Citizens' Issues
Road safety structure being overhauled: Government
New Delhi: The central government is working overtime to change the "entire architecture" of road transport and road safety in the country, a parliamentary panel has been informed.
 
Around 400 people are killed in road accidents every day across the country.
 
The government also said that there are problems in terms of sharing of road taxes between states and the centre. 
 
The panel headed by Rajya Sabha MP Kanwar Deep Singh of Trinamool Congress and comprising among others, Kumari Selja, K.C. Venugopal (both Congress), Yogi Aditya Nath and Shatrughan Sinha (both BJP), said the "government should come out with a comprehensive policy on women safety and implement it effectively", especially for Delhi.
 
"The division of taxation and how to split the tax revenues is an issue. It is a matter in the concurrent list. What would be the status of State Road Transport Corporations. They carry seven crore passengers every day, three times more than the Indian Railways. They cannot be abolished outright," a senior official told the departmental standing committee on transport, tourism and culture.
 
The committee in its latest report presented in parliament expressed happiness that the ministry of road transport is working on the Road Transport and Safety Bill.
 
"The Committee is (however) unable to understand why the ministry is taking too much time in implementing security measures in public transport, especially in a city like Delhi, where people travel at odd hours. It is not safe for women to commute in odd hours," the panel said.
 
The officials during deposition before the committee said that on the advice of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the latest version of the draft of The Road Transport and Safety Bill was sent to all the states and union territories to seek their comments.
 
The panel was also told that the ministry is trying to reach a "consensus" on some issues on the same.
 
Especially, with regard to tax, the government informed the chairman and members of the panel (from both houses of parliament) that it is trying to work with the state governments.
 
"We are trying to say, let us do the things which are non-controversial, that is the safety issues," a top departmental official informed the committee.
 
The panel has, nevertheless, expressed displeasure on several "delayed" road projects.
 
It found the situation in Assam, "worst". In Assam, the panel found that around 17 road projects which were awarded in 2005-06 are yet to be completed.
 
"Other badly affected states are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, where various road projects are going on for more than five years," the committee lamented.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

India ninth among crony capitalist nations: Economist
London: A spurt in number of billionaires and increasing wealth creation by any means have made India rank ninth among the crony capitalist countries, said a study in "The Economist" latest issue.
 
According to the weekly crony-capitalism index, crony fortunes had leapt relative to global GDP and as a share of total billionaire wealth.
 
"Encouragingly, India seems to be cleaning up its act. In 2008 crony wealth reached 18 percent of its GDP, putting it on a par with Russia. Today it stands at 3 percent of its GDP, a level similar to Australia," the study revealed.
 
The non-crony sector wealth in India accounts for 8.3 percent of its GDP.
 
The index ranked Russia as the worst crony-capitalist country, followed by Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Ukraine, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey above India. Taiwan and China are ranked 10th and 11th after India.
 
The magazine's index of crony capitalists is based on a study by Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Aditi Gandhi and Michael Walton of Delhi's Centre for Policy Research.
 
The index was designed in 2014 to test whether the world was experiencing a new era of arobber barons' - a global re-run of Americas's "gilded age" in the late 19th century.
 
"It may seem that this new golden era of crony capitalism is coming to a shabby end. In London, Vijay Mallya, a ponytailed Indian tycoon, is fighting deportation back to India as the authorities there rake over his collapsed empire," the article said, in light of legal battles the liquor baron is facing back home.
 
Using data on billionaires' fortunes from rankings by the US magazine Forbes, the article labelled each billionaire as a crony or not, based on the industry in which he is most active.
 
"The pin-ups of Indian capitalism are no longer the pampered scions of its business dynasties, but the hungry founders of Flipkart, an e-commerce firm," the study said, referring to its co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal figuring in the Forbes' 2016 billionaires list, ranked jointly at 1,476 position.
 
