Monday, July 03, 2017

3rd july,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter

Chinese researchers create antioxidant-rich purple rice to combat cancer, other diseases

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-03 03:00:35|Editor: Mengjie

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Researchers in China have successfully created genetically modified purple rice that is rich in antioxidants and thus has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, according to the study published this week in the journal Molecular Plant.
The added health benefits of the new rice came from high levels of anthocyanins, a group of antioxidant-boosting pigments that also provide the purple, red or blue colors of many fruits and vegetables.
Consumption of rice rich in anthocyanins can benefit human health, decreasing the risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic disorder, said the journal Molecular Plant.
However, previous attempts to engineer anthocyanin production in rice have failed because the underlying biosynthesis pathway is highly complex.
To address this challenge, Yao-Guang Liu of the South China Agricultural University and his colleagues first set out to identify the genes related to anthocyanin production in different rice varieties.
The team also pinpointed the defective genes in japonica and indica, subspecies that do not produce anthocyanins.
Then, the researchers developed what they called "a highly efficient, easy-to-use transgene stacking system" and used it to insert eight genes needed to produce anthocyanin into the japonica and indica rice varieties.
As expected, the resulting purple rice had high anthocyanin levels and antioxidant activity.
"This is the first demonstration of engineering such a complex metabolic pathway in plants," Liu said in a statement.
In the future, the researchers believed that their strategy could be used for the production of many other important nutrients and medicinal ingredients.
The researchers now planned to evaluate the safety of the new purple rice as biofortified food, and they will also try to engineer the biosynthesis of anthocyanins in other crops to produce more purple cereals.
"Our research provides a high-efficiency vector system for stacking multiple genes for synthetic biology and makes it potentially feasible for engineering complex biosynthesis pathways in the endosperm of rice and other crop plants such as maize, wheat, and barley," Liu said

Kashmiris’ Method of Cooking Rice: A Potential Cause of Diabetes

By Hilal Ahmad Rather
Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood sugar. This, over time, leads to serious damage of various body organs including the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Broadly, diabetes is categorised into three types which are diabetes type 1, diabetes type 2 and gestational diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes is the most common and occurs usually in adults when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. In the past few decades, the prevalence of diabetes has risen dramatically in the world.
About 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes often develops in adults, but children can be affected too.Diabetes is one of the major causes of death worldwide.According to the World Health Organisation, the total global diabetic population in the year 2000 stood at 170 million which is estimated to spike up to 366 million. India itself is home to 63 million diabetics and the number is estimated to be 100 million by 2030.
The estimates depict that diabetes prevalence has doubled and so far has grown by over 100% in the past 15 years. However, patterns of diabetic incidences are related to the geographical distribution in India.There are two categories of population based on the life styles in India, urban population and rural population. Diabetes prevalence in rural populations is one-quarter that of the urban population. The clear cause is the difference of life style due to modernisation. Kashmir valley, which lies in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent, has been undergoing similar changes on account of modernity and sedentary lifestyles. However, the food habit of the inhabitants might be the major cause of the diabetes.

White rice is the staple food of the Kashmiri people; most Kashmiris consume rice twice a day. Although, rice is pleasing to the palate of every Kashmiri, it significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes when eaten regularly. White rice has high glycemic index (GI), which is a number associated with a particular type of food to indicates its effect on the blood sugar level of a person. It indicates how fast a particular food can raise the blood sugar level. Diets with low GI indicates its moderate potential to rise the blood sugar level while the diets with high GI may cause blood sugar level to increase above the optimal level and leads to a greater risk of type 2 diabetes. Harvard researchers suggest that eating less white rice could make a difference.
The researchers show that the more white rice is eaten, the higher the risk of type 2 diabetes: they showed that on the regular basis, each plate of white rice eaten in a day raises the risk of diabetes by 11% (assuming 158 grams per plate). Furthermore, people who ate the highest amounts of white rice had 27% higher risk of diabetes than those who ate the least.
White rice contains about 90% carbohydrates, which could be the major cause of type 2 diabetes. However, the methods of cooking plays a major role in the maintaining the carbohydrate level of rice. Traditionally in each household, rice is cooked by boiling it till all the water is steamed out. However, with the advancement in life styles, the method of cooking rice has also seen its turn from the traditional ways to rice cookers. People find it easy because it saves time.
All they need to do is put the switch on after putting the measured volume of water and rice. In both the methods, rice is not drained with the water after it is cooked. By this method, the whole starch content remains in the rice. It gets accumulated in the body once it is consumed. Therefore, straining off the extra starch water from rice after being cooked could be the potential solution to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. After cooking the rice in more volume of water than used in the traditional methods, it should be drained with the running water. Hence, this method of cooking helps to remove the starch from the cooked rice and more rice can be consumed compared to rice cooked by traditional ways.
—The author is a Ph.D. Scholar at School of Life Sciences, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar. He can be reached at:

Technology discovered for rice cultivation without water

Pakistani agriculture scientists have discovered a technology through which rice can be cultivated without water. Punjab Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mehmood said this in a statement issued here on Sunday. He said: “Our agriculture scientists are fully capable who are proving their metal through hardwork”.
The secretary said the latest research of scientists would directly help poor farmers. A research wing of the agriculture department had given a message to the scientists across the world that they were not less than any one.—APP
DALEX Finance empowers 10,000 Rice Farmers
Friday 30th June, 2017
Accra, June 30, GNA - Dalex Finance and Leasing Company Limited has rolled-out agricultural financing boosting package to empower over 10,000 Rice farmers in Northern Ghana.The DALEX Agricultural Financing Boosting funds would be used to provide farming inputs - fertilizer, improved seeds, and combined harvesters to ensure prompt and efficient harvesting of the rice.Mr Kenneth Kwamina Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of DALEX who unveiled the package explained that DALEX would continue to explore profitable and sustainable model for funding small-holder farmers who were the bedrock of Ghana’s agricultural sector.
He further called on other financial institutions to follow the example of DALEX  to support the Agricultural sector.
He said DALEX is working in partnership with Shinkaafa Buni Rice Farmers Association (SHINKAAFA BUNI) “We are mining the value chain by also engaging Avnash Rice Mill, who guaranteed to purchase the rice from the farmers.”Mr Ken Thompson also called on the Ministry of Agriculture to expedite action to avert the looming disaster posed by the Army Worm.He indicated that the Army Worm had been found in the Eastern, Brong- Ahafo, Ashanti and Western Regions, and since 2016, had destroyed more than 5,870 hectares of maize, cowpea and cocoa. “The effect of these pests could be worse than the ‘biblical plague of locusts’ if unchecked”.
Mr Nbanty Dagbanja, a rice farmer from Dagbanjado and beneficiary of the DALEX Agricultural Financing Boosting package commended SHINKAAFA and DALEX for providing the seeds that had improved their yields, for the chemicals and fertilizers, and for the harvesting services which had improved the prosperity of his fellow farmers.
Mr Akshay Sharma, Chairperson of SHINKAAFA BUNI and Head, Northern Region, Avnash Industries outlined some of the challenges of Milling Rice in Ghana.He noted: “The local paddy (raw material) prices are too expensive, as the yields per acre achieved by the farmers generally in Ghana was as low as 800 Kg/ acre compared to minimum of 2.4 MT / acre internationally in Thailand, Vietnam, India, USA, and Pakistan.
“The prices of local rice therefore becomes uncompetitive with imported rice.”Mr Sharma supported the “One village - One Dam” proposal because of the potential of irrigation in raising even higher the yields of the local rice farmer.Mr Samuel Sarpong, Executive Director of SHINKAAFA explained that the company had strengthened the rice sector by engaging the farmers at community level.He said the partnership with DALEX was part of their mission to develop sustainable models for finance to assist the smallholder farmer.
The DALEX Agricultural Finance Boosting package offered credit facilities to farmers over the innovative Dalex SWIFT mobile platform (*721#).The SWIFT platform gave subscribers access to investment and savings services.Farmers received their payments through mobile money and then can make deposits into their investment accounts and have real-time access to their account balances whiles SWIFT provided call centre support in Dagbani.

