kochi l tuesday l may 24, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION cait now trains its guns on online pharmacies Deep discounting affect retail chemists The retailers’ body has alleged that e-pharmacies are resorting to deep discounting and violating the Drugs & Cosmetics Act ‘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 India joins pact Petrol tax slashed, but you aren’t getting full relief for Indo-Pacific synergy, growth R a k e s h K u m a r @ New Delhi It covers half the population of the world and more than 60% of the global GDP 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- ‘Price benefits could be wiped out in a month’ 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 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- 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. verdict against social evil: Boy’s hate rhetoric at PFI rally viral, triggers outcry VISMAYA’s HUSBAND GUILTY Quantum of punishment to be pronounced today; victim’s family satisfied Express News Service @ Kollam (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 liver for all peoples. The vision for Indo-Pacific is free and India joined the Indo-Pacific open,’’ said Biden. Economic Framework for ProsThe IPEF seeks to strengthen perity (IPEF) that was con- economic partnership amongst ceived by US President Joseph participating countries with R Biden and launched in Tokyo the objective of enhancing reon Monday, with Prime Minis- silience, sustainability, incluter Narendra Modi saying he siveness, economic growth, expects it to become the engine fairness, and competitiveness of global economic growth. in the Indo-Pacific region, acThe IPEF covers cording to a joint stateIt isn’t a half the population of ment issued on IPEF. traditional the world and more Amongst those who free-trade than 60% of the global attended the event virpact: US GDP “India has histor. tually were leaders ically been at the cenfrom Australia, BruUS National tre of trade flows in Security Advisor nei, Indonesia, Repubthe Indo-Pacific relic of Korea, Malaysia, Jake Sullivan g i o n , h av i n g t h e New Zealand, Philipsaid the IPEF is world’s oldest commer- not a traditional p i n e s, S i n g a p o r e, cial port in Lohtal, GuThailand, and Vietfree trade jarat. India is commitnam. The IPEF will agreement, ted towards working initiate discussions on adding new with all Indo-Pacific challenges need trade, supply chains, countries for an IPEF new approaches. clean energy, decarwhich is both inclusive The IPEF is part bonisation, and Infraand flexible. The foun- of US efforts to structure and Tax and dation of resilient sup- counter China’s A n t i - C o r r u p t i o n ply chains must be 3Ts among member aggression on — Trust, Transparennations. trade in the cy and Timeliness,” Meanwhile, India region Modi said. and the US signed an India is looking forward to Investment Incentive Agreecollaborating with partner ment (IIA) that superseded a countries under the IPEF similar pact in 1997. The IIA framework and work towards was signed by Foreign Secreadvancing regional economic tary Vinay Mohan Kwatra and connectivity, integration and US CEO of International Develboosting trade and investment opment Finance Corporation within the region. (DFC) Scott Nathan. The IIA is “The nations represented a legal requirement for DFC, here today and those who will which covers various projoin this framework in future grammes, including debt, inare signing up to work towards vestment guarantee and investan economic vision that will de- ment insurance. Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi Nitish calls all-party meet on Bihar caste census Announcing the decision on Monday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said there is nearconsensus on the date of the meeting (May 27) though some parties are yet to confirm. FOLLOWING four-month a trial, the Kollam Additional District and Sessions Court on Monday found husband S Kiran Kumar, the only accused in the sensational Vismaya dowry death case, guilty . The quantum of punishment w i l l b e p ro n o u n c e d o n Tuesday . Vismaya, a 2 4-year-old BAMS tudent who had coms plained of dowry harassment, was found hanging in the bathroom of iran’s house t K a Sastham otta on June 21 unc der mysterious circumstances. Kiran has been convicted under I PC sections 304B ( owry death), 498A ( owry d d harassment) and 306 ( beta ment to suicide) . “This is a verdict against dowry, he social evil and not t , against a single person. We all S Kiran Kumar being taken back to jail from the Kollam Additional District and Sessions Court | express expec Kiran to get the maxit mum punishment for the crime,” said pecial public s prosecutor Mohanraj. G The investigating officers and Vismaya’s p arents expressed satisfaction with the judgment. igital evidence including D the phone recordings of Kiran and ismaya before her death V turned out to be vital proof in the ase. The audio clip proc duced before the court include d a message sent by Vismaya to her father nine days after her edding and call recordw ings of Kiran and Vismaya. In one clip Vismaya is heard tell, ing er father that she ight h m end her life if she continued to stay at