MADURAI l tuesday l may 24, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 14 l LATE CITY EDITION cait now trains its guns on online pharmacies The retailers’ body has alleged that e-pharmacies are resorting to deep discounting and violating the Drugs & Cosmetics Act Deep discounting affect retail chemists ‘Can’t sell prescription drugs online’ According to the Confederation of All India Traders, e-pharma firms such as Pharmeasy, Medlife, 1Mg, Netmeds and e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart are offering medicines at 30-40% discount plus free shipping. CAIT says predatory pricing and unfair business practices will impact the livelihood of lakhs of small chemists across the country ■ Predatory pricing is done with the sole intention of eliminating market competition, CAIT said. It also noted that sale of prescription drugs and medicines through online medium is illegal. The Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, does not permit home delivery as prescription “in original” is required, it added 75% Discount is offered by e-pharmacies for wellness products, Cait alleges CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Petrol tax slashed, but you aren’t getting full relief R a k e s h K u m a r @ New Delhi (From R) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the IPEF’s launch event in Tokyo on Monday | AP India joins pact for Indo-Pacific synergy, growth E x pr e ss N e ws S e rvic e @ Chennai for Indo-Pacific is free and open,’’ said Biden. India joined the Indo-Pacific The IPEF seeks to strengthen Economic Framework for Pros- economic partnership amongst perity (IPEF) that was con- participating countries with ceived by US President Joseph the objective of enhancing reR Biden and launched in Tokyo silience, sustainability, incluon Monday, with Prime Minis- siveness, economic growth, ter Narendra Modi saying he fairness, and competitiveness expects it to become the engine in the Indo-Pacific region, acof global economic growth. cording to a joint statement isThe IPEF covers half the sued on IPEF. population of the world and Amongst those who attended more than 60% of the the event virtually It isn’t a global GDP “India has . were leaders from traditional historically been at the Australia, Brunei, Infree-trade centre of trade flows donesia, Republic of pact: US in the Indo-Pacific reKorea, Malaysia, New g i o n , h av i n g t h e Zealand, Philippines, US National world’s oldest commer- Security Advisor Singapore, Thailand, cial port in Lohtal, Guand Vietnam. The Jake Sullivan jarat. India is commitIPEF will initiate dissaid the IPEF is ted towards working not a traditional cussions on trade, supwith all Indo-Pacific ply chains, clean enfree trade countries for an IPEF ergy decarbonisation, , agreement, which is both inclusive and Infrastructure adding new and flexible. The foun- challenges need and Tax and Anti-Cordation of resilient sup- new approaches. ruption among memply chains must be 3Ts The IPEF is part ber nations. — Trust, Transparen- of US efforts to Meanwhile, India cy and Timeliness,” counter China’s and the US signed an Modi said. Investment Incentive aggression on India is looking forAgreement (IIA) that trade in the ward to collaborating superseded a similar region with partner countries pact in 1997. The IIA under the IPEF framewas signed by Foreign work and work towards advanc- Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra ing regional economic connec- and US CEO of International tivity integration and boosting Development Finance Corpora, trade and investment within tion (DFC) Scott Nathan. The the region. IIA is a legal requirement for “The nations represented DFC, which covers various prohere today and those who will grammes, including debt, injoin this framework in future vestment guarantee, investare signing up to work towards ment insurance or reinsurance, an economic vision that will de- and feasibility studies for poliver for all peoples. The vision tential projects and grants. P9 Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi Jab-o-meter May 22 8,81,668 doses May 23 11,91,382 doses Total: 1,92,50,82,880 NATIONWIDE May 22 May 23 tamil nadu May 22 May 23 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,226 2,022 2,202 2,099 65 46 43 36 0 35 32 0 Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday launched the ‘Kalaignarin All Villages Integrated Agricultural Developm e n t P ro g r a m m e ’ t h at proposes overall agriculture development in all the 15,525 village panchayats through a convergence of Union and State government schemes and externally-aided projects in five years. In the current year, the programme will cover 1,997 village panchayats at a cost of `227.06 crore and benefit over nine lakh agricultural families. U n d e r t h e i n i t i at ive, borewells will be erected in fallow land clusters; farm ponds established; channels, tanks, and ooranies desilted; 11.916 lakh coconut seedlings distributed; pulse seeds dis- tributed for bund cropping; 19,970 sprayers, 2.5 lakh home garden kits, incentive of `5,000 for vegetable cultivation distributed; fruit seedlings and tree saplings provided; micro-irrigation facilities installed for far mers from Adi Dravida community and inlet channels and ponds, etc will