Pakistani scientists discover ways for rice sowing without water

MULTAN – Punjab secretary agriculture Muhammad Mahmud said on Friday that Pakistani scientists have successfully developed a technology that will help farmers sow rice without water.Rice is sown with water in abundance in the field, however, the recent development would be helpful for the farming community facing water shortage problem.
“Our scientists are among the world’s best and they have achieved a milestone in a short span of time,” said the secretary agriculture. Referring to use of high flying bird falcon in his poetry by the Poet of East, Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Mahmud said: “Our scientists are Shaheen (Falcon) of Iqbal.”In this world of research, our scientists have made their presence felt, he added.The new development has put a new life in the agriculture sector, concluded the release quoting Mahmud. – APP

Study on how to boost rice storage

A feasibility study into the possibility of establishing a series of warehouses and kiln for rice farmers is exploring how to improve the quality of storage in the industry.The study will be conducted by the Cambodia Rice Federation, Soma Group, and two companies from China’s Jilin province.

Hun Lak, vice president of CRF, said the research is the first stage of developing the rice sector in Cambodia by establishing standardised warehouses and kilns.

The new facilities will enable Cambodia to collect paddy rice for long-term storage and will stabilise supplies of the grain, he said.

“We will be able to store rice until in the market price is right and there is high demand. This will ensure a stable income for suppliers all year long,” Mr Lak said. “We will be able to eliminate losses in harvest season.”

However, Mr Lak said it is still not known how much money will be invested into the warehouses and how many will be built.

“The capital is not yet finalised,” Mr Lak said. “Detailed studies must be conducted before we can finalise the project.”

In the past, Cambodian farmers were forced to sell quality paddy rice to neighbouring countries at low price because of a lack of storage facilities, he said.

Last year, the government asked China to provide loans for building warehouses and kiln. China also agreed to increase its quota of rice imports from Cambodia from 100,000 to 300,000 tonnes.

The budget for this project however will be provided by investors from Jilin province in China.

Mr Lak could not confirm where the first warehouse and kiln will be located, but according to Jin Yu Hui, vice governor of Jilin province, Battambang is the priority area.
CRF president Sok Puthyvuth, who is also CEO of Soma Group, said the project will benefit the entire rice sector, including farmers, rice millers, and rice exporters.Bangladesh plans to import one to 1.5 million metric tons of rice from abroad in the current fiscal year to cut the food deficit as well as to check skyrocketing of the staple food price in the country."Primarily, we had a plan to import 600,000 MT of rice ... but the amount will be increased to one to 1.5 million MT to reduce the food grain deficit," Badrul Hasan, the director-general of the Department of Food, told state-owned BSS.

At the same time, the government decision to decrease import tariff on rice import would also help reduce rice price in the country, said the official.Under the plan, Hasan said, around 250,000 MT rice will be imported from Vietnam under the government to government (G2G) basis with per tonne price of US$430 to 470.
"The first consignment of the imported rice will reach country by July 12," he said. Besides this, the government has floated tender to import more 150,000 tones of rice, he said, adding the rice will arrive in the country within stipulated time. Regarding 18 per cent import duty withdrawal on rice import, the chief food official said that it would help slash rice price as only Tk 3.30 will be imposed on per kilo rice import instead of Tk 9 earlier.

He said a food ministry delegation will visit Thailand on July 5 for discussion with the Thai government on rice import.Talking about rice import from India, Hasan said now the government is considering importing rice from India as the rice production in the country has exceeded to 110 million tonnes from the earlier production of 105 million tonnes.
According to the latest report compiled by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) shows the price of coarse variety rice increased by 46.88 per cent in the last one year. In 2016, the price of per kg coarse variety rice was Tk 30-35 while it rose to Tk 46-48 in the same corresponding time of this year. The country's current food grain stock in public sector is around 384,000 MT of which rice is 165,000 MT and wheat is 219,000 MT

