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With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the country’s economy hard, preparation of the Union budget for the next fiscal is a big challenge for the government this time.
To set a course for economic recovery, the government needs funds to invest in the infrastructure and social sectors. Due to a slow-down in the economy, the government is compelled to inject stimulus packages. However, the government’s revenue collection has taken a considerable dip too. The treasury is thus facing an uphill task.
Experts in the Finance Ministry have been looking at various suggestions to prepare a budget that can set the pace for recovery of the economy with various policy interventions. Raising taxes on all tobacco products is one of the options available to them. It will help generate additional revenue at this time of crisis. It will also prove to be an effective policy intervention to reduce tobacco use in India and save millions of lives.
The annual economic costs from all diseases and deaths attributable to tobacco use in India for the year 2017-18 amounts to Rs. 177,341 crore which is 1 percent of India’s GDP. If we take this estimate into consideration, the economic cost from all tobacco products may come around Rs 1.80 lakh crore today.
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Raising the tax on tobacco products can fetch annual revenue of nearly Rs 49,000 crore and significantly reduce their consumption as well. The government can utilize the additional revenue in strengthening health promotion and prevention programs amid the pandemic.
At present, the average price of cigarettes is Rs 127 per pack of 10 cigarette sticks. The government can levy an excise tax of Rs 4,170 per 1000 sticks of cigarettes and generate additional tax revenue of Rs 27,423 crore. Cigarette consumption will go down by 22 percent, as prices will increase, experts say.
The current average price of a pack of 100 gm smokeless tobacco products is Rs 102. The government can generate additional revenue of Rs 3,044 crore by raising the tax burden to 76 percent. It will reduce smokeless tobacco consumption by 29 percent.
Hand-rolled cigarettes, called ‘bidi’, are the widely used tobacco product in India as they are cheap. The government must significantly increase the tax on bidi as well to cut down their consumption.
The average price of bidi is Rs 20 per pack of 25 sticks. The government will get additional revenue of Rs 18,249 crore by levying 50 paise tax per bidi stick. This will reduce bidi consumption in-country by 24 percent, experts say.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: झांसी का Strawberry festival लाएगा किसानों के लिए मुनाफा
An increase in tax on tobacco products is the need of the hour. Not just to generate additional revenue, but to save millions of lives as well. Raising taxes will also help address the co-morbidities of tobacco use and the COVID-19 pandemic in India as it will reduce consumption.
Tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes. People with these medical conditions are at a higher risk for developing severe illness when infected by the Covid-19. Tobacco use is also a prominent risk factor for infectious diseases like tuberculosis and lower respiratory infections. Tobacco users are more vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. Various studies have noted how tobacco use leads to severe Covid-19 manifestations and adverse outcomes. Smoking impairs immunity, making smokers particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. As both smokeless tobacco use and smoking vastly increases susceptibility and spread of Covid-19, the government has put certain restrictions on the use of tobacco products as part of its measures to check the spread of the deadly virus.
It is a well-established fact that tobacco is the foremost preventable cause of death and disease in the world today, killing half of the people who use it. It is a global epidemic, killing about 80 lakh people the world over. India is the second-largest consumer and third largest producer of tobacco.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey of 2018, while India is home to over 26 crore tobacco users, tobacco use kills at least 12 lakh Indians each year. Every third adult in rural areas and every fifth adult in urban areas uses tobacco in some or other form. The most commonly used tobacco product in India is khaini, a mixture of lime and tobacco. Every ninth adult or 11.2 percent of tobacco users is addicted to Khaini.
At least 7.7 percent of adult tobacco users smoke bidi, 6.8 percent of tobacco users chew Gutkha, a mixture of tobacco, lime, and areca nut. The percentage of tobacco users who chew betel quid with tobacco comes at 5.8 percent. The prevalence of tobacco use among men is 42.4 percent while it’s 14.2 percent in women.
