26 November 2007One hundred and seventy teams were given the route they will have to follow to reach the 2010 Fifa World Cup when the preliminary draw took place at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Sunday, in a dazzling ceremony that gave a foretaste of the magical tournament South Africa promises to deliver.The draw, beamed to a television audience of millions across the globe, went off successfully as the first major Fifa event on African soil, with a stunning line-up of artists mixing African colour and rhythm in with the serious business of lining up the teams contending for a place at the 2010 tournament.On a spectacular stage with three rotating sections for the performers, an orchestra and the draw itself, South African President Thabo Mbeki and Fifa President Sepp Blatter – accompanied by a host of Fifa delegates and soccer greats of yesteryear – welcomed the world to the start of the race to the 2010 finals.‘A sport that touches the whole world’Mbeki said the game had the amazing ability to promote unity through its educational, cultural and humanitarian values.“Football is a sport that touches the whole world,” Mbeki said, adding that South Africa aimed to “stage an event that will send ripples of confidence from the Cape to Cairo – an event that will create social and economic opportunities throughout Africa.“We want to ensure that one day, historians will reflect upon the 2010 Fifa World Cup as a moment when Africa stood tall and resolutely turned the tide on centuries of poverty and conflict.”Blatter said the decision to bring the World Cup to Africa for the first time would give the world the opportunity to give back to Africa. “The continent has done so much for this sport in terms of players and clubs, and it is justice that Africa hosts the World Cup,” Blatter said.“There is no doubt the World Cup will be held here and it will be a success. No doubt.”The football world then watched in earnest as Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke and his draw assistants – George Weah, Ali Daei, Marcel Desailly, Kasey Keller, Kaizer Motaung, Abedi Pele, Doreen Nabwire, Jomo Sono, Lucas Radebe and Christian Karembeu – guided 170 teams into their respective qualifying pools.Fascinating duelsAs Fifa.com reports, some will have a tough road to travel. These include Croatia, England and Ukraine, who will compete against one another in the European zone’s group 6, as well as group 1 rivals Portugal, Sweden and Denmark.Bulgaria and Ireland must tackle reigning world champions Italy, while Romania and Serbia have to navigate Germany 2006 runners-up France.Australia, who narrowly missed out on a quarter-final place in Germany last year, will face reigning Asian champions Iraq, China and Qatar in their pool, from which two teams will advance to the concluding stage of Asian qualifying.South Africa, who qualify automatically as 2010 hosts, will nonetheless compete in the preliminaries, which double up as qualifiers for the 2010 African Nations Cup, in a group that includes African powerhouse Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.In the Concacaf (North and Central America and the Caribbean) region, Canada landed the stiffest stage 2 challenge in the form of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who impressed during the qualifying rounds for the 2002 World Cup.“Perhaps the most intriguing development was how the Stage 4 groups will appear if the favourites avoid upsets,” Fifa.com reports. “Indeed, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica and Honduras could do battle for two places in the deciding phase, while USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Guatemala may have to do the same.“In the Asian zone, Korea Republic and Korea will clash, with the latter looking to reverse two unanswered losses to their neighbours in Fifa World Cup preliminaries. Kuwait will also be out to upset a trend: in six qualifiers for the competition against Iran they have failed to win.“Over in Europe, Czech Republic and Slovakia, the two sides that formerly made up two-time Fifa World Cup finalists Czechoslovakia, will face off, and memories are bound to resurface when Scotland take on Netherlands, whom they beat 3-2 in a memorable match at Argentina 1978.”These are just some of the fascinating duels lined up for football fans around the world as the journey to South Africa 2010 gets under way. For more information, check out Fifa.com.SAinfo reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Malaria nets play a crucial role in reducing the spread of the disease. (Image: Malaria No More) MEDIA CONTACTS • Fadéla ChaibWHO communications officer +41 22 791 3228 or +41 79 475 5556RELATED ARTICLES • Malaria vaccine in final testing • Fruity treatment for malaria• Swaziland to wipe out malaria • Scientists abuzz over mosquito• Adventurer spreads his net wideJanine ErasmusSouth Africa is one of nine African countries that has managed to slash malaria-induced illness and death by half, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).This was revealed in the WHO’s World Malaria Report 2009, released in December. The document profiled the status of