Among the 22 countries in the updated index, Germany is the cleanest with least number of crony capitalists, ranking at the bottom of the index, while China has the biggest concentration of crony wealth in the world at $360 billion.
 
The study suggested that since globalisation had taken off in the 1990s, there had been a surge in billionaire wealth in industries that often involve cosy relations with the government, such as casinos, oil and construction.
 
Over two decades, crony fortunes had leapt relative to global GDP and as a share of total billionaire wealth.
 
"The economic climate has been tough on cronies, too. Commodity prices have tanked, cutting the value of mines, steel mills and oilfield concessions. Emerging-market currencies and shares have fallen. Asia's long property boom has sputtered," the study added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

E-Cigs Subject to Pre-Market Approval under FDA Final Rules
The FDA is reigning in some aspects of the marketing of e-cigarettes in its finalized rule issued today, which bans their sale to minors, requires health warnings in ads and on product packages, prohibits the distribution of free-samples and requires manufacturers to show that the products meet applicable public health standards before receiving authorization from the FDA.
 
“The actions being taken today will help the FDA prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made, as well as communicate their potential risks,” the agency said in a press release.
 
In the absence of regulation, the rapidly expanding $3.5 billion e-cigarette industry has been heavily marketing the products with questionable claims — both online and in the shops themselves — that they are safe, healthier than tobacco cigarettes and can help smokers quit tobacco, TINA.org investigations of the advertising revealed.
 
While a recent British Royal College of Physicians report found that the benefits of e-cigarettes, which are battery powered devices that heat flavored nicotine-laced liquids into vapor — far outweigh the potential harms and urged smokers to switch to vaping, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force when evaluating e-cigarette studies concluded that “the current evidence is insufficient to recommend electronic nicotine delivery systems for tobacco cessation.” And several other key reports found that e-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals and can compromise immune systems in the lungs. A 2014 report by the World Health Organization, for example, stated that for some brands of e-cigarettes, the level of cancer-causing agents in the aerosol “such as formaldehyde and other toxicants like acrolein have been found to be as high as in the smoke produced by some cigarettes.”
 
“Today’s announcement is an important step in the fight for a tobacco-free generation – it will help us catch up with changes in the marketplace, put into place rules that protect our kids and give adults information they need to make informed decisions,” said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
 
The FDA has been heavily criticized as moving too slowly to regulate the industry at a time when use of e-cigarettes, which are marketed in child-friendly flavors such as bubble gum and fruit loops, has skyrocketed. A survey by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that current e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 900 percent from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015. Advocates for regulations are concerned that youngsters could become addicted to the nicotine used in e-liquids. Studies have shown nicotine can negatively affect adolescent brains.
 
The finalized rule, however, does not yet restrict the marketing or flavors, nor does it take strict steps to prohibit online sales to minors, said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, which has scrutinized the industry’s marketing to minors.
 
“The rule announced today falls short in protecting kids from e-cigarettes. It does nothing to restrict the irresponsible marketing of e-cigarettes or the use of sweet e-cigarette flavors such as gummy bear and cotton candy, despite the FDA’s own data showing that flavors play a major role in the skyrocketing youth use of e-cigarettes,” said Myers.
 
Under the rules, manufacturers of e-cigarettes and that were on the market after Feb. 15, 2007 must register with the FDA, provide details of ingredients and health risks, and are subject to inspections. It also prohibits vending machine sales if consumers under 18 have access to them. But e-cigarettes can continue to be on the market for three years while their manufacturers submit and the FDA reviews their new tobacco applications. The ban on sales to consumers 18 and under will take effect in 90 days.
 
The final rule, which also affects cigars and pipe tobacco, comes five years after FDA first announced it would regulate all tobacco products and more than two years after it issued a proposed rule. The rule was issued under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA immediate regulatory authority over cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco and also authorized it to extend its jurisdiction to all other new tobacco products.
 
Check back for updates on the FDA’s finalized rule. For more of TINA.org’s coverage of e-cigarette marketing, click here
 
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)