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Oj Corner
Special column
by OJ George

Cheque facility won't be withdrawn, says the govt
It is a matter of relief that the Union Government has clarified that cheque facility won't be withdrawn.

There were stray reports that an overenthusiastic government favaouring total digitalisation may go in for banning the cheque books.


It is gratifying to note that the government won't proceed with the reforms this way.
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'Sin' tax for tobacco products and soft drinks in UAE
The United Arab Emirates has begun collecting new "sin" taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks.

Beginning today, tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100 per cent and soft drinks at 50 per cent. Shoppers could be seen stocking up the day before.

The new tax push comes as the UAE and other oil-rich Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices. The UAE will start collecting a 5-per cent value-added tax on certain goods in January.

All six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have agreed to begin collecting so-called VAT taxes, though others may begin later than January.

The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
   
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