Archive for December, 2012

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Tobacco land to be given over to cotton production in Bangladesh

| December 24, 2012

The government of Bangladesh intends to expand cotton growing at the expense of tobacco production, according to a New Age story.

Farid Uddin, a director of the Cotton Development Board (CDB), was quoted as saying that 20,000 ha of the 70,000 ha now planted to tobacco would be given over to cotton cultivation.

The government wants to help the country reduce its dependence on cotton imports for meeting the growing demand of its textile sector.

Opposing the CDB plan, experts at the tobacco wing of the department of agricultural extension said farmers would not be willing to cultivate cotton instead of tobacco on land where currently 2-3 crops were grown in a year.

The initiative is not expected to go down well with farmers, too, because tobacco manufacturers tend to provide loans, fertilizers and seeds.

Tax ‘reform’ will see tobacco farmers and workers lose their livelihoods

| December 24, 2012

The Philippines’ state-run Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has courses to help tobacco farmers and workers thrown out of their jobs because of the effects of the country’s new tobacco and alcohol regime, according to a story in The Philippines Star.

TESDA director general, Joel Villanueva, said in a statement that the agency had training programs in place for tobacco farmers and workers who were set to lose their jobs due to the expected decline in cigarette consumption caused by tax-induced higher prices.

Villanueva said TESDA had courses in place that were relevant to helping farm workers develop new skills and get their foot in the door of new jobs or livelihood opportunities.

He said the courses, related to agriculture, horticulture, agri-fisheries and food manufacturing, among others, could help farm workers shift gears without necessarily displacing them from the work they had known for many years.

President Benigno Aquino vetoed a provision in the tax reform law that would have required manufacturers to buy at least 15 per cent of their tobacco from locally-grown sources.

The requirement apparently would have been in conflict with the National Treatment on Internal Taxation and Regulation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Chile moves towards TV smoking ban

| December 24, 2012

Chile seems set to ban tobacco smoking during television programs screened while ‘children may be watching’, according to a story by Charlotte Meritan for I Love Chile.

The Chilean Senate has approved a bill changing the national smoking laws and it is now up to the Chamber of Deputies to decide.

In addition, the bill would extend the public places where smoking is banned.

And it would require tobacco manufacturers annually to inform the ministry of health about donations they have made.

Anti-tobacco plan stops short of graphic warnings and tax increases

| December 24, 2012

China is planning to reduce the incidence of smoking in the country from 28.1 per cent, where it stood in 2010, to 25.0 per cent in 2015, according to a Bloomberg News story relayed by the TMA.

The plan, reportedly developed with the involvement of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, was published byChina’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on December 20.

It would ‘comprehensively’ ban tobacco smoking in public places and prohibit tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, but it would not require graphic warnings or tax increases.

Finland’s display ban ineffective

| December 24, 2012

The ban on the display of tobacco products inFinland has not reduced tobacco product sales significantly, according to Esmerk Finnish News story quoting estimates by the Finnish Grocery Trade Association, Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco.

However, there has been a trend for tobacco product sales to transfer from big supermarkets to kiosks and small shops.

The ban came into effect at the start of this year.

A ban on the sale of tobacco products from vending machines is due to come into effect at the beginning of 2015.

ITC CEO best in India, seventh best in the world: Harvard Business Review

| December 24, 2012

Y. C. Deveshwar, the chairman of ITC Ltd, has been ranked the seventh best-performing CEO in the world.

He was so ranked in the January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR), which gave details of its ‘100 Best Performing CEOs in the World’.

Deveshwar ranked first amongst the Indian CEOs featured in the HBR list.

The 2013 global HBR CEO scorecard looked at how much total shareholder returns had changed over a time period from the CEO’s first day in office to August 31, 2012 (adjusted for country and industry effects), as well as the overall increase in market capitalisation.