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Polish children biggest consumers of sugar in Europe

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Warsaw, Feb 21 (IANS) Polish children are the biggest consumers of sugar in Europe with those under 10 eating 95 grams per day, or 19 teaspoons, doctors of the Alliance of Health Care Employers (PPOZ) said.

The draft law on the so-called sugar tax was adopted by the ‘Sejm’ or the lower house of Polish Parliament last week, Xinhua news agency reported.

The bill drafted by the Health Ministry was aimed at imposing additional fees on soft drinks containing sugars as a tool to fight the rapidly increasing problem of Poles being overweight or obese and diseases caused by excessive sugar consumption.

“The introduction of the sugar tax, supposed to discourage Poles from drinking sweet drinks, was advocated by the Ministry of Health, the National Health Fund, the Ministry of Finance, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO),” doctors from PPOZ said on Thursday.

They added that excessive consumption of sugar-based products was a cause of many diseases of civilization.

A diet high in sugar increases the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, sugar consumption is addictive, like alcohol.

It also disturbs the endocrine system, increases oxidative stress and leads to metabolic diseases.

Research has shown that increased glycolysis (carbohydrate metabolism) can cause breast cancer, PPOZ board member Jaroslaw Krol said.

A maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar should be consumed per day – up to 50 grams, according to the WHO, whereas the American Society of Cardiology recommends a maximum of six teaspoons per day (up to 25 grams) for women and nine (up to 37 grams) for men.

Meanwhile, the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, and the Poles 24.

The PPOZ doctors added that a sugar tax was already in force in some European Union countries, and according to research, it has significantly reduced sales of sweetened drinks.

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Economic recovery to take at least 2-3 quarters: PE funds

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New Delhi, April 6: The situation during the ongoing COVID-19 will be grim and the recovery thereafter will also take time as private equity experts fear that more people will die from hunger than pandemic in India most people under estimating the gravity and period of impact, which at the very least will take two to three quarters.

At a private equity webinar, Shailendra Singh, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital flagged that fear that more people will die from hunger than pandemic in India.

He added that most people are under estimating gravity and the period of impact, which will be the at the very least two to three quarters.

Singh said they are asking every portfolio co to re validate the 5 critical assumptions their business hinges on. “You will be surprised that how many of them have actually changed/ could change in long run (Zivame),” he added. They have also advised companies to look at adjacent markets or alternative business models.

Singh said that economic Recovery will not start before Q3/Q4 of this financial year. Most countries will move manufacturing towards domestic markets especially in healthcare & R&D and reliance on China will go down.

Anuj Ranjan of Brookfield said that cycles are inevitable, it will come back but will take time. After 9/11, no-one thought they would ever get on a plane again. But they did and it was much stronger than before, but in 22 months. Air travel started but the security changed forever.

Ranjan added that the government right now is like an ICU doctor – keeping the economy (patient) in induced coma, till cure is found (vaccine — 2 years)

In terms of private equity it will be a will be a flight back to US and North America. Since valuations will come off significantly, PE will be less inclined to take emerging market/currency risks, when returns are good there.

Hospitality will come back, but will take time. Real estate investors will find good deals in six months and the wedding season will drive this.

Ranjan said retail will be badly hit and Brookfield expects significant bankruptcies in SME retail/mom & pop/restaurants as 6 weeks of no revenue will bankrupt them.

Consumption will come back, but in six months or more. This event has given a big push to the existing trend to e-commerce. Some malls in US died, but many are flourishing – the ones that have turned to experience centres, he added.

Kunal Shroff of Chryscapital said that risk has increased through the roof. The new deals are on hold or slow. All exits are delayed, private equity funds are focussing on portfolios just now to preserve liquidity, draw cash lines, no capex and extend the cash burn.


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52% CEOs expect job losses post lockdown: CII Survey

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New Delhi, April 5 : Around 52 per cent of top corporate bosses in India anticipate that job losses will occur after the nation-wide lockdown is lifted, according to a CII CEO Snap Poll.