malaria in 108 countries around the world.The nine African nations are Botswana, Cape Verde, Eritrea, Namibia, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia. The semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar in the United Republic of Tanzania also achieved a 50% reduction. This can be attributed to the use of insecticidal nets and proper treatment of patients, said the WHO.Aggressive malaria control strategies have been implemented across the continent, according to WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan. This is due to a drastic increase in funding for malaria control and prevention, which gives health workers the opportunity to cover greater areas with preventive measures.Between 2003 and 2009, global funding rose from $US300-million (R2.2-billion) to $1.7-billion (R12.6-billion) – although this falls short of the estimated $5-billion (R37-billion) needed annually to successfully combat the disease.Chan said the world health body is cautiously optimistic that the spread of malaria is slowing, and the main beneficiaries are the children of sub-Saharan Africa.The report said that four of the 31 African nations considered to be high-burden, as well as five of the seven low-burden countries, have achieved more than a 50% reduction in malaria cases compared to 2000.The report also showed that incidence of the disease has been halved in 29 of 56 countries surveyed outside the African region.One of the aims of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals is to reduce the under-five mortality rate by 66% between 1990 and 2015. According to the WHO, the survey shows that some countries are on track to meet this significant goal, as well as other malaria targets set.Download the World Malaria Report 2009 (PDF, 1.16MB).More nets and better treatmentThe report revealed that, compared to 2006, more insecticidal nets and treatments were made available to those in need during 2007 and 2008.More African households, 31% in 2008 compared to 17% in 2006, own at least one insecticide-treated net. Consequently, more children under five years of age were able to use this life-saving item. In 13 high-burden countries, more than 50% of households owned at least one net.The use of rapid diagnostic tests as well as artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which are well tolerated by patients and are most recommended by experts, are on the rise.However, the percentage of African patients with access to these vital therapies is still unacceptably low, said the report. Although the World Health Assembly has set a target of 80%, in 11 out of 13 countries surveyed, fewer than 15% of young patients were treated with ACTs.Resistance to anti-malarial drugs is a continuing threat to achieving control of the disease, but the WHO and other agencies are working hard to prevent the spread of drug resistance. Steps to be taken include reducing the spread of the disease itself, ensuring that malaria outbreaks are correctly diagnosed and treated, doing away with artemisinin monotherapies in favour of combination therapies, and monitoring medication so that any sign of resistance will be detected immediately.The report documented the significant impact of the combination of effective treatment and bed nets, and suggested that the Millennium Development Goal for malaria is not out of reach, provided these key strategies become more widely available. It also said the two-thirds reduction in infant mortality can also be achieved with a sustained effort to control malaria.Funding needs to be spread more evenly. At the moment many funding sources concentrate on smaller countries with lower infection rates. More attention must be given to bigger countries with a higher malaria burden, said the report.Preventable diseaseMalaria is caused by the transmission of parasites of the genus Plasmodium into the blood. P. falciparum is the most deadly of the four human-infecting species, being the only one that kills. The vector, or carrier, is the female Anopheles mosquito.An Anopheles bite results in large numbers of parasites moving through the bloodstream into vital organs, which become vulnerable to damage and failure. Patients with low immunity can die from organ failure, and in pregnant women and children the disease contributes to anaemia, low birth weight, premature birth and neurological damage. Cerebral malaria is a particularly dangerous form of the disease.Malaria is both preventable and curable, but can only be successfully combated using a multi-faceted approach. This involves not only effective treatment of patients, but also insecticide-impregnated bed nets, indoor spraying, bite prevention and the development of an effective vaccine by 2015. The ultimate goal is the development by 2025 of a vaccine that would provide more than 80% protection and last for more than four years.With about half of the entire global population at risk of contracting malaria, it is not surprising that a staggering 243-million cases and almost 863 000 deaths were registered in 2008. Of the deaths, around 767 000, or 89%, occurred in Africa. Malaria kills one child under the age of five every 30 seconds.