 Politicos may derail antipoverty plans
By: Ben O. de Vera - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:04 AM July 03, 2017
Editor’s Note: Starting June 25, the Inquirer will run on its print, online, and social media platforms a series of stories, reports and commentaries on the socioeconomic impact – positive and negative – that President Duterte has made in his first year in office. The articles will focus on how the former Davao City mayor has coped with the challenges of the presidency in five major areas that Filipinos consider most important in their lives: peace and order, traffic, economy, governance and foreign policy. This evaluation of the administration’s achievements and shortcomings will take into account what Mr. Duterte had promised to do during last year’s presidential campaign, his June 30 inaugural speech and his July 25 State of the Nation Address.
RICE IMPORTS The Duterte administration has disallowed government-to-government rice procurement in favor of private sector importation, but retained the quantitative restrictions. —INQUIRER PHOTO
(Last of three parts)
President Rodrigo Duterte’s socioeconomic agenda shows signs of promise, but so far, there have been no drastic reforms meant to cut poverty while sustaining economic growth, economists told the Inquirer.
Gilberto M. Llanto, president of the state-run Philippine Institute for Development Studies, said the markets appeared to have discounted the President’s often fiery and controversial statements because “what we are seeing is a prominent display of the resilience of the economy and its capacity for stronger growth in the near future.”
 “If you go by the metric of macroeconomic fundamentals, the economy is on the right growth trajectory, given the so-called headwinds affecting it,” Llanto said.
But all the administration’s plans to cut poverty could be derailed if traditional politicians got in the way of growth and insisted on their agenda, Llanto warned.
“A good thing is the clear target on poverty reduction given by the administration. Tying Odysseus to the mast is a good thing. This will put a strong focus on inclusive growth and the requisite measure to achieve those targets,” he said.
Llanto said the administration was doing fine with the proposed tax reforms, but it was Congress that was attempting to water it down.
“This must be stressed to the public,” he said.
While the administration is sincere in its efforts, there is concern that certain “politicos, who have the capacity to support or frustrate those efforts,” pose a problem, Llanto said.
However, Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) president Calixto Chikiamco said more work would have to be done, citing the supposed underperformance by the administration’s so-called “Dutertenomics.”
“Let me cite some economic statistics: unemployment in January was 6.6 percent, the highest in two years. Inflation last month was 3.1 percent, slightly down from 3.4 percent from April, which was the highest in two years.
 “The latest self-rated poverty statistics of Social Weather Stations showed an increase in the people describing themselves as poor to 50 percent, or half of the population,” Chikiamco said.
Slight drop in growth
He said economic growth slightly dropped last year, disappointing some, while public spending remained flat.
“One thing to look out for is that consumption spending was down, which could have been due to higher inflation or some other factor that worries about employment,” he said.
He added that while agriculture showed a robust 5-percent growth, it was merely a rebound because the sector contracted by more than 4 percent from the year before.
“Agriculture was also helped by the lack of major typhoons and good weather. The environment for mining was negative, due to the antimining policies of former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez,” Chikiamco said.
Game-changing reforms
He also said the Duterte administration had simply not carried out game-changing economic reforms in its first year.
He noted, for instance, the lack of reforms in the rice sector.
“The administration had a chance to make a major, consequential reform in rice policy, but it lacked the courage to do it,” he said.
While Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. and the economic managers finally prevailed over the National Food Authority (NFA) and disallowed government-to-government rice procurement and instead favored private sector importation, they still retained quantitative restrictions.
This meant that importation would still be capped and rice prices kept higher than it should be.
It also allowed the NFA to retain its legal monopoly and gave it the power to issue limited permits to the private sector for importation, which could be a source of favoritism and corruption, Chikiamco said.
Not to mention that keeping quantitative restrictions would also be a violation of the country’s World Trade Organization commitments, thereby courting possible sanctions from the trade governing body.
The FEF president said the ideal reform would have been to abolish the legal monopoly of the NFA, liberalize the importation of rice and impose a reasonable tariff, with the tariff revenue going to helping rice farmers to increase productivity or to diversify.
Telco sector
Chikiamco also lamented that “there has also been no movement with respect to improving competition” in the telecommunication sector.
As for the plan to lift foreign investment restrictions, he said “it has been all talk with little concrete action,” as “there has been no movement to curtail the foreign investment negative list.”
On foreign aid, Chikiamco said the President’s rush to relying on Chinese official development assistance (ODA) might make the Philippines more vulnerable to pressure from China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea.
While the US economy has strengthened with its lowest unemployment in years, China has to grapple with its “overleveraged economy,” he said.
Explore on our special anniversary site the Inquirer series of multiplatform reports and commentaries on the gains and challenges during President Duterte's first year in office. Daily content begins June 25 till July 24.

Space’ worry for rice millers

By Express News Service  |   Published: 03rd July 2017 02:23 AM  |  
Last Updated: 03rd July 2017 10:10 AM  

JEYPORE: Over two lakh quintals of rice, meant for Public Distribution System, have been dumped at milling units in Koraput district in the absence of space at rice receiving centres to store the stock. Only 60 per cent  of custom-milled rice of last kharif season has been supplied to the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department so far.

