The Congress government of Madhya Pradesh has decided to wind up Vyapam or the Vyawasayik Pariksha Mandal, which was later renamed as Professional Examination Board (PEB). The government is going to replace it with Rajya Karmchari Chayan Ayog (State Staff Selection Commission). According to Chief Minister Kamal Nath (pictured), Vyapam is a symbol of “the Bharatiya Janata Party’s scams in the state” and that’s why the government has decided to close it down. This is not the first time that the state government is trying to disown Vyapam. In a previous attempt in 2015, the then BJP government had changed its name to Professional Examination Board. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was chief minister, had said that the name Vyapam was disgraceful and was bringing dishonour to the state.
Journalists were in for a surprise on Monday when they reached North Block to meet officials. They wanted to seek clarity on the fine print of the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5. However, none of them — not even those with a Press Information Bureau (PIB) card — was allowed to enter despite there being no intimation from the PIB. The finance ministry is usually out of bounds for visitors during the “quarantine” period, which begins a month before the presentation of the Budget. It seems now the "ban" has been extended for an unspecified period.
With the July-end deadline to file tax returns approaching, the tax department helpline has been getting frantic calls from taxpayers. But the Aayakar Sampark Kendra (a single-window system registering all taxpayer application/return) number seems to be stuck in a time warp and keeps asking callers to choose between Hindi and English to proceed further. No matter which language the caller chooses, the helpline refuses to "help". And if by mistake, a taxpayer calls the number late in the night or early in the morning, the automated voice response asks him or her to call between 8 am and 10 pm. The tax department might consider answering queries over email like they do in the US, where this facility is available throughout the year.