The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 11

“We had been to several restau-
rants recently. I observed that “ser-
vice tax” has been misused and
charged to the customers like you
and me.
Let me give an example.
Food and Beverage = Rs.1000.00
Service Charges @ 10% =
Rs.100.00 (10% on the food and
beverage amount)
Service Tax @ 4.94% = Rs.54.34
(4.94% on F&B + Service Charges)
VAT @14.5% = Rs.145.00
Total = Rs.1299.34
As per the definition – “Service
Tax can be charged only for the ser-
vices provided to the customer”.
Now, see what is happening here
in the above said example.
Service Tax should be charged
only on the Service Charges
amount i.e, Rs.100 and not on the
entire amount (1000+100).
In this example, the customer
should be charged only Rs.4.94,
whereas he has been charged
Rs.49.00 extra.
Where does this money go? Only
the restaurant owner and the char-
tered accountants who work for
them know.
So, I have started asking them
the questions – and surprised to
see the reactions from the famous
restaurants. Either they say: Sir
we cannot change the format of the
bill – so, we will recalculate and tell
you the revised amount. You may
pay only that.
Sir, you do not need to pay the
Service Tax amount itself.
I now have 3 to 4 restaurant bills,
for which I have paid only the ser-
vice tax – on the service charges
and not on the total amount.
Every bill must carry the TIN
number and Service Tax Number,
if they charge it. So, I ask for the
Service tax number if it is not
available in the receipt that they
provide.
Ask for the right tax calculation
and pay only the tax which is sup-
posed to be paid. Verify every bill
and receipt that you make payment
on.
The Nation Sunday, November 9, 2014 Page 11
consumer
Saturated fat has been demon-
ized since the 1980s as the main
cause of cardiovascular disease
(CVD). On the back of this, health
professionals began recommend-
ing a reduction in saturated fat
intake and an increase in refined
carbs or polyunsaturated fats as
an alternative. The Food industry
scrambled immediately and began
hawking low fat almost anything.
Eggs, cheese, milk and butter were
out while cereal with sugar, nuts
and hydrogenated margarine were
in.
Coconut oil (now proven to be
beneficial) was taboo while Poly
and Monounsaturated vegetable
oils bombarded the shop shelves
(and our frying pans). We were
told that saturated fats caused
elevated cholesterol levels (LDL
particularly)which, inturn, causes
atherosclerosis. This resulted in
doctors rigorously statinising us.
But has a wave of new research
begun to question all this?
It now seems that those studies
did not account for diets that also
included a lot of sugar, refined
carbs, and trans fats (TFA) along
with saturated fats (the health
effects of the overall diet was ig-
nored in the study). There seemed
to be little gained if saturated fat
was replaced by refined carbs,
sugars and trans fats which was
exactly what happened thereafter.
Importantly, CVD did not in any
way decrease with the demonizing
of SF.
In fact, it may have increased.
The key should have been not to
limit SF intake but, to avoid insu-
lin provoking foods. For it is now
accepted that trans fats and sugar
in refined carbs apart from caus-
ing type 2 diabetes also increases
the risk of CVD. Atkins sounded
the alarm in the 80s and it has tak-
en years before his approach has
been somewhat vindicated.
Cholesterol
New studies now inform us that
LDL consists of 2 different par-
ticles (Pattern A and Pattern B).
Pattern A is the small dense one
that can infiltrate the blood vessel
walls while Pattern B is the large
fluffy one that actually lowers the
risk of CVD. Saturated fat is now
said to increase Pattern B par-
ticles and also elevate HDL levels,
while a diet rich in refined carbs,
trans fats and sugar boost pattern
B particles and lower HDL thus in-
creasing the risk of CVD. Choles-
terol is very much required by our
body for: making the outer coat-
ing of cells, the synthesis of sex
hormones, bile acids and vitamin
D. Without cholesterol, none of
these functions would take place,
and without these functions, hu-
man beings would cease to exist.
Around 75% of our requirements
are manufactured by the liver
while the balance is from our diet.
Studies also show that measuring
triglycerides with HDL may now
be a better predictor of CVD.
It is quite obvious that sugar is
the most dangerous and the most
unrestricted additive in the food
and drink we unsuspectingly con-
sume. Food laws do not specify
a limit to added sugar and this
allows the food industry to add
unlimited sugar to our food and
drink. Already sweetened sodas,
colas, sauces, juices, sport drinks,
jam, tea and coffee are often ac-
companied
with
mouthwater-
ing cakes, cookies, pastries and
sweets. A deadly volcano that may
have exploded into an uncontrol-
lable epidemic of type 2 diabetes
and CVD.
