism to resolve disputes on revenue sharing between states.The government has support of 155 members in the 242-member Rajya Sabha, short of two-thirds or 162 votes needed to approve the Constitution amendment bill. PTI RR DP ARDlast_img read more