Top news of the day: GST Council defers implementation of tax rate hike on textiles; official sources say Omicron has started replacing Delta variant in India, and more

The major news headlines of the day, and more.

GST Council defers implementation of tax rate hike on textiles

Currently, tax rate on manmade fibre (MMF) is 18%, MMF yarn 12%, while fabrics are taxed at 5%.

Omicron has started replacing Delta variant in India, say sources

Though 80% of the travellers who tested positive have this new variant, only a third of all the detected cases were mildly symptomatic, and the rest were asymptomatic, official sources said. As many as 1,270 Omicron cases have been detected across 23 States and UTs so far, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated at 8 a.m. on December 31.

New Year’s Eve muted by Omicron; many hoping for better 2022

Hours before the celebrations were due to begin, Australian health authorities reported a record 32,000 new virus cases, many of them in Sydney.

Chinese embassy writes to MPs against supporting Tibetan cause

The move, seen as a rare and undiplomatic interference, comes after six MPs from the All-Party Indian Parliamentary Forum for Tibet attended a meeting at a Delhi hotel.

NIA registers case against Germany-based Sikhs for Justice operative, associates

Following a directive from the Central government, the agency has initiated the probe under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. An NIA team may soon visit Germany to pursue the leads in the case.

Centre extends validity of FCRA registration of NGOs by three months

The extension will however bring no relief to Missionaries of Charities (MoC), founded by Mother Teresa, as the Union Home Ministry asserted that NGOs whose request for renewal was turned down will not be eligible to either receive or utilise the foreign contribution in their designated bank accounts.

It’s not BJP money, Nirmala Sitharaman says on cash seized from U.P. perfume maker

"It is not BJP money," the Union Finance Minister said when asked about opposition charge that the ₹197.49 crore cash recovered from perfume maker Piyush Jain in U.P.’s Kannauj was her party’s money and the tax authorities had raided the person by "mistake" and are now raiding the other Jain they had originally wanted to target.

Media federation says 45 reporters, staffers died while on duty in 2021

The figure represents one of the lowest death tolls in 30 years, since the International Federation of Journalists first began publishing annual reports in 1991 on journalists killed in incidents related to their work. Sixty-five deaths were recorded in 2020.

Germany shuts down half of its remaining nuclear plants

The three reactors now being shuttered were first powered up in the mid-1980s.

Core sector output up 3.1% in November

Barring crude oil and cement, all other sectors recorded positive growth in November.

No extension of IT return filing deadline, says Government

Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said December 31, 2021, remains the official deadline for filing of income tax returns.

Sourav Ganguly discharged after COVID-19 treatment, to remain in home isolation

The former skipper will be in home isolation under doctors’ supervision and has not been infected with the Omicron variant, hospital authorities said.

U-19 Asia Cup | India steamrolls Sri Lanka by nine wickets to win eighth title

The Sri Lanka batters looked completely at sea against the Indian bowlers.

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