Does our food industry act with
social responsibility? Do they spec-
ify in understandable terminology
the amount of sugar, trans fats, ad-
ditives and preservatives that we
are consuming in their products
that seem to promise a refreshing
dose of health, wealth and vitali-
ty? Do they educate us on the num-
ber of teaspoons of sugar we glug
down in a bottle of ice cold soda or
cola? Is it not unethical to provoke,
promote and entice our children to
consume their products which are
laced with such deadly additives?
When all the evidence is available
why is it not being disseminated to
consumers? Has the time come for
warning labels to also be on sugar
and trans fat packaged food and
drink?
Obesity
Mexico became desperate with
32% of their population obese.
Every year Mexico’s 118 million
people were drinking 163 liters
of soda. Campaigners forced the
government to intervene and a
groundbreaking 10% tax on sugar-
sweetened beverages was recently
passed in Mexico. Other programs
included billboard advertising
(one of which warned parents that a
600ml liter bottle of Cola contained
12 teaspoons of sugar), banning junk
food TV ads and eliminating pro-
cessed foods and sugar sweetened
drinks from schools. Do we have the
courage to emulate Mexico?
If it cannot be concluded that a
low-fat diet has no positive effects
on health or if there is a lack of
evidence linking the consumption
of saturated fat to CVD and, if it
is proved that refined carbs packed
with trans fats and sugar can cause
type 2 diabetes and CVD: then, is a
change in current dietary recom-
mendations and food and drink con-
trolsdrasticallyneeded?Will doctors
have the courage and the necessary
social responsibility to disseminate
this information to all of us? Are we
being overdosed with statins on the
basis of research that has also been
funded by manufacturers of statins?
Are we being frightened out of our
wits about cholesterol to remain
happily statinated?
We may need to consider if the
time is ripe to go back to the pa-
leolithic diet of our ancestors that
is coded for in our genes: lean pro-
tein, fish, leafy vegetables, fruits
and our carbs from root veggies.
How on earth did we stray from
this?
Five cancer-causing foods
you should avoid!
When your parents were young, no one was concerned about foods
that cause cancer. The research was very young at the time, but there
were also far less processed foods on the market. People ate healthier
and more pure foods, because that was what was available to them.
Today, it seems like doctors link everything to causing cancer – it’s
hard to determine what to really stay away from. While you think
you may be doing the right thing for your health by drinking diet
sodas or low-calorie popcorn, you’re actually eating some of the
worst cancer-causing foods out there!
Below are five of the biggest carcinogen culprits that you probably
eat every day.
No.1 - Non-organic produce
You’re not alone in thinking all fruits and vegetables are good for
you, but there are actually many dangerous pesticides sprayed on
non-organic fruits that are linked to cancer. One example is Altra-
zine, a weed-killer used at many U.S. farms, but banned in Europe
for causing severe problems in humans, such as infertility. Another
problem with non-organic farmed produce is the use of toxic fertil-
izers and hormones used to make fruits and veggies bigger.
No.2 - Processed meats
It may be hard to give up tasty deli sandwiches or cured meats to go
with your wine and cheese, but the benefits definitely outweigh the
cancerous risk. Processed meats are created with excessive salt and
chemicals that damage our health. A study over 13 years showed that
1 out of 17 people died who ate 160 grams of processed meats. That’s
44 percent risk of cancer, as opposed to people who ate 20 grams or
less.
No.3 - Potato chips
These fatty foods don’t only cause weight gain because of their
high trans-fat content, they also have excessive sodium levels, which
cause high blood pressure and artificial flavors, preservatives and
colors. Another risk is the presence of acrymalide, a known carcino-
gen found in cigarettes.
No.4 - Hydrogenated oils
Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils, which cannot be naturally
extracted like olive oil, soy or canola oil, they must be chemically
removed. They are commonly used in many foods in your pantry to
preserve and keep their shelf life, yet they are also linked to cancer,
birth defects, heart disease and many other fatalities.
No.5 - Artificial sweeteners
While many people choose artificial sweeteners to lose weight,
they are actually doing way worse damage to the body. People who
consume artificial sweeteners in soda, coffee or diet-candy actually
end up gaining weight and it does nothing to help those with dia-
betes. Aspartame found in artificial sweeteners has been known to
cause convulsions, cataracts and gastro paresis
(petflow blog)
A big fat mistake?
