Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 1

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 65 of 75

66 tobaccoasia CLOSING NEWS 卷尾新闻 India Tobacco Cheaper Than Food A study conducted by the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) said the current excise and value added tax (VAT) rates are insuf- ficient to increase the prices of tobacco products, therefore making these products easily affordable. Highlighting that tobacco taxation as a fiscal policy was an advantage for both public health and revenue generation, Henk Bekedam, WHO representative to India, said that tax burden on tobacco products was not in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) recommendations, which says excise taxes should account for at least 70% of retail prices of tobacco products. According to Article 6 of FCTC to which India is a party, the prices of tobacco products must be increased periodically to make them inflation-adjust- ed and there should be a uniform increase in tax rates across products. The study recommended that tax on all types of tobacco products should be increased substantially and further the tobacco tax regime should be broadened to include the unorganized manufactur- ing sector under the tax net. It also recommended that the tax exemptions on production of less than two million bidis should be eliminated and tax slabs on cigarettes based on length should be eliminated in a phased manner. These findings come on the heels of another health ministry report, which estimated that the total economic cost attributable to tobacco use from all diseases in 2011 amounted to a staggering Rs.1,04,500 crore (US$22.4 billion) in India, equivalent to 1.04% of India's GDP. Australia Ancient Tobacco Off to Space A team of Australian scientists has discovered a gene in a "magical" tobacco plant that will open the door for space-based food production, especially during deeper space human missions, including to Mars. Professor Peter Waterhouse, a plant geneticist at the Queensland University of Technology, discovered the gene in the ancient Australian native tobacco plant Nicotiana benthamiana – known as Pitjuri to indigenous Australian aborigi- nal tribes. "This plant is the 'laboratory rat' of the molecular plant world. We think of it as a magical plant with amazing properties," he said in a university statement. "We have discovered that it is the plant equivalent of the nude mouse used in medical research," added lead researcher Julia Bally. "What we found may have a big impact on future plant biotechnology research." The team found that this particular plant has survived in its current form in the wild for around 750,000 years. The plant has lost its "immune system" and has done that to focus its energies on being able to germinate and grow quickly, rapidly flower, and set seed after even a small amount of rainfall. The plant has worked out how to fight drought -- its number one predator -- in order to survive through genera- tions. Scientists could use this discovery to investigate other niche or sterile growing environments where plants were protected from disease -- and space was an intriguing option. The findings also have implications for future genetic research on Earth. Kuwait Smoking Ban in Effect A smoking ban has recently gone into effect inside malls in the emirate of Kuwait, spurred on by the Environment Public Authority (EPA). The authority reminded everyone that smoking indoors would result in paying a fine ranging between KD 50 (US$167) and KD 100 (US$334). The penalty would also apply on those who smoke electronic cigarettes inside restaurants or cafés, the EPA said. As for an owner of a restaurant or café that allows smoking inside his or her facility risks paying up to KD 5,000, an authority representative said. An office for environmental police has been allocated in malls around Kuwait to monitor and make sure that the anti-smoking law is applied, and the officers would intervene instantly should customers refuse to cooperate. Mall administrations were allowed to set up special cabins for smokers. Turkey Star Tobacco Appointment Effective January 1, 2016, Akin Akdogan is promoted at Star Tobacco to lead the CRT business in addition to his current management position at government tobacco monopolies & group logistics. In this capacity he will oversee CRT sourcing, manage the blend portfolio and work closely with regional management in sales forecasting and production planning. Akin has been instrumental in growing Star's business with tobacco monopolies and his role will be to further expand this important additional business for Star Tobacco. Akin will be located at the company's corporate HQ office in Istanbul, Turkey. He is also a member of the chief executive committee (CEC) which steers long term company strategy. Akin joined Star Tobacco in August 2012. A Turkish national, he holds a master of science degree in international transportation management from the State University of New York. Indonesia Promotion at Star Effective January 1, 2016, Atik Sugiati is promoted at Star Tobacco to the position of finance & administration manager Indonesian region reporting to Henri Kusuma, general manager Indonesian region. In this role she will supervise the finance function in close liaison with Mehmet Ayyildiz, group finance manager and oversee logistics and administration at the Denpasar HQ. Atik joined Star Tobacco in Septem- ber 2014 and has played a key role in establishing the company HQ (PT Far East Leaf Indonesia) in Denpasar. She has over 19 years of customer care and Marketing experience gained with P.T. Monang Sianipar Abadi Indonesia. Of Indonesian origin, Atik speaks fluent Bahasa and English.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Tobacco Asia - Volume 20, Number 1