Looking at the scale of tobacco use in the country and its adverse impacts, the government should increase taxes on all tobacco products. Various studies indicate that a significant increase in tax on tobacco products significantly reduces their consumption too. (IANS)
By Prerana Agarwal Saxena
In all the wedding excitement, it's easy to overlook the impact a wedding has on the environment. While everyone is making their big fat Indian wedding dreams come true, they are also adding their carbon footprint and undue energy consumption. Modern couples are now looking for ways to have a wedding with a sustainably conscious mindset. It's become about incorporating less waste, locally sourced and seasonal food, natural materials over the use of plastic. Mindful wedding planning and decor includes the use of recycled paper and goods along with eco-friendly venue needs. Check out this quick guide to achieve a sustainably conscious wedding without compromising on luxury:
Choose locally sourced material to uplift artisans
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. With the use of locally sourced materials and local artisans coming into play, the wedding instantly becomes sustainable. Include the work of local vendors ensure minimal packaging requirements, thus saving on unnecessary plastic and lamination. It also decreases the need for transporting elements from other cities and hence lowers the carbon footprint. For instance, at one of our weddings, we made use of sand art for a setup in Jodhpur. This helped promote local work while also being environmentally friendly with zero wastage of other materials. In another instance from Rajasthan, the traditional glass-blown technique was used to build decor items while giving a cultural touch to the destination wedding.
Sustainable can be luxurious too, incorporate some native flavour into the decor and theme. | Photo by Jason Coudriet on Unsplash
Say yes to recycling
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. It can be a small step such as making a conscious switch from plastic water bottles to copper jugs or glass bottles. Also use artificial floral decor thus minimising the wastage produced from real flowers. This recyclable decor is then donated to various NGOs, further ensuring sustainable use of resources. Such steps, however small they might be, keep the environment free from the release of any additional carbon footprint.
One should be mindful and avoid the use of plastic and other non-recyclable materials in decor wherever possible. | Photo by Ravin Rau on Unsplash
Go for zero-waste wedding decor
Make use of fabric as it enhances the elegance of the wedding while being sustainable. Include vibrant colours apt to the theme of the wedding and bring in bright sprightliness with breathable fabrics. Ensure to include LED lights for lighting. They can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. They also help conserve energy and bring in soulful energy for nighttime decor. Choose virtual invitations, keeping up with the digital times. Make a conscious choice of plated dinner menus rather than a buffet as they allow less wastage of food and ensure enough food for guests in attendance.
LEDs can be incorporated as string lights or be used on passageways with innovative decor items. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Include Sustainable Gifting
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. Offering a plant or a succulent, is a great idea. One can also gift recycled organic fabrics and cutlery or zero-waste kitchen and bathroom essentials to use in their homes as some distinct gifting options.
Gift sustainable wedding favours -- gifts that grow. | Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
Acting in the best interest of the environment and the society, Theme Weavers Designs has started a social cause, Weaving Hope, where a part of their earnings along with food and decor are donated to social communities. Royal Rendezvous, is an event started by us to put India on the Global Map, inviting international wedding planners to India to experience the rich culture and heritage, also employing and displaying the work of local artisans to this international audience.
By applying the values of sustainability, you can reduce the energy consumed and the resources used as much as possible. Go ahead and have a luxurious zero-waste wedding and navigate into the world of green living! (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Luxurious , Gift, sustainable, wedding favours, gifts that grow. Gifting, recycling, locally sourced, material. zero-waste
The Tamil Nadu health department has administered 16,43,879 lakh doses of vaccine in the second mega vaccination camp organised by it. The state public health department in a statement on Sunday said that this has taken the total vaccination to one crore since the beginning of September till date. The vaccination was administered from 7 a.m. till 7 p.m. and the compiled data was made available late at night.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. Regular vaccination will resume after the vaccine supplies arrive from New Delhi, officials said. The state health department had expected to vaccinate 15 lakh people on Sunday in 18,824 centres spread across primary health centres, anganwadis, noon meal centres, government hospitals, schools and some auditoriums.
