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Alcohol, tobacco kept out of the purview of GST

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By NewsGram Staff Writer
After passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill 2014, the Lok Sabha has also approved an amendment to help all the states in the transition phase by charging an additional tax of 1 per cent on inter-state trade on goods.

After regular imposition of indirect taxes, like excise, service tax, VAT and sales tax, in different sectors by the central and state governments, the pan-India goods and services tax regime has planned to facilitate a common market in the country.

However, the taxes on all the highly consumable products like petroleum, alcohol for human consumption and tobacco have been kept out of the purview of GST.

Taxes collected on alcohol yields a major part of state revenues. Taking an example of Kerala, it contributes 22 per cent of revenue, while in Tamil Nadu, it gives about Rs. 21,000 crore per year.

Transport fuels, like petrol and diesel, are taxed at 20 per cent, whereas states receive 35 per cent of their sales tax revenues from them.

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Small Shops in US Often Sell Tobacco Without Checking Age

More than 64 per cent of grocery stores checked IDs, compared with about 34 per cent of convenience stores and tobacco shops, and 29 per cent bars, restaurants and alcohol stores

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FILE - An anti-tobacco warning is seen on a road divider on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2016. VOA

Those buying tobacco from shops in the US, especially small stores, are usually not asked for identification hence it is easy for underage users to buy cigarettes there, says a study.

When researchers, aged 20 and 21, visited a variety of shops in the US, more than 60 per cent of cashiers did not ask them for identification.

In the study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, it was found that these young adults slipped by without an age check most often when they visited small stores, tobacco shops and shops plastered with tobacco ads.

“Our findings suggest that certain types of stores – tobacco shops, convenience stores and those with a lot of tobacco advertising – are more likely to sell tobacco to a young person without checking his or her ID,” said Megan Roberts, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the US.

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FILE – Cigarette packs are seen on shelves in a tobacco shop in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. VOA

“One implication of this finding is that enforcement may benefit from targeted outreach and monitoring at these locations,” she added.

The study included visits to a randomly sampled 103 tobacco retailers in 2017.

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More than 64 per cent of grocery stores checked IDs, compared with about 34 per cent of convenience stores and tobacco shops, and 29 per cent bars, restaurants and alcohol stores.

“Having a minimum legal sales age for tobacco is important for reducing youth access to tobacco. Not only does it prevent young people from purchasing tobacco for themselves, but it prevents them from buying tobacco and distributing it to others, often younger peers,” Roberts said. (IANS)