India can take actions such as taxation of foods high on sugar, fat and salt and front-of-the pack labelling to tackle rising obesity in the population, according to teh annual report of Niti Aayog. The government think-tank is reviewing the evidence available to understand the actions India can take to tackle rising obesity in the population, the annual report 2021-22 stated.
The Aayog in the report mentioned that the incidences of overweight and obesity are increasing among children, adolescents and women in India.
“A national consultation on the prevention of maternal, adolescent and childhood obesity was organised under the Chairmanship of Member (Health), Niti Aayog, on June 24, 2021, to discuss policy options to tackle the issue. “Niti Aayog, in collaboration with IEG and PHFI, is reviewing the evidence available to understand the actions India can take, such as front-of-pack labelling, marketing and advertising of HFSS foods and taxation of foods high in fats, sugar and salt, ” it said.
Non-branded namkeens, bhujias, vegetable chips and snack foods attract 5 per cent GST while for branded and packaged items, the GST rate is 12 per cent.
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) 2019-20, the percentage of obese women increased to 24 per cent from 20.6 per cent in 2015-16, while the percentage for men rose to 22.9 per cent from 18.4 per cent four years earlier. The government think tank in its annual report also said that an expert committee under Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat to study the technological and commercial viability of the hyperloop system held four meetings so far and sub-committees were constituted.
The sub-committees suggested that hyperloop system be permitted to be built, owned and operated by the private sector and the government act as a facilitator by providing certification, permissions, tax benefits and land (if possible), etc,” it said. The report said a blueprint will be prepared to develop indigenously built hyperloop technology.
According to the annual report, the sub-committees also said that the government will not invest its fund and private players will take the full business risks. Hyperloop is a technology proposed by inventor and businessman Elon Musk, who is behind the electric car company Tesla and the commercial space transport company SpaceX.
The Virgin Hyperloop test run was conducted on November 9, 2020, on a 500-metre track in Las Vegas in the US with a pod, as the hyperloop vehicles are called, travelling with passengers, including an Indian, inside an enclosed tube at more than 100 mph or 161 kmph.
The Virgin Hyperloop is among a handful of companies that are currently trying to build such a system for passenger travel.
Maharashtra has approved the Virgin Hyperloop-DP World Consortium as the original project proponent for the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project.