India bans E-Cigarettes sales and says there’s an ‘epidemic’

E-cigarettes will be banned in India with immediate effect, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Wednesday. Envisioned as a tool to combat tobacco addiction, electronic cigarettes and other vaping products have become a major problem and increase the risk of children taking up smoking, she said.

“The production, manufacturing, import or export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned,” Ms Sitharaman said, announcing that the union cabinet had cleared an ordinance that has been sent to President Ram Nath Kovind.

E-cigarettes are being used as a “style statement”, the minister said, and the government wants to stop the contagion before it spreads. Many e-cigarette companies have been accused of trying to attract a new generation of nicotine users.

The Health Ministry had proposed to ban the devices in public interest, saying it was needed to ensure e-cigarettes don’t become an “epidemic” among children and young adults.

Banning alternative smoking devices like e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn smoking devices, vape and e-nicotine flavoured hookahs was among the key priorities of the first 100 days agenda of the Narendra Modi government in its second term.

The move comes just a week after US President Donald Trump proposed a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes.

More than nine lakh people die each year in the country due to tobacco-related illnesses. But India has over 10 crore adult smokers, second only to China in the world, making it a lucrative market for firms such as Juul and Philip Morris.

Good news for Railway employees

Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javdekar briefed the media on key Cabinet decisions. The Union Cabinet approved 78 days’ of wages as bonus for Railway employees. It will lead to outgo of over ₹2,000 crore.

The Cabinet also banned production, export, import and distribution of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that produce aerosol by heating a solution containing nicotine, which is the addictive substance in combustible cigarettes.

Here are the key decisions taken by the Union Cabinet today:

The Cabinet today approved 78-day wages as productivity bonus to Railway employees

This is for the sixth consecutive year that productivity linked bonus is being given to Railway employees.

This will benefit over 11 lakh Railway employees

Cabinet also banned e-cigarettes

Production, export, import and distribution of e-cigarettes banned

The decision to prohibit e-cigarettes will help protect the population, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction through E-cigarettes.

भारतीय सांस्कृतिक संबंध परिषद द्वारा 5वां अंतर्राष्‍ट्रीय रामायण उत्‍सव आयोजित

रामायण भाषाओं की मर्यादा लांघकर भारतीय संस्कृति की राजदूत बनकर अनेक देशों में पहुंची है– अमित शाह ने कहा कि महाकाव्य में राजा के कर्तव्यों का आदर्श उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया गया है केंद्रीय गृह मंत्री ने कहा कि रामायण में कई ऐसे संवाद है जो नीतिशास्त्र, प्रशासन, युद्ध शास्त्र तथा ज्ञान विज्ञान का परिचय देते हैं राम ने पूरा जीवन मर्यादा में रहकर जिया – अमित शाह

केंद्रीय गृह मंत्री अमित शाह ने भारतीय सांस्कृतिक संबंध परिषद के द्वारा आयोजित पांचवें अंतर्राष्‍ट्रीय रामायण उत्‍सव में बोलते हुए कहा कि भारतीय संस्‍कृति के प्रचार-प्रसार के सभी उद्देश्‍यों की पूर्ति के लिए रामायण मंचन से अच्‍छा कोई कार्यक्रम नहीं हो सकता। उनका कहना था कि रामायण महाकाव्‍य में बहुत शक्ति है और हजारों सालों की अविरल धारा प्रवाह अभिव्यक्ति केवल रामायण के द्वारा हुई है।

शाह का कहना था कि रामायण केवल एक चरित्र की घटना नहीं है। मानवीय जीवन के सारी ऊंचाइयों को भूले बगैर जीवन को रेखांकित करने का काम महर्षि वाल्मीकि ने किया है साथ ही महर्षि वाल्मीकि ने आने वाले समय में पतन के कारणों को भी इंगित किया है।

अमित शाह ने कहा कि महाकाव्य में राजा के कर्तव्यों का आदर्श उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया गया है। राजा के द्वारा धैर्य के साथ अपने पिता की बात मानने के लिए कितना बलिदान, कितना त्याग किया जा सकता है यह भी दर्शाया गया है। उन्‍होंने कहा कि राजा राम ने पूरा जीवन मर्यादा में रहकर जिया। राम के जीवन को काव्य स्वरूप में देने का काम महर्षि वाल्मीकि ने किया है। उनका कहना था कि दुनिया की सभी भाषाओं में रामायण का भावा-अनुवाद हुआ है।

शाह ने यह भी कहा कि यह केवल संस्कृति की उद्घोषणा करने वाला, आदर्श जीवन को समझाने वाला काव्य नहीं है बल्कि इसके अंदर कई ऐसे संवाद है जो नीतिशास्त्र, प्रशासन, युद्ध शास्त्र तथा ज्ञान विज्ञान का भी परिचय देते हैं।

शाह का कहना था कि रामायण से ज्ञात होता है कि जब स्त्री की मर्यादा का लोप होता है तब राज्य का लोप होता है, संस्कृति का लोप होता है। उन्‍होंने गांधीजी का जिक्र करते हुए कहा कि जब काका साहेब कालेलकर के कहने पर कौटिल्य के नीतिशास्‍त्र की प्रस्तावना एक वाक्य में लिखना था तब गांधी जी ने लिखा था यह ग्रंथ नहीं है महाग्रंथ है। इसी तरह रामायण को पढ़ने के बाद व्यक्तिगत जीवन, सामाजिक जीवन तथा देश की सारी समस्याओं का समाधान रामायण में मिल सकता है। श्री शाह ने कहा कि रामायण भाषाओं की मर्यादा लांघकर भारतीय संस्कृति की राजदूत बनकर अनेक देशों में पहुंची है।

IMD issues heavy rainfall alert for Maharashtra, AP

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday predicted that isolated places over Madhya Maharashtra, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are likely to witness heavy rainfall today.

