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Daily Briefing: Afghanistan eyes Australia, India cricket tours after Taliban nod; GST mop-up in August at Rs 1.12 lakh crore

The patriarch of separatist politics in the Valley and hardline Hurriyat hawk, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, passed away at his residence in Srinagar late Wednesday night.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
September 2, 2021 7:55:28 am
A look at the top news today, September 2, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story 

In what indicates that the pick-up in economic activity has been sustained after a series of localised lockdowns during the Covid-19 second wave, gross Goods and Services Tax collections in August (for sales in July) crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark. The August collections at Rs 1,12,020 crore were 29.6 per cent higher than in August 2020.

Only in the Express

In a signal that the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan may allow sporting events to go ahead, a top official of the Afghan cricket board told The Indian Express that the team’s tour of Australia this year, which will include the first-ever Test between the two countries, has received the green signal. “The Taliban government has been supporting cricket and all our cricket will be held as per schedule,” Hamid Shinwari, chief executive officer of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, said.

What led to the defeat of America in Afghanistan and the return of the Taliban after 20 years, more dominant than ever before? What did India gain or lose from its financial, strategic, and political investments there? Gautam Mukhopadhaya, the former Ambassador to Kabul, during a chat with The Indian Express, answers all such questions and explains as to what lies ahead.

From the Front Page 

Drawing up a sample calendar for gram sabhas, the Centre, in an advisory to all states and Union Territories, has suggested that monetisation of assets to increase own sources of revenue should form part of gram sabha deliberations. While successive Finance Commissions have recommended that rural local bodies raise their own source of revenue, this is the first time that the government has suggested deliberations on monetisation of assets.

The CBI has detained the lawyer of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, questioned the NCP leader’s son-in-law and arrested a Sub-Inspector of the agency in connection with the alleged leak of an official report on its investigation into allegations of policemen being coerced by Deshmukh to collect bribes on his behalf. 

Must Read 

Bijendra Pal Rana, an inspector who was picked for the national Police Medal for Gallantry this Independence Day, was amongst the police personnel caught in a recent crackdown launched by Meerut Police to weed out corruption within its ranks. A case of bribery was registered against Rana, who went missing from the Sadar Bazar police station soon after the charges were levied against him. 

The emergency of a new power centre in the Kerala unit of the Congress — comprising AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, KPCC president K Sudhakaran and leader of opposition V D Satheesan — seems to be pushing senior party leader Ramesh Chennithala, former leader of opposition, to the sidelines. The latest round of appointments of District Congress Committee chiefs reinforced that the three leaders had clearly gained an upper hand. 

‘Sanskriti Vibhaag Tumhaare Baap Ka Nahi Natya Mahotsav’, the unique name of an upcoming theatre festival to commemorate the 99th birth anniversary of theatre stalwart Habib Tanvir was inspired by an insult hurled at one of the event’s organisers when he approached the Chhattisgarh Culture Department to hold the event. The free-entry event is being seen as a move of defiance by its organisers, a Raipur-based theatre group. 

The patriarch of separatist politics in the Valley and hardline Hurriyat hawk, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, passed away at his residence in Srinagar late Wednesday night. A former elected legislator, the ailing 92-year-old had been under house detention for more than a decade. His death comes when both his and the moderate factions of the Hurriyat are in disarray in the wake of a crackdown by the NIA, the abrogation of Article 370 and the downgrade of J&K into two Union Territories.

And Finally 

LaLiga, which dipped its toes into unconventional broadcasting with the Facebook streaming deal three seasons ago, is now on MTV. While the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry headed out of the El Classico sphere, LaLiga was bound to be delicately poised when selling its broadcast rights. Anshul Ailawadi, the business head of youth, music and English entertainment at Viacom18, recalls how the deal was sealed and MTV came on board after the vibe matched with Jose Antonio Cachaza, India managing director of LaLiga.

Delhi Confidential: Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai has become a talking point in BJP circles for taking certain measures that have earned him praise from the central leaders. One of the measures Bommai took was asking party workers and visitors not to give him garlands or bouquets – instead they can bring books. The Chief Minister has also asked the police not to give him guard of honour during his visits to the districts unless it is a big event. 

In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we discuss the significance of India’s first contact with the Taliban,  the viral outbreak in Uttar Pradesh that has killed 32 children, and we go over details of the Allahabad High Court’s observation on the importance of cows in India.

Until tomorrow, 

Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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