The survey found that 46 per cent of the CEOs do not expect job cuts while the rest 2 per cent are not sure.

“About 52 per cent of the CEOs anticipate job losses in their respective sectors post lockdown. 47 per cent of the firms expect upto 15 per cent job losses and another 32 per cent expected 15 to 30 per cent job losses,” said the CII survey.

The survey, conducted electronically, saw a cross-country participation of close to 200 CEOs across sectors.

Further, the survey found that much of the inventory of companies is lying idle.

“About 64 per cent (inventory) is expected to be cleared in less than 30 days. However, demand will not hold good for the next 30 days and beyond,” it said.

Also, most of the firms expect revenues to fall more than 10 per cent and profits to decline more than 5 per cent in the fourth quarter of FY2019-20 and the first quarter of FY2020-21.

The CII Poll also shows that access to manpower and movement of products are the major constraints in essentials manufacture, transport and distribution.

Commenting on the survey, CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said: “The government could announce a fiscal stimulus package for the industry and implement it on fast track mode, given that the sudden imposition of the lockdown has significantly impacted industry operations and the uncertainty of a recovery threatens substantial loss of livelihoods going forward.”

Industry players and chambers have raised concerns of the economic impact of the current crisis and also sought a stimulus package from the government.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has assured that the government is working on a package for the industry and would announce its soon. She is also heading the Covid-19 economic response task force.

On March 26, Sitharaman announced an economic relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the poor and migrant workers under the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme.

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Air India operates international charter, cargo flights

Besides, the flag carrier on Saturday commenced the first cargo flight between Shanghai and Delhi.

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New Delhi, April 4 : National passenger carrier Air India on Saturday mobilised massive resources to operate international charter and cargo flights.

Accordingly, the airline repatriated stranded foreigners from India and also brought back critical medical cargo from Shanghai.

“All these flights are being operated adhering to all safety protocols laid down by the DGCA,” the airline said in a statement.

The airline is scheduled to operate 18 charter flights to fly back German, French, Irish and Canadian nationals stranded in India amid the nationwide lockdown, as requested by their respected embassies.

“While the Germans and French will be flown to Frankfurt and Paris, the other two nationalities will be taken to Heathrow in London from where Canada and Ireland (governments) would be making further travel arrangements for them,” the statement said.

“These chartered flights started from March 31 with German nationals flying to Frankfurt. Earlier, AI had ferried Israeli nationals to Tel Aviv as well in a chartered flight,” it added.

On Saturday, flights to London and Paris were being operated.

Besides, the flag carrier on Saturday commenced the first cargo flight between Shanghai and Delhi.

“A charter cargo flight was also operated between Delhi and Shanghai today to fly in vital medical cargo from China to India,” the statement said.

“Air India is also scheduled to operate some more cargo flights between Delhi and Shanghai till April 9. These flights will bring critical medical equipment to India,” it added.

The airline will also be operating cargo flights to Hong Kong.

On the domestic front, the Air India Group has been transporting essential cargo throughout the country. The airline has operated 79 cargo flights between March 26 and April 3.

The flights, being operated regularly between the metro hubs — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai — to the remote destinations of northeast and other far-flung areas of the country, are carrying medical equipment and other essential items.

Furthermore, the airline has been instrumental in rescuing stranded Indians, mainly students and pilgrims, from China, Japan and Europe.

Lauding Air India’s continued efforts in repatriating stranded foreigners, Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, said in a recent LinkedIn post: “Heard from a senior Air India pilot who commanded the special flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt today that every ATC they crossed said ‘Really proud of u guys’.”

“This was a special Air India flight that flew out stranded European and Canadian citizens from Mumbai. All crew members including the pilots wore the mandatory Covid-19 coveralls for over 20 hours at a stretch (to/fro and ground time at Frankfurt). They will now remain in self-quarantine for 14 days,” he added.

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