The weather forecasting agency also predicted that isolated places over Vidarbha, Konkan, Goa, Telangana, Interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal are expected to receive heavy downpour throughout the day.

Thunderstorm accompanied with squall (wind speed 50-60 kmph) very likely to occur at isolated places over Andaman and Nicobar Islands; with lightning at isolated places over Odisha.

Strong winds, speed reaching 40-50 kmph, are likely to prevail over western parts of west-central and southwest Arabian Sea, Gulf of Mannar and adjoining Tamil Nadu coast.

Squally weather conditions are likely to prevail over south Andhra Pradeshnorth Tamil Nadu coasts and the Andaman Sea.

The organisation has advised fishermen not to venture into these areas for the next few days.

ANI

Centre lifts ban on purchase of new cars by govt departments

The auto sector is set to get a boost as Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government has lifted the ban on the purchase of new cars for its departments.

The official communication to lift ban on the purchase of vehicles by government departments was issued by the government.

Also, the order was sent to the cabinet secretary, finance advisors to all ministries and departments, principal secretary to Prime Minister and to vice-chairman NITI Aayog for implementation.

The lifting of ban comes days after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman promised measures to provide relief to the slowing down sector in the economy.

In the order issued, it is stated that the decision is “pertaining to economy measures and rationalization of expenditure.”

According to officials, an earlier order about the purchase of cars by the government had put a ceiling on the cost of the vehicle that can be bought and also made it mandatory to buy these cars only through Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals.

The new order has brought in flexibility of buying cars as and when need arises.

“Purchase of new vehicles to meet the operational requirement of Defence Forces, Central Paramilitaty Forces & security related organizations are permitted. Ban on purchase of other vehicles (including staff cars) will continue except against condemnation. Consequent to the aforesaid condition, all proposals relating to purchase of vehicles by Ministries/Departments other than those against condemnation were being made with the concurrence of the Department of Expenditure,” the order stated.

It further added, “The matter regarding ban on purchase of vehicles (including staff cars) except against condemnation has been reassessed and examined by this Department. I am directed to state that the ban on purchase of other vehicles (including staff cars) except against condemnation stands withdrawn with immediate effect.

The purchase of new staff cars on requirement basis including against condemnation will continue to be regulated within the ceiling fixed by the Department of Expenditure from time to time. Purchase of vehicles other than staff cars for operational need is also allowed.”

The order also stated that that ministries and departments in consultation with their financial advisers shall ensure that all purchases of vehicles are made judiciously keeping in mind the principle of “need” and want.

(ANI)

Mumbai: MNS leader slams Mr. Bachchan for supporting metro construction

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Akhil Chitre on Wednesday slammed megastar Amitabh Bachchan for joining the chorus of voices lobbying for the construction of the metro in Mumbai by cutting trees.

Speaking to ANI, Chitre said, “In 2010, Amitabh Bachchan was opposing the metro just because his privacy was getting hampered. But, within a few years, after the change of the government, his views changed. I do not know what deal he has done with the current government. His views may also have changed because of the change of route of the metro. It is very sad when people across Mumbai are protesting against the cutting of trees in Aarey forest, he is tweeting in favour of metro construction there.”

On Tuesday, Bachchan took to Twitter and called metro as a faster, convenient and efficient mode of transport and suggested that metro is the solution to combat the menace of air pollution.

“Friend of mine had a medical emergency, decided to take METRO instead of his car .. came back very impressed .. said was faster, convenient and most efficient .. Solution for Pollution …Grow more trees .. I did in my garden .. have you,” the Bollywood actor tweeted.

However, there are some Bollywood actors who are against the cutting of trees in Aarey forest and have also protested against the construction of the metro.

On September 11, actor Shraddha Kapoor joined protesters opposing the decision of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s tree Authority to slash 27,000 trees in the Aarey forest, to make car shed for the metro.
The ‘Saaho’ actor also posted a picture on Instagram of herself holding a placard from the protest and wrote, “It is shocking, unacceptable and has to stop.”

(ANI)

Priyanka hits out at Centre, says mere talking about 5 trillion economy won’t help

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday hit out at the Central government in wake of current economic crisis, saying that by merely talking about 5 trillion economy and managing media headlines will not improve nation’s economy.

Taking to Twitter, the Congress General Secretary said, “Indian economy will not improve just by talking of 5 trillion economy or managing headlines. One cannot attract investors by organising events abroad. The confidence of investors has been shaken. Economic investment has taken a toll.

“The BJP government is not accepting the fact. The economic slowdown, like a speed breaker, has affected the speed with which the nation was progressing,” she said in another tweet.

These statements from the Congress leader came after a business daily published a report claiming that global investors are withdrawing money from Indian markets post the economic slowdown.

(ANI)