The health department officials also said that as the state has almost exhausted its quota of vaccines, there would not be any vaccines on Monday. | Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash
Of the 16,43,879 people who were inoculated, a total of 10,85,097 received their first dose and 5,58,782 their second dose of vaccine, the statement said, A total of 9,66,568 people in the age group of 18-44 were vaccinated on Sunday and vaccines were administered on 5,02,578 people aged between 45- 59 in the mega vaccine camps.
State health minister Ma Subramanian, who inaugurated the vaccination at Pollachi, also visited the centres in six districts -- Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Dharmapuri and Salem. The state government, according to the health minister, is to receive the next allotment of vaccines on September 21. Minister while speaking to IANS said, "We will be receiving the next allotment of vaccines on September 21 itself and we will resume vaccinations immediately. The state has already touched one crore vaccine-mark in the month of September till date." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: COVID, vaccine, vaccination camp, Tamil Nadu, India, vaccinated, mega camp
Festivals are just around the corner and while you brainstorm about OOTDs (outfit of the day), don't forget the right makeup. Hanisha Kapoor, COO, ArchiesBeauty.com shares makeup trends experimented by these Bollywood divas throughout 2021 for inspiration. While some stuck to the classics, others mixed it up... take a look:
The Classic Red Lip
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. The right way to achieve this celebrity look is to focus on accentuating your lips and keeping the rest of the face minimal. Give your lips a good scrub to plump them, moisturize and follow it up with a red lip liner to define the shape of your lips. Now go on with the perfect shade of red and finish your look with a slick of eyeliner, minimal concealer, and foundation.
We don't see a future where classic red lips go out of fashion. | Photo by Ina Garbé on Unsplash
No Makeup Look
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look. This natural beauty does a wonderful job of achieving the minimal soft look by softly cover any dark spots or blemishes and highlighting features she's most proud of. To achieve this start with concealer and use small dots to brighten your darker areas like under eye, corner of the nose or upper lip, and any visible spots, and set it up with loose powder. Apply a soft pink lipstick, light blush, and mascara.
Deepika Padukon is the perfect example of a no-makeup look | Wikimedia Commons
This look shouts pink. When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. Everyone should try a rosy look once in a while. As we are focusing on only one shade, this look is pretty easy to achieve. Bring out your favourite pink lipstick, favourite pink blush, and a matching shade of eye shadow. Start with the base - concealer, and foundation and set it up with loose powder. Follow it up with eyeshadow, lipstick, and blush. Remember to draw a line by not using any pink mascara, eyeliner, or a bold shade of lipstick, as this is meant to be soft on the eyes.
When it comes to rosy looks, Janhavi Kapoor does a phenomenal job. | Wikimedia Commons
Glass Skin Makeup
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. This look is slightly complex with an equal focus on skin before makeup, so slather on those moisturizing serums and creams to prep your skin first. Start with a highlighting primer, keep your foundation and concealer minimal to avoid looking cakey. Follow it up with soft blush & nude lips and lots and lots of highlighter. Use the highlighter on the main points of your face, like upper cheekbones, the centre of the forehead, the tip of the nose, cupid bone, and chin. If you are feeling a bit extra, don't hesitate to put some on your shoulders and collar bones. This celebrity makeup look makes your skin glow without the need for a spotlight.
The glass skin makeup is inspired by Korean skincare. | Photo by 邱 严 on Unsplash
Pop It Up
Put a zing to your party look with the pop of funky colour. This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. This works with your eye makeup while keeping the rest of the face minimal. Start with the base - concealer, apply a bit extra on your eyelids to make the colour pop. Don't mind going the extra mile and colour blocking your eyes with complementary colours on eyelids and under the eye. Apply nude lipstick and a soft blush to balance your look.
This look is meant to get you in the mood of partying all night. | Pixabay
(Article originally published by N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Celebrity, makeup, Deepika, Jhanavi, Korean, Red Lipstick, Glass Makeup, Pop makeup