In a series of five articles, we share stories from Gift of the Givers volunteers in their own words as the organisation marks its 25th year of serving humanity. Ahmed Bham is the head of search and rescue. Find out about his experience in Haiti.Volunteering for Gift of the Givers taught Bham more about himself and motivated him to study further. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Sulaiman PhilipAhmed Bham: Head of search and rescue and lecturer in emergency medical care in the North West provincial Department of HealthI lead the first Gift of the Givers team to arrive in Haiti in 2010. We comprised a team of 10 search and rescue and advanced life support paramedics. Our medical team set up a field hospital while the search and rescue team began looking for surviviors in the rubble in Port au Prince. For seven days we recovered only bodies. We moved on to the Catholic cathedral where our dogs indicated there may be a survivor. After two-and-a-half hours of searching we pulled Ana Zizi from the rubble. This 69-year-old woman had been buried under the rubble for 10 days, her first words, in French, were: “God is great.” She looked at me and said: “I love you”.We stabilised her at our field hospital before she was shipped to a US Navy ship for further treatment. The whole time we talked, through my interpreter. When I told her we were from South Africa she said: “Look how amazing God is that he brought you all the way from South Africa to recue me.”I think for the first time I realised that things were done through us and not by us. I believe that is why I volunteer for the Gift of the Givers; it is a spiritual organisation guided by a desire to serve and help all of humanity. We, the volunteers and staff, come from all backgrounds and are driven by the same passion and purpose. Dr Sooliman will not compromise on that principle. Everyone is given humanitarian aid and the same level of medical care and treatment regardless.“I get to serve and represent my beloved country and show the world what Africa has to offer. We are a unique and amazing nation. I know the spirit of ubuntu lives in us.” (Image: Gift of the Givers)Wherever I arrive I am already looking at the logistics, how can we assist and what are the needs. It’s a calling and passion that I am driven to fulfill. As a volunteer travelling into a disaster zone, you have a picture in you mind of what its going to be like, but the reality can sometimes be overwhelming. You learn to adapt to the situation on the ground.Every mission I have gone on has taught me lessons, has given me that feeling of contentment and self-fulfilment. In 2005, I was honoured to be selected to go to Pakistan to help in the aftermath of the earthquake. Many of my personal foundation lessons were learnt there. It was an experience that opened my soul and I learnt a lot about myself and humanity. After Haiti I was more confident in myself and I felt encouraged and motivated to study further so I could do more.My mum passed away when she was only 38, but it was through her that I was first exposed to humanitarian work. I am still inspired by her and I can honestly say the proudest moments in my life have been away on humanitarian missions. I feel that I am fulfilling my mum’s purpose in life by serving humanity. There is also the other side of it: I get to serve and represent my beloved country and show the world what Africa has to offer. We are a unique and amazing nation. I know the spirit of ubuntu lives in us. I have not just seen it, but I have lived it many a time.Read the next article about orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Livan Meneses-Turino, and his experience in Nepal, Haiti, and Palestine.Our first profile was on medical co-ordinator, Dr YM Essack. Click here to read more.To find out how beekeeper, Owen Williams, has contributed to the organisation, click here.Emily Thomas, who works in logistics at Gift of the Givers shares her story.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest ExactEmerge conversion components fit newer 1770NT, 1790 and DB planters John Deere is making it easier for customers with late-model John Deere planters to increase planting speed while improving accuracy and performance with the ExactEmerge Retrofit Kit. This conversion kit provides corn and soybean producers with the latest performance-enhancing ExactEmerge technology that allows them to significantly increase productivity and crop yields through more timely and accurate seed placement.