July 27, 2021 3:30:37 am
The government has made import of edible oil on private trade account almost uneconomical by steeply raising the customs levy on it. The measure, taken through an ordnance promulgated by the president on July 26, fixes the rate of duty at 150 per cent ad valorem. Only last week, the government, through a notification, had increased the import duty on edible oil imported on private trade account from 12.5 per cent to 42.5 per cent. The latest ordnance amends the First Schedule to Customs Tariff Act 1975 relating to the levy of basic customs duty on edible oils. Concessional duties applied as a result of international agreements will, however, continue.
Indira reaches out
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has said that the Centre was keen on a working arrangement with the governments of non-Congress (I) ruled states. Ending a three-day visit to Kashmir, she said that the Centre did not intend to topple non-Congress (I) governments. She said that the move for rapprochement with the National Conference had begun long ago. However, she denied that she had discussed any accord with Sheikh Abdullah.
Fifty-one villages in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district were inundated by the rising Ghagra river. The floods have affected nearly one million people. According to official reports, the Ghagra has already swept past four upstream districts in Azamgarh. At least 14 people have lost their lives and more than 5,000 villages have been affected.
Akali Dal’s demands
The Akali-Dal sponsored World Sikh Convention gave an ultimatum to the government to accept its demands by July 31 or face an agitation. Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal, president of the Akali Dal, said that Sikhs should be made partners into political, religious and social equality by changing the Constitution into a “real federal one”.