be desilted. The pro g ramme aims to bring 11.75 lakh hectares of land under net area cultivated in the next 10 years, increase the doublecropping area to 20 lakh hectares, and make Tamil Nadu With rampant littering of plastic along the 50-km ghat road inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) affecting wildlife, the forest department is mulling the enforcement of a plastic ban along the stretch, like in the Nilgiris, Additional Chief Secretary to Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Department Supriya Sahu told TNIE on Monday . TNIE travelled the entire stretch from Aliyar check post in Pollachi to Malakkappara check post in Parambikulam on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border on Sunday evening and found tourists and eateries indiscriminately littering, and violating other forest rules. At Attakatti, a troop of mon- A monkey chewing and ingesting a plastic bag, at Attakatti | Express The benefits of the excise duty cut would be lost in a month if the Centre allows fuel prices to be hiked like this, warned Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal among the top three States in production of foodgrains, coconut, cotton, sunflower, and groundnut. After explaining the salient features of the programme on the occasion, the CM handed over work orders for establishing borewells to members of far mer g roups in fallow land clusters, incentives for cultivating horticultural crops, and orders for establishing Agri clinics, etc to the beneficiaries. Stalin also announced that he will open the Mettur dam on Tuesday . paddy varieties kept ready for kuruvai Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam said 3,675 tonnes of short-term paddy variety seeds and 56,229 MTs of fertilisers have been kept ready for Kuruvai season. He also directed officials that sufficient stock of urea and DAP be kept ready pected base price shrank the benefit to `9.40. Base price may be changed on a daily basis or less frequently as the OMCs prefer, said Gaurav Moda, India Energy Leader, EY. The final price comprises base price, central excise, dealers’ commission and state VAT. Some taxes are absolute (like Central excise), some are levied as a percentage of the base price. So, the exact price reduction may vary from state to state. There is no such issue in the case of diesel. strong support base has been the upper castes. A caste cenIN a move that will force the sus could show a g reater BJP to take a clear stand on the number of OBCs and a reduced sensitive issue of caste census, population of upper castes, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish which strengthen the demand Kumar has called an all-party that the 50% reservation cap be meeting possibly on lifted. “It is all about May 27. Announcing OBCs, who have a sizthe decision on Monable population in Biday Nitish said there is , har,” said a political near-consensus on the analyst. date of the meeting BJP’s dilemma on though some parties the issue was clearly are yet to confirm. visible when senior The announcement party leader and depucomes two weeks after ty CM Tarkishore Nitish Kumar he had a one-on-one Prasad was evasive in meeting with RJD leader Tejas- his recently media interaction. hwi Yadav on the issue. He said the party was deliberatIn Bihar, caste remains the ing the subject and once a decimain factor for political groups sion was taken, it would be conto garner support of people in veyed to reporters. electoral politics but the BJP The Bihar Assembly had on has adopted an ambivalent ap- February 27, 2020 passed a resoproach towards the proposed lution requesting the Centre to exercise. While the BJP has hold caste census. It had passed made massive inroads into the a similar resolution on FebruOBC support base in Bihar, its ary 18, 2019. R a m a s h a n k a r @ Patna licenced weapon express read CM’s pushback against Takht’s call to arms Chennai records its hottest day of the year Chennai: After a brief relief from scorching heat over the past week due to rains, Chennai recorded its hottest day of the year on Monday. Weather stations at Meenambakkam and Nungambakkam recorded 39.2 degrees Celsius and 40.1 degrees Celsius respectively. Weathermen said the temperature will cross 40 degrees Celsius in coming days H a rpr e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Vinai Kumar Saxena is new Lt Governor of Delhi New Delhi: Vinai Kumar Saxena, the chairperson of Khadi and Village Industries Commission, was on Monday appointed the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Saxena, 64, will succeed Anil Baijal who resigned last week citing “personal reasons” flying colours It’s ‘Holi’ ahead of the summer holidays for Class 12 students, as they celebrate the completion of their public board examination on Monday with colour powders. A scene from a government school in Vellore district | s dinesh Plastic ban on the cards in Anamalai reserve SV K R I SHNA C HA I TANYA @ Chennai ‘Price benefits could be wiped out in a month’ tral excise duty on petrol by `8 per litre and `6 per litre on diesel. She claimed it would reduce the price of petrol by `9.5 per litre and of diesel by `7 per litre in Delhi. After confusion prevailed among consumers in Kerala on the real impact of the excise