“Producers realize that seed depth accuracy, spacing, and population are critically important. Crop residue management and timely planting also help to achieve maximum yield,” says Adam Sipes, product specialist with John Deere Seeding Group. “By retrofitting their late model John Deere planter with ExactEmerge components, customers can expect up to a 100% increase in planting speed, at least a 10 percent improvement in seed spacing accuracy, and improved performance on side hills, all without impacting depth control.”The ExactEmerge Retrofit Kits are available for model year 2011 and newer 1770NT CCS and 1790 planters as well as model year 2012 and newer DB Series planters. ExactEmerge conversion components includes meter and hopper assemblies, cartridge assemblies, 56v electric drives and row unit controller assemblies, scrapers, cartridge guards, and mounting hardware. Other components include planter controller with SeedStar 3 HP, backbone harness and tractor power generation harnessing, vacuum automation, and curve compensation capability.Kits require the use of tractor power generation and GreenStar 3 2630 Display for full operation. Depending on model of planter and tractor, additional components may be needed to complete the retrofit.“The ExactEmerge technology is revolutionizing the planting industry,” Sipes adds. “The Retrofit Kit now gives more customers the ability to incorporate much of this technology onto their existing late-model planters and gain these improvements for themselves.”For more information on the new ExactEmerge Retrofit Kits for late-model John Deere planters, see your local John Deere dealer or visit www.JohnDeere.com/Ag.
Add flares to your video shots using this simple in-camera DIY solution.There’s a ton of ways to add flares to your videos in post, but there’s no substitute for achieving this organic effect in-camera. We’re digging this DIY technique by recent creativeLIVE presenter Lindsay Adler.In the short video below, Lindsay demonstrates how she created a custom flare filter using a cheap crystal (bought online) and a simple lens filter (a low cost UV filter does the trick). By gluing the crystal to directly to the filter, you can create unique refracted light effects that give the video image a dream-like quality. This DIY solution, is super cheap and easy to create.This isn’t a technique that you’ll use on a ton of shots – but given the right subject matter (fashion or weddings, for example) it’s one that can be really impactful.Check out the quick tutorial and example shots below – a snippet from Lindsay’s full creativeLIVE workshop “Keep it Simple: Video for Photographers“.Thanks to DIYPhotography.net for tipping us off to this video.
Test footage from Apertus° show a promising future for the Axiom Alpha Prototype.Apertus° is a business that is trying to change the way cameras are created. Their goal: create an open source camera that can be shaped and developed by the filmmaking community. They started over 7 years ago and have just recently unveiled the test footage from their Axoin Alpha Prototype camera….The Axiom Alpha is currently in development but is showing real potential. If completed the camera will boast 4K footage, HDMI output and a super 35 sensor.Most notably, the image sensor on the Axiom Alpha features a smart dynamic range that creates HDR footage using a “Piecewise Linear Response Mode (PLR)“. This gives you more dynamic range than traditional linear or negative dynamic range. The following chart illustrates PLR mode:The video test below shows some of the first footage shot on the Axion Alpha. It was not color corrected in any way. In fact, Apertus states that the video doesn’t feature ‘beauty shots’, rather it was created to show the cameras potential. Apertus says that they have not yet:Calibrated the colors of the cameraCalibrated the white/black point (offsets) and linearization, leading to some vertical streak/curtain effectsCreated a Fixed Pattern Noise (FPN) profile (the Alpha prototype already supports this, however we have not yet found the time to actually conduct the required measurements)There are some red lines at the bottom of the image, this is due to unresolved minor incompatibilities between the Axiom Alpha HDMI output and the utilized recorderThey also are encoding in a 2:4:2 color space and experiencing some color shifts in some situations. That being said, the footage does make the future of the Axiom Alpha look extremely promising. What do you think of the Axiom Alpha? Share in the comments below.