iran’s house. K he motor vehicles departT ment had dismissed iran K , who was an assistant nspeci tor with itsenforcement squad in Kollam from service fol, lowing is arrest. South Zone h IG Harshita Athalluri led the investigation. During the trial, the prosecution produced 41 witnesses, 118 documents and 12 roperp ties at the court Kiran was ac . cused of demanding dowry, physical assault, abetment to suicide, inflicting injuries and P2 threatening . actor abduction case Survivor moves High Court against state govt, trial judge E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kochi The survivor in the 2017 actor abduction and sexual assault case on Monday approached the Kerala High Court casting aspersions on the intentions of the state government and the integrity of the trial court judge. She submitted that the eighth accused, actor Dileep, has unlawfully influenced some of the politicians of the ruling front directly and through his sources. She also alleged that the accused attempted to derail the further probe in the case. She said the state government, which supported her initially and allowed a fair probe, later backtracked from its constitutional commitment to conducting a free, fair and fullfledged investigation. Even though the prosecution approached the High Court with a petition to extend the time limit for the further probe, it is learnt that the prosecution and the investigation agency have been threatened by higher-ups to end the investigation halfway and file the additional final report in a half-cooked manner. “This clearly establishes the illegal nexus between the accused and the ruling front,” she alleged. Dileep’s lawyers interfered with the administration of justice by tampering with evidence and illegally influencing witnesses which is against all ethics and legal ● More on P4 norms. Leaving ordeal behind, Noujisha ‘marches’ on WHILE Vismaya V of Kollam fell victim to domestic violence, Kozhikode resident A Noujisha has a different tale to tell despite having faced a similar ordeal. Six years ago, unable to bear her husband’s torture, she had decided to end her life by jumping into the well on their premises. But standing near the well, she could not summon the ‘courage’ to do so. Instead, she pulled herself around to fight the odds. Now 32, the brave Noujisha has done something inspirational for all distressed women — be- come a police officer. Holder of a master’s degree in computer application, Noujisha joined the police in 2018. TNIE had featured her story on May 26 in 2021. On Sunday, her passing out parade — as a woman civil police officer — was held at the Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur. A video of Noujisha and her seven-year-old son Aiham Nazal sharing their joy after the parade has gone viral on social media. “Not marriage but job is the real power for women. Instead of Noujisha with son Aiham Nazal after her passing-out parade in Thrissur on Sunday. A VIDEO clip of a child raising provocative hate slogans at a rally organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Alappuzha has gone viral on social media, triggering an outcry. Various Hindu and Christian outfits on Monday demanded action against the organisers, while the PFI sought to distance itself from the row, terming it an “aberration” and stating that the party will enquire into the incident. Police initially said that a case has been registered, but later said they are examining the authenticity of the video and will initiate action if it proved genuine. Citing the video, the Kerala High Court observed that children should be protected from political indoctrination which has irreversible long-term con- sequences on the child. Meanwhile, former deputy secretary general of Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council Fr Varghese Vallikkat expressed anguish over the incident and said it cannot be brushed aside as mischief of an innocent boy . “The slogans reflect a fascist behaviour. The responsible leadership should think whether the political atmosphere in Kerala that justifies such attitude is helpful for the future of the country,” he said in a Facebook post. In the video, the boy is seen sitting on the shoulders of a man shouting provocative hate slogans. “The youths around the child were seen repeating the chant. The police of the Pinarayi government have not taken the slogans seriously and there is no information about action against the organisers, said Fr Vallikkat. ● More on P4 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express woman of power A m i ya M e e t h a l @Kozhikode BI J U E PAUL @ Alappuzha suffering in silence, women should come out of the ordeal and chase their dreams. That’s what my experience has taught me,” she told TNIE in the backdrop of the Vismaya verdict on Monday . Belonging to Panthirikkara near Perambra, Noujisha thankfully remembers her elder sister Noufa A, who stood firmly behind her during her tedious divorce process and while attempting to get a government ● More on P4 job. Instead of suffering in silence, women should come out of the ordeal and chase their dreams. That’s what my experience has taught me — A Noujisha
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