Service Tax in Sri Lanka
Are we being robbed blind?
Sudat Pasqual
N
owadays with so many diets, di-
etary restrictions, food allergies
and the monthly finding of the su-
per food, we are constantly bombarded and
niggled into choosing a particular type of
food over others.
So, whenever one books a flight that is
over a few hours duration, the question
invariably pops, “Do you require special
meals?” Unfortunately, the question is
never whether you would like Chinese,
Macedonian, Jaffna curry, barbecue or
whether you like Frisch’s or Grey Poupon
on your Pastrami sandwich. That would be
brilliant especially for folks (like me) who
have to circumnavigate the globe to see the
home folks. If we had that choice I would
order Biscuits and Gravy (the Southern
Kentucky recipe) with for the first break-
fast; Mountain Oysters for the second;
Corned beef on rye with pickles on the
side from Katz’s Deli (the one where Meg
Ryan faked the orgasm in When Harry Met
Sally; or maybe it was the real thing) for all
lunches; and copious amounts of Chianti
(the type in the woven basket thingy) for all
other meals. I would actually look forward
to the week in the air that it takes to reach
Colombo from Calgary.
No, most airlines will not make your long
ordeal enjoyable. They will do the utmost
to squeeze in as many into an aircraft, pro-
vide the minimum service that would not
start a riot in the air, and provide the most
unpalatable food so nobody, who had eaten
in the previous 48 hours, would even think
of asking for an extra morsel. On the other
hand, I should mention that Sri Lankan
Airways do try to make sure that each and
every passenger gains a few pounds each
time they cross continents with them. Sri
Lankan feed your face from the get go. Sri
Lankan does not care if the flight is 8 hours
or amere one. The food and drink keep flow-
ing and you are stuffed to the gill and/or
higher than
Akhasa Kade
when you disem-
bark the aircraft. But then we are special
and are like no other and Sri Lankan does
not fly to Calgary. They reach that South
Asian Airlines glass ceiling in Europe.
North Americans are like, sorry folks we
can’t have all that curry and sarees in our
air space because we would not be able to
differentiate between curry and color and
a cleverly camouflaged dirty bomb. Fair
enough. I don’t want to be shot down by a
trigger happy tea bagger who just acquired
a surface to air missile from her friendly
neighborhood gun show anyway.
I faced the question in August of this
year when I booked my flight to Sri Lanka.
Normally, I don’t give a hoot because I will
eat just about anything that does not bite
back. This time though I decided to give it
some thought. The choices are basically (I
think) limited to halal; kosher; vegetarian;
vegan; gluten free; diabetic; and nut free. I
had been a vegetarian for a while in Ken-
tucky during Reagan’s second term. That
was a trying time for a colored liberal who
sported a McGovern for President Button
on the lapel (left, naturally) of his jacket.
I did it to annoy the 90% of my College
mates who were young Republicans and
carnivores. Then I realized that vegetari-
anism is the gateway to a long journey of
sensitivity to all things animate and in-
animate. One has to be aware of what you
eat, what you drink, what you do to other
people; what you say to other people; what
you think of other people; what type of
clothing you wear; and you must feel for all
the suffering caused by the carnivores and
the meat packing industry. Many vegetar-
ians are into reverse osmosis. I know what
you are thinking. No, that is not a new and
natural way to get high. It is a method of
purifying water. The list goes on and on. I
love bell bottoms and paisley and thought
the free love movement needed to make a
roaring come back but most of these folks
are into food only, not sex and fun. So, out
went the vegetarian option over the Atlan-
tic. Just imagine if one were a vegan.
In short, eliminating vegetarian and
vegan options were an easy, hell, no that
won’t do. Not only food but even clothing
is halal in Canada so I wanted something
different. I am slightly diabetic (yeah, yeah
I know that’s like saying someone is slight-
ly pregnant) but I am in denial. So, that
choice was eliminated. I have no issue with
nuts or gluten. That left Kosher (foods that
conform to Jewish dietary laws). I like this
process of elimination business. I am Bud-
dhist, but kosher it will be.
Most airlines provide the minimum service that would not start a riot in the air, and provide
the most unpalatable food
The beginning
Kosher, anyone?
I have no issue with
nuts or gluten. That
left Kosher (foods
that conform to
Jewish dietary laws).
I like this process
of elimination
business. I am
Buddhist, but kosher
it will be
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