The Civil Supply wing of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department had procured 16 lakh quintals of paddy from farmers of the district in last kharif season through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACs) and supplied it to 100 millers for custom milling. Around 11 lakh quintals of milled rice have to be delivered to the department by September this year but so far, only six lakh quintals have been delivered and another two lakh quintals are lying at milling units to be supplied to the department.
Sources said delivery of milled rice has been delayed due to lack of storage space at the rice receiving centres from where, the stocks would be sent to the department for distribution under PDS.

Koraput district has only three rice receiving centres in Koraput and Jeypore sub-divisions, which have the capacity to store only 1.76 lakh quintals rice each. Currently, the centres do not have any space to stock more rice as a result of which, collection of milled rice has been stopped. Custom millers, who have already completed milling, are running from pillar to post to submit their rice quota. Apparently, if the millers do not submit their rice quota on time, they would be debarred from participating in the milling process in the next season.

In the past, the district civic supply officials had requested the Civil Supply Department to create more space at the existing rice receiving centres, but that has not happened so far. There was also a proposal to open rice receiving centres of five lakh quintal capacity in every block of the district, but that too has been put in  cold storage. Millers fear that the milled rice would be damaged if the stock continues to be dumped in milling units for long.

On Thursday, members of Koraput Millers’ Association urged the District Civil Supply Officer to sort out the space problem and extend the time limit for delivery of rice under custom milling system from September to December.District Civil Supply Officer Balava Chandra Dash said he has informed the higher officials of the department about space constraint at rice receiving centres and slow pace of rice delivery. The officer said he has suggested that milled rice be stored at godowns in neighbouring districts of Malkangiri and Nabarangpur.Meanwhile, procurement of rab.

Take this rice with a grain of salt
Sometime ago, a friend sent a message on Whatsapp about plastic rice being sold in the markets and served at restaurants. After that, I also saw such reports on the social media and a television channel. Is this really true or is it just a rumour? Has anyone investigated into these complaints?
This is just a wild rumour because a number of state food safety authorities have tested the samples of rice on the basis of such complaints and have not found any trace of plastic. In Delhi for example, the food safety department said that following consumer complaints, they lifted 20 samples of raw rice from different markets and seven samples of cooked rice from hotels and restaurants. Tests found no plastic content in any sample. In fact, the Delhi food safety department also received complaints of plastic eggs. A number of samples of eggs were also collected and tested, but there was no truth in any of those complaints, the officials said.
In Bengaluru, elaborate tests by the University of Agricultural Sciences, too, found no trace of plastic in the samples of rice complained about. In fact in Karnataka, this issue even figured in the state legislature, forcing the government to investigate into the matter and clarify later that it was a baseless, wild rumour.
 In Chennai, the food safety department officials said they inspected 74 outlets across the city and tested 14 samples and they all turned out to be ‘real rice’. The food safety department in Coimbatore inspected 200 shops across the district and tested 19 samples and the only non-rice particles that they found were stones.

In Haryana, too, the department of food and drug administration has categorically stated that they have not come across any such plastic rice. In Andhra Pradesh, Civil Supplies minister Prathipati Pulla Rao even announced a prize of Rs 50,000 to anyone who gave a lead to finding such plastic rice!
Most of the videos that I have seen show rice balls bouncing like rubber balls. If it is not plastic, how can it bounce like that?
It is this bouncing of rice balls that has got many people believing that the rice was made of plastic! In many restaurants, consumers have complained that they have been served plastic rice after making a ball of the rice served to them and bouncing it. However, food scientists say that it is not a peculiar phenomenon, given the composition of rice. Dr Nagappa G. Malleshi, former head of Grains, Science and Technology, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, explained to me that rice is 80 per cent starch, which contains amylose and amylo pectin. When you cook rice, these swell and leach out and make the rice sticky.
 And when you mash and make them into a ball, these stick together and these also entrap air and therefore bounce. How bouncy the ball is depends on the amylose content of the rice. Higher the amylose content, greater the bounce, he says, explaining why some rice balls bounce more than others. Japanese rice, for example, may not be as bouncy as Indian rice because it contains much less amylose than Indian rice, he says. Similarly, there would be difference in the bounce of different varieties of rice sold in different parts of the country.
Dr V.P. Singh, former head, division of genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, also de-mystifies the ball bouncing phenomenon on YouTube. Rice, he says, has got adhesive and cohesive properties because of the high percentage (80 per cent) of starch in it. So the ball formation is on account of this adhesiveness. And when you throw this ball, it is bound to bounce on account of its volume expansion and air entrapment, he says, dismissing fears of the ‘plastic content’ in the rice causing the bouncing effect.
Rice mill owners and manufacturers have also been pointing out that the whole idea of plastic rice grains is ridiculous because if you try to cook it, obviously the plastic cannot absorb water nor can it ‘cook’. It will only melt and burn! They also point out that it does not make economic sense to adulterated rice with plastic rice or sell plastic rice because usually the intent behind such adulteration is to make money. But here, manufacturing a kilogram of plastic rice is far more expensive than a kilogram of real rice, they point out. So it’s time to put to rest all those rumours of plastic rice