The launching of ‘Operation Digital Board’ across 15 lakh classrooms in the country in the next four years will change the face of education in the country, said Union Human Resource Minister Prakash Javadekar.Speaking at the third edition of Excellence in Education conclave organised by The Hindu group in association with Blue Star here on Thursday, Mr. Javadekar said, “We get valuable inputs from such events to raise the educational standards in the country. The media is not just a loudspeaker but has to critically examine government programmes and come up with new suggestions so that the country is benefitted and enriched.” In his special message delivered via video link, Mr. Javadekar mentioned the initiatives undertaken by the NDA government to harness the digital revolution. “Our government has taken benefit of the digital revolution to educate 15 lakh teachers and making education available online and offline. Education policy today is based on accessibility, accountability, affordability and equity,” he said.He said that the HRD Ministry had unveiled initiatives like SWAYAM and the National Digital Library (NLD) to revolutionise the structure of education in the country.He further said that the granting of complete autonomy to IIMs was a major step towards ensuring excellence in education. The concept of research parks and Atal innovation centres was a major step towards fostering entrepreneurship, he added.State Education Minister Vinod Tawde said The Hindu conclave was “a breakthrough” for thinking about the education system not only in Maharashtra, but in the entire country.“Our educational system still languishes in the industrial revolution era. The conclave will help in providing inputs on how the curriculum can be adapted to today’s digital educational epoch,” Mr. Tawde said.He further remarked on the need to mull about the emotional and spiritual quotients and not merely the intelligence quotient in education.In his keynote address, Maharashtra Education Commissioner Vishal Solanki noted that the three critical issues were digitalisation in 21st century schools, excellence in education and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.“While phrases like ‘Technology is a great leveller’ sounds good to the ears, in reality, a lot needs to be done towards improving digital connectivity in the State’s — and India’s — rural hinterland,” Mr. Solanki said.Observing that while education offered by some establishments was expensive, he questioned whether an ‘Ivy League’ education truly guaranteed quality education or imbibed the right values in moulding children’s characters.“It is necessary to introspect in this digital age if a wealthy education is the sole guarantor of quality? For there is an amazing hunger for education among children in the rural areas as opposed to their privileged urban counterparts. We also have to ask hard questions as to how effective is the vocational training being imparted to students in institutes across the State,” he said.Fondly recalling his eager wait for The Hindu during his days as a civil services aspirant, Mr. Solanki said Pune was an apt place to host the conclave as it had a number of excellent institutions with a 200-year academic pedigree.Commenting on the yeoman service rendered by The Hindu in upholding journalistic values and maintaining literary standards, B. Thiagarajan, Joint Managing-Director, Blue Star, said the conclave symbolised a marriage of two iconic brands in fostering education and an entrepreneurial spirit through knowledge.“For educationists as well as the student fraternity, The Hindu is indelibly associated with high-quality English writing and a judicious choice of informative articles. Likewise, a commitment to providing quality vocational training constitutes a significant part of Blue Star’s CSR initiatives,” said Mr. Thiagarajan.
Polling passed off peacefully in six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies of Odisha in the third phase of simultaneous elections on Tuesday.An average of 61% voting was recorded till 5 p.m., and it was likely to increase since voting was in progress, according to the Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha. The Lok Sabha seats where polling was conducted during the day are Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Sambalpur and Keonjhar. The 42 Assembly segments came under these six Parliamentary constituencies.EVMs malfunctioningReports of malfunctioning of EVMs were received from some booths in the morning hours, but polling was resumed after replacing those machines. Polling was postponed in a booth under Sambalpur following error and wrong pairing of VVPAT.In another incident, a polling official passed away while on duty in Dhenkanal district. The official, Nabakishore Nayak, who collapsed inside the booth, was declared dead by doctors at Kamakhyanagar hospital.Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik was among the prominent leaders to cast their votes in the morning hours. After casting his vote, Mr. Patnaik exuded confidence that the BJD would perform well in the elections in the State.The prominent candidates who were in the fray for Tuesday’s elections include former IAS officer Aparajita Sarangi, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, former Director General of Police Prakash Mishra and BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra.4th phase on April 29 Polling is already over in nine Lok Sabha and 63 Assembly constituencies in Odisha in the previous two phases – April 11 and 18. The fourth and last phase polling in the remaining six Lok Sabha and 42 Assembly constituencies, for which campaigning is still going on, is scheduled to be held on April 29.On the other hand, Mr. Patnaik campaigned for party nominees in areas under the Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituencies later in the day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed two public meetings at Balasore and Kendrapara during the day.
MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Pacquiao, however, didn’t expect to see rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. sitting courtside in the game the Clippers won 128-109 against the Charlotte Hornets. Timberwolves escape Thunder in Ryan Saunders’ coaching debut 🥊 x 🏀 x #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/XRBv7nBsmI— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2019Filipino-American recording artist Apl.de.ap—Allan Pineda Lindo in real life—also performed during the halftime break.Mayweather and Pacquiao both had storied careers and the exchanged the pound-for-pound king label in the late 2000s and early 2010s.The two eventually fought each other in 2015 with Mayweather taking a unanimous decision win.Pacquiao is set to defend his WBA World welterweight title against Adrien Broner on Jan. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 👋 @mannypacquiao pic.twitter.com/lQaXwk7jW0— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2019MANILA, Philippines—Things went from planned to complete serendipitous for Manny Pacquiao.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBoxing’s only eight-division World champion was a guest during the Los Angeles Clippers’ Filipino Heritage Night at Staples Center wherein he got to spend some time with the players and join in the few events the team planned for the night.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? They meet again. Only here.@mannypacquiao | @FloydMayweather | #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/OQrezLim14— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2019While throwing t-shirts to the crowd, Pacquiao chanced upon Mayweather and the two dapped each other up.Pacquiao also went to the Clippers’ locker room where head coach Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, and Patrick Beverley got to meet the Filipino boxing icon.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte
New Delhi, Jun 13 (PTI) Targeting April 2017 for the rollout of Goods and Services Tax, the government is betting on support from smaller regional parties to pass the national sales tax legislation in the Parliament session from next month, and expects approval for supporting laws by year-end. GST was earlier planned to be introduced from April 1 this year, converting 29 states into a single market through the new indirect tax regime, but the deadline was missed as the bill to roll it out remains stalled in the opposition- dominated Rajya Sabha. “If we can pass it in the monsoon session (of Parliament beginning next month), then we can implement it in April 1, 2017,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told PTI. The government has enough backing from smaller regional parties to pass the Bill in Rajya Sabha without support from the main opposition Congress party, he said. Congress, which first proposed the constitutional amendment in 2006, is demanding capping the overall rate at 18 per cent and scrapping an additional 1 per cent tax designed to compensate manufacturing-heavy states that fear losing revenue once the measure is implemented. After Parliament approves the constitutional amendment to allow GST, it needs to be ratified by more than half of states. Then Parliament must pass another bill to implement the GST, Sinha said. “First the Constitution Amendment will have to be ratified by 50 per cent of the state assemblies, then the GST Bill will be passed by all the state assemblies,” he said. After the Constitution Amendment Bill is passed in Parliament, there are three more legislations – Central GST (CGST), State GST (SGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) – which are required to be passed. “Of course, there is a complicated legislative calendar that we have to work through. Then there are implementation issues which are working, but we feel that we can get all of that done in time,” he said. Meanwhile, the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers will deliberate on the model GST law at a two-day meeting in Kolkata beginning tomorrow. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will participate in the meeting and try to iron out differences with the states over the new regime. The GST bill — which will help create a single national sales tax to replace several state and central levies — has already been approved by the Lok Sabha or Lower House of Parliament and is pending in the Upper House where the government doesnt have a majority. Sinha hoped to get support of most of the parties on GST Bill so that it is passed with national consensus. “Our expectation is that we will get support from many parties. We would like it to be passed with a national consensus, so we would like all parties to approve it. In the Lok Sabha when the Constitution Amendment was passed, it was passed unanimously. So we would like it to be passed in Rajya Sabha unanimously as well,” he said. PTI JD DP CS ANZ SAadvertisement