duty cut on fuel prices, the state’s finance minister K N Balagopal clarified that consumers in the state should have got a price reduction of `10.41 following the 8 cut in excise duty and the `2.41 reduction in state tax but the unex- TN launches integrated All-party meet on Bihar agri-development scheme caste census on Friday It covers half the population of the world and more than 60% of the global GDP Take your shot Consumers were in for a shock on Sunday as the reduction in petrol prices thanks to the excise duty cut was lower than they had thought. Vehicle users in Delhi were expecting `9.50 cut in petrol prices but the reduction was only `8.69. Consumers in other cities also had to shell out more than expected. Reason: the state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) raised the base price of petrol overnight, which jacked up the net retail price. OMCs update the base price as and when backend crude and refining prices change. According to the price notification of OMCs, the oil companies increased the base price on petrol by 58 paise, making petrol almost `1 dearer. Following the hike in base price, the petrol costs `96.72 per litre in Delhi, instead of `95.91 per litre. It means people in Delhi were paying 81 paise per litre more at petrol pumps. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Saturday announced slashing the Cen- keys was seen queuing up waiting for tourists to feed them, with one of the simians spotted chewing and ingesting a plastic carry bag. Hours after the video of the incident was posted on social media, Sahu instructed district forest officers (DFOs) of all the tiger reserves to intensify vehicular checks. “A workshop will be conducted for all DFOs in Nilgiris to make them aware of how the ban works. It can be achieved only if all the departments concerned work together. The Coimbatore Corporation, revenue department, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, and forest department will be appraised,” she said. MG Ganesan, Deputy Direc- tor of ATR, said that from Sunday night, vehicular checking was intensified at Aliyar check post. “Additional staff has been deployed to ensure no tourist vehicle carries any plastic items into the tiger reserve. We have installed a plastic shredder machine, and are setting up a drinking water dispenser at the check post,” he said. The eateries located at Attakatti, the waterfalls area, Iyerpadi, and in Valparai town, which sell plastic items, will, however, pose a challenge to the ban as tourists discard items bought there on the roads, which then find their way into the water streams the wildlife access. P2 Virudhunagar gangrape case: Chargesheet filed against 7 E x pr e ss N e ws S e rvic e @ Virudhunagar THE CB-CID police on Monday filed a chargesheet against seven persons, including three minors, in the Virudhunagar gangrape case, at the Special Court for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Srivilliputhur. While police had initially arrested eight persons, including four juveniles, sources said the name of one of the juveniles has been dropped from the 806-page chargesheet, filed with the Additional District Judge BC Gobinath, following inquiry . “The CB-CID police has reg- istered cases against the accused persons — Hariharan, Junaith Ahamed, Madasamy, Praveen, and four juveniles — under 16 sections of the SC/ST (POA) Act, Information Technology Act, and Indian Penal Code. They had questioned the accused persons, the victim, their family members, and friends, and submitted about 85 documents in the court. The mobile phones, call details, and internet usage of the accused persons were examined,” sources said. The eight accused were booked for allegedly blackmailing a 22-year-old SC woman with a video of her, and raping her repeatedly . Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Monday stirred the pot by urging all Sikhs to have licensed modern weapons, given the uncertain times they are living in. Hours later, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma took strong exception to the call, but Shiromani Akali Dal leaders supported it. Significantly, people in Punjab already have more than 3.50 lakh licensed weapons. The jathedar, in his address to mark the anniversary of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib, urged Sikh boys and girls to keep traditional material arts like gatka alive. “Sikhs should also be armed with licenced modern weapons in today’s age,’’ he said while urging people to shun drugs. Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of Sikhs. The jathedar is its high priest. Appalled by the statement, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann urged the jathedar to spread the message of peace, harmony and brotherhood, adding weapons don’t have any place in a rules-based civilised society. Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma said that jathedar should talk about communal harmony and peace rather than weapons, adding his statement gave a wrong message to the masses. For their part, Shiromani Akali Dal leaders justified the jathedar’s message, saying weapons are inte g ral to Sikhism. They said the call was in the context of the poor law and order situation in Punjab.
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