Ricegrowers' Association of Australia to hold their annual conference in Leeton in 2017

2 Jul 2017, 10:30 a.m.
The Ricegrowers' Association of Australia last held their annual conference in Leeton in 2010.AN IMPORTANT commodity to not just Leeton, but the world, will take centre stage in the town next month.The 2017 Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) annual conference will be held in Leeton on August 3 and 4. The event was last held in Leeton seven years ago in 2010 and there has been many changes in the industry since then. The RGA represents farmers in the main rice growing areas of NSW and Victoria. RGA president Jeremy Morton said the 2017 conference theme, “Building Value – Rice and Beyond” would celebrated not only rice, but the people, growers, systems and processes that play a vital role in all areas.“The rice industry is a unique industry, with rice being an important crop within our growers’ irrigation systems,” Mr Morton said.“This conference is an opportunity to celebrate our people, growers, systems and processor, and to challenge our industry to harness opportunities and be adaptable to remain competitive.”
The conference theme will be interpreted through a range of interesting topics during the event.
This will include addresses from guest speakers – Foodbank Australia chief executive officer Brianna Casey and Fisheries Research and Development Centre national carp control plan co-ordinator, Matt Barwick.Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief executive officer Phillip Glyde will also speak and no doubt be sought after by many in attendance for a chat about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
There will also be a panel session about water trade. The annual gala dinner will be held on the evening of August 3 at Mia Function Centre, including an address from Rob Cook, a fourth generation cattle farmer. A post conference tour will be held on Friday afternoon, taking visitors to Tim Commins’ property at Whitton.
The event will also provide opportunity for members to discuss topics brought forward by their branches and central executive.Thanks to sponsors of the event, RGA financial members can register for the event for just $50. Non-members and non-financial members can attend at a cost of $100 per person.
The closing date for registrations is July 21. For more information visit or call 02 6953 0433.The rice industry is a unique industry, with rice being an important crop within our growers’ irrigation systems.- RGA president Jeremy Morton

Trading begins on dull note

THE HANS INDIA |    Jul 01,2017 , 11:14 PM IST

Vijayawada: Trading activity began on a dull note in Vijayawada, the commercial capital of the state, on Saturday after rolling out the GST by the Union government against the wishes of trading community and the common man.  


•           Many trade associations oppose GST  
•           Government finally goes ahead with GST
•           After note ban, traders to suffer again due to GST
•           Business, largest employment provider in the city
Home appliances showrooms, gold shops, furniture shops, footwear showrooms, textile retail shops, shopping malls wore a deserted look in the city on Saturday after doing the brisk business for the last 10 days due to discounts offered byvarious big companies and showrooms, shopping malls in the city.
After witnessing hectic trading activity, the business came to a standstill in the city. Most showrooms have stopped discount offers and selling the products at normal price on Saturday.
Most big showrooms and shopping malls in the city are not in a hurry to implement the GST from July 1 because it will take some more days to install new software for billing.

