World
Singapore bans gutka, khaini and more
Singapore has banned a wide variety of tobacco products including gutka, khaini and zarda.
 
The health ministry said on Monday that the decision was taken to ensure that such products do not gain a foothold or become entrenched in the city state, reports Xinhua.
 
If they come in, they could increase tobacco consumption, the order said.
 
"This is part of the ongoing efforts to protect the public against the known and potential harms of emerging tobacco products," it said.
 
In June, the ministry announced that the ban on emerging tobacco products would be implemented in two phases.
 
The first phase, starting on Tuesday, targets smokeless cigars or cigarettes, dissolvable tobacco or nicotine, any product containing nicotine or tobacco that may be used topically for application, by implant or injected.
 
It also bans any solution or substance which constitutes tobacco or nicotine that is intended to be used with an electronic nicotine delivery system or vapouriser.
 
The second phase will take effect from August 2016. The ban will include nasal snuff, oral snuff, gutkha, khaini and zarda.
 
The ministry said anyone who breaks the ban can be fined up to 10,000 Singapore dollars or jailed up to six months or both.
 
On second and subsequent conviction, the fine will double and so will the jail term.
 
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.

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HC seeks Centre, TRAI's response on call drops
The Delhi High Court on Monday sought a response from the centre and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on a plea by telecom operators for a stay on TRAI's compensation policy for call drops, under which a rupee will be credited to the mobile users' account for every call drop (restricted to three per day) starting January 2016.
 
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked Centre and TRAI to file their response by December 22 on the plea of two telecom industry bodies, Cellular Operators Association of India and Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India.
 
Companies termed the order of TRAI as contradictory and destructive and sought quashing of the October 16 order mandating services provider to pay subscribers Re. 1 per call drop experienced on their network, subject to a cap of three a day.
 
They said the TRAI does not have the power to grant compensation to end-subscribers under the TRAI Act and the decision to grant compensation is "without authority of law, without jurisdiction and is illegal".
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.

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GST in its current sub-ideal form also can deliver significant changes
Even in its current form, the GST reforms can deliver significant efficiency and productivity improvements by moving towards a single market across India, says Religare Capital report
 
With barely a week left for the Winter session of Parliament to end, hopes of the Constitutional Amendment Bill on the goods and service tax (GST) getting the Rajya Sabha nod have remained fickle. Although the amended Bill has several distortionary features, like additional 1% levy, large exclusions from base, rate structure and exemptions for petroleum products, even in its sub-ideal form, the GST Bill has potential to deliver significant efficiency and productivity gains, says a report.
 
According to a research note from Religare Capital Markets Ltd, the GST reform, which is the extension of the value added tax (VAT) that was implemented in the mid-2000s, is heralded as the great hope for simplifying the intricate web of indirect taxes in India.

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