Tuesday October 17, 2017
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India’s annual wholesale inflation inches up to (-)3.81 percent

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New Delhi:  India’s annual rate of inflation, based on wholesale prices, inched up to (-)3.81 percent for October from (-)4.54 percent for the month before, mainly on account of a whopping 86 percent spike in the prices of onions and 53 percent in pulses over the past year.

According to the data on official wholesale prices index released by the commerce and industry ministry, the indices for both the major groups of primary articles and manufactured products registered a decline of 0.36 percent and 1.67 percent, respectively, during the month under review.

The index for the sub-category of food articles, though, was up 2.44 percent during the year. In the past month alone, prices for urad dal rose 17 percent, arhar 12 percent, gram 7 percent and moong 6 percent.

(IANS)

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For Rs10 a film, India’s Underclass in Delhi gets their daily dose of Bollywood

Under the bridge blankets are hung to create walls to block out sunlight. Homemade tickets are used, and seats can be chosen based on where you want to view the movie

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After a hard day's work. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
  • Under the bridge, underclass people hang blankets to create walls for the theatre and to block out sunlight
  • Tickets here are sold for Rs 10 ($0.15) per movie
  • An old television set is placed in the front, and the crowds settle in

In many cultures movies are a way to escape from reality. They can showcase hardship and victory, the supernatural or death. Whatever it is, the viewer becomes engrossed in the film. They start feeling for the characters, and rooting for them to win; forgetting about their own life struggles in that moment of time. With the inflation of movie ticket prices, it becomes harder and harder for everyone to find the escape a movie provides; this is the case for India’s underclass.

Homemade tickets lie on a table at the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
Homemade tickets lie on a table at the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

For those who can barely make ends meet, a movie ticket sold at Rs400 ($5.95) is a luxury they must forgo. Cue the pop up of makeshift theaters. One example of this new type of theater can be found under a 140 year old bridge. Located in the old quarters of New Delhi, the theater attracts many people who have spent their day working hard. Tickets here are sold for the lower sum of Rs10 ($0.15).

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A passenger train makes its way over the bridge that houses the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
A passenger train makes its way over the bridge that houses the makeshift cinema. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

Under the bridge blankets are hung to create walls to block out sunlight. Homemade tickets are used, and seats can be chosen based on where you want to view the movie; just like the real theaters. An old television set is placed in the front, and the crowds settle in. After a long day of work this seems like the ideal place to unwind. Some of the crowd can not help but dose off into a restful sleep, while others can not take their eyes off of the screen.

Patrons can sit or even lie down while watching movies.Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
Patrons can sit or even lie down while watching movies.Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

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One member of the crowd, Mohammad Noor Islam spoke to Reuters Television. It is not hard to agree with him as he was quoted saying, “Films are much better. Many men get hooked on gambling, drugs and alcohol and they pass their time by drinking or smoking.”

One-man show. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)
One-man show. Image source: (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

Under the bridge is a safe haven. The laborers can find relief from the scorching heat, and distractions from their daily lives. At the low price of Rs 10, a one hundredth of the cost of an actual theatre ticket, movies are watched and enjoyed by many.

-by Abigail Andrea, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono

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A moth nicknamed as “Tomato Ebola” is destroying Nigeria’s tomatoes

A bucket of toms which was earlier 1.5$ now costs 7.5$. Price has rocketed up to 400%.

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Tomato farms, Wikimedia commons

Nigeria is known for its top class tomatoes. Tasty and juicy tomatoes are part of nearly every dish in Nigeria. A state government in Nigeria has declared a state of emergency due to the substantial destruction of tomato fields by moths.

Nigerian farmers have termed the outbreak as ‘Tomato Ebola’. Tomato is a central ingredient in Nigerian dishes. The scarcity of tomatoes will simply mean now they can’t afford their beloved toms. Nigerians won’t be able to make their favorite jollof rice (a national dish made with tomato paste). Such is the scarcity of tomatoes in the country. Inflation rates are growing and Africa’s economy is getting affected as a result of the moth named Tuta absolute was also known as Tomato Leaf Miner.

The moth attacks the leaves of the tomato plant and the larvae produced by the moth feed on the plants causing a total loss of yield. No pesticides are able to kill the larvae. After 3 hours of spraying, they again come back to life.

Tomatoes getting affected, Wikimedia commons
Tomatoes getting affected. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Northwest and central regions have been affected the most. Kaduna (also called the tomato capital of Nigeria) is in a state of emergency. Manzo Daniel (the Kaduna state agriculture commissioner) said “We have declared a state of emergency over the outbreak of a moth that has destroyed over 80% of tomato farms in the state. More than 200 tomato farmers in the region have suffered losses of more than 1bn naira ($5.02m) from the disease.” A bucket of toms which was earlier 1.5$ now costs 7.5$.  Price has rocketed up to 400%.

Nigeria’s federal agriculture minister has reported that the moth has spread to at least 6 states and is posing a threat to national food security. He also warned that the moth can attack potato and pepper plants.

Governors and commissioners of states are jointly working to get rid of this situation. Kenya has a good advantage on this issue. They use some plant extract to take care of the moth. Since Nigerian experts don’t have the knowledge yet so they are looking forward to Kenya to eradicate this tomato menace. The agricultural specialists are working with Kenya experts to find a proper solution.

Tomatoes production getting affected due to the moth, Wikimedia commons
Tomatoes production getting affected due to the moth. Image source: Wikimedia commons

The heat is on even on social platforms. On Social networking, sites such as Twitter people are tweeting humorous posts about Spanish La Tomatina festival where tons of tomatoes are wasted. Some even tweeted “La Tomatina@ Tomatoes throwing party in Spain. If only these guys know the price of Tomatoes in Nigeria today…”

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-by Pritam

Pritam is pursuing engineering and is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter handle: @pritam_gogreen

 

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Transparent tax system must: Raghuram Rajan

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Mumbai: In order to attract higher investments, the Indian taxation system should be more transparent, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan said on Monday.

Speaking at a seminar here, Rajan stressed that the Indian tax system should be transparent and predictable to attract foreign investments.

According to him, to make products in India, a framework has to be created making it easy to do business in the country.

He also said the supply side issues have to be addressed so that prices were under control and the demand side was taken care of.

Stating that nine percent growth in economy was an aspiration, Rajan said the supply side constraints had to be removed while ruling out growth sans inflation.

He said the human capital in the country needed to be upgraded so that businesses get the kind of people it requires.

Rajan also called for greater coordination between leading central banks so that the monetary policies can be used in a more effective manner.

(IANS)