Earlier, the shopping malls used to give VAT based bills. Now, it should be changed to GST based bills.One of the biggest shopping malls located at Governorpet has not installed new software on Saturday and issuing the old bills. When asked, the staff said it will take at least three days to change the software and generate new bills.
Many trade and chamber associations have vehemently opposed the GST.Associations like Andhra Pradesh Textile Federation, Vijayawada Chamber Commerce, Furniture Dealers Association, Footwear traders Association, Vijayawada Hoteliers Associations and other associations strongly opposed the implementation of GST.
These associations believe that the prices of many consumer products will shoot up with the implementation of GST and it will hit their business activity and turnover. Business is the largest employment provider in Vijayawada for many decades and the city is known as commercial capital of the state. Vijayawada is famous for wholesale pharmaceutical business, furniture business, electrical goods, home appliances, plastic goods, stationery, toys, automobile spares etc.
Now, the traders are concerned that the GST will leads to rise of prices and it will ultimately affect the trade and revenue. Hoteliers, too, are unhappy with the GST. Andhra Pradesh Hotels Association president M Srinivasa Babu  expressed concern that the hotels would suffer a lot with the GST.
He said the hotels are recovering from the losses, which suffered after the note ban and now again plunge into crisis if the tax is very high.On the other hand, the Union government is releasing full page advertisements in favour of GST and many government officials working in both the State and Central government departments are participating in many awareness programmes and been trying to create awareness on the GST and trying to convince people it is people’s friendly and tax burden will come down on people due to one country one tax system.
 Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI), Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rice Millers Association and other commerce and chambers are conducting meetings and trying to create awareness among the traders and entrepreneurs on GST.
Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Vijayawada chapter ex-officio and former chairman of South India ICAI E Phalguna Kumar said GST is very useful to the country and it will reduce the cascading taxes (tax on tax).
Speaking to The Hans India, he said traders need not panic about the GST and asserted that 3,500 chartered accountants working in the state would help and guide the traders about the GST.He said chartered accountants are attending various awareness meeting conducted in the state on GST and explaining the rules and regulations. 
By Md Ameen

LT Foods sets up plant in Europe to popularise 'Daawat' rice

IANS  |  New Delhi June 28, 2017 Last Updated at 21:42 IST

In a bid to popularise its 'Daawat' brand of rice in Europe, LT Foods on Wednesday commenced operations of its first rice processing plant at Rotterdam, Netherlands, which has been set up with an investment of $15 million."Company plans to make its most popular 'Daawat' brand a household name in Europe using raw material from India. The move will benefit 5,000 farmer families in India with brown rice supply increasing from India," LT Foods said here in a statement.
The development comes on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to that country, as part of his three-nation tour. Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte held talks on boosting bilateral cooperation during his visit to Amsterdam.The plant has an initial capacity of 60,000 tonnes and scope for further expansion in the future, it said.
"This would be our first plant in Europe and we are very excited about the opportunity. The plant would generate new job opportunities in the country and help us expand our geographical footprint across Europe and UK," Vijay Kumar Arora, Chairman and Managing Director, LT Foods said.Ashwani Arora, CEO and Managing Director, LT Foods said, "Europe and UK are critical markets for LT Foods for our future growth and we intend to make deep inroads in these markets by making our most popular rice brand 'Daawat' a household name."
LT Foods has collaborated with Rotterdam Partners, The Port of Rotterdam Authority and Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) for this initiative.The company has already launched 'Daawat' brand in six new countries this year and plans to expand its product offerings and portfolio globally.
"LT Foods plans to expand its geographical footprint in important markets of Europe and UK through this plant by increasing its sales from the current 5,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes over the next three years," the statement said.The company would be manufacturing a wide range of rice, including popular varieties like Basmati, Thai, Jasmine and American rice from the new plant, it said.

GST launch a selfie moment for many MPs

PTI | Jul 1, 2017, 08.25 AM IST


·         Hema Malini, many other MPs were seen taking photos from mobiles.
·         The Central Hall, where the GST launch ceremony was organised, was fully packed.

NEW DELHI: The midnight launch of the Goods and Services Tax regime was a selfie moment for many MPs who wanted to capture the historic moment.Hema Malini and many other MPs were seen taking photos from their mobile phones in the Central Hall of Parliament, where the GST launch ceremony was organised.Even minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha was seen taking pictures when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was giving his speech.
Some of them were seen taking videos as well from their mobile phones.
The Central Hall was fully packed and many MPs had to squeeze together on fellow members' seats. Some senior MPs were also seen dozing off during the midnight event.