The government could consider taxing foods high in sugar, fat and salt that are not labeled on the front of the pack to address the rising obesity rate among people in the country.
This is the annual report of the government think tank Niti Aayog for 2021-22. According to the report, the government is analyzing the available evidence to decide on measures that can be taken to address the problem. Taxing foods that lead to obesity is one of the options.
Niti Aayog noted that obesity is especially increasing among children, adolescents and women in India.
“A National Consultation on the Prevention of Obesity in Maternal, Adolescent and Childhood was organized on June 24, 2021, chaired by Member (Healthcare), Niti Aayog, to discuss policy options to address the problem. Niti Aayog is reviewing the available evidence to support understand the actions India can take, such as packaging labelling, marketing and advertising of high-fat foods and taxation of foods high in fat, sugar and salt,” it said.
Non-branded foods, bhujias, vegetable chips, and snacks attract 5 percent GST, while for branded and packaged items, the GST rate is 12 percent.
According to the 2019-20 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the percentage of obese women rose to 24 percent from 20.6 percent in 2015-16, while the percentage for men rose from 18.4 percent to 22.9 percent. years earlier.
The government think tank also said in its annual report that a committee of experts led by Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat to study the technological and commercial viability of the hyperloop system has so far held four meetings and formed subcommittees.
The subcommittees suggested that hyperloop systems may be built, owned and operated by the private sector and that the government act as a facilitator through certification, approvals, tax breaks and land (if possible), etc.
The report said a blueprint will be drawn up to develop domestically built hyperloop technology.
According to the annual report, the subcommittees also said that the government will not invest its fund and that private players will take 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 company SpaceX.