South Asian Free Trade Area

The South Asian Free Trade Area is an agreement reached on January 6, 2004, at the 12th SAARC summit in Islamabad, Pakistan. It created a free trade area of 1.6 billion people in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to reduce customs duties of all traded goods to zero by the year 2016. The SAFTA agreement came into force on January 1, 2006, is operational following the ratification of the agreement by the seven governments. SAFTA required the developing countries in South Asia to bring their duties down to 20 percent in the first phase of the two-year period ending in 2007. In the final five-year phase ending in 2012, the 20 percent duty was reduced to zero in a series of annual cuts; the least developed nations in South Asia had an additional three years to reduce tariffs to zero. India and Pakistan ratified the treaty in 2009, whereas Afghanistan as the 8th member state of the SAARC ratified the SAFTA protocol on 4 May 2011; the Agreement was signed in 2004 and came into effect on 1 January 2006, with the desire of the Member States of SAARC to promote and sustain mutual trade and economic cooperation within the SAARC region through the exchange of concessions.

The establishment of an Inter-Governmental Group to formulate an agreement to establish a SAPTA by 1997 was approved in the Sixth Summit of SAARC held in Colombo in December 1991. The basic principles underlying SAFTA are as under. In 2011, Afghanistan joined SAFTA; the purpose of SAFTA is to encourage and elevate common contract among the countries such as medium and long term contracts. Contracts involving trade operated by states and import assurance in respect of specific products etc, it involves agreement on tariff concession like national duties concession and non-tariff concession. The main objective of the agreement is to promote competition in the area and to provide equitable benefits to the countries involved, it aims to benefit the people of the countries by bringing transparency and integrity among the nations. SAFTA was formed in order to increase the level of trade and economic cooperation among the SAARC nations by reducing the tariff and barriers and to provide special preference to the Least Developed Countries among the SAARC establish framework for further regional cooperation.

Following are the instruments involved in SAFTA: Trade Liberalisation Programme Rule of Origin Institutional Arrangements Consultations and Dispute Settlement Procedures Safeguard Measures Any other instrument that may be agreed upon. According to the Trade Liberalisation Programme Contracting countries must follow the following tariff reduction schedule. There should be a fall to 20% tariff from the existing tariff by the Non Least Developing Countries and 30% reduction from the existing tariff by the Least Developing Countries, but trade liberalisation scheme is not to be applied for the sensitive list because this list is to be negotiated among the contracting countries and to be traded. Sensitive list will involve common agreement among the contracting countries favouring the least developed contracting countries. SAFTA Ministerial Council will be participating to review the sensitive list in every four years with a view of reducing the list. A sensitive list is a list with every country.

Bangladesh has 1,233 products on the sensitive list for the Least Developing countries and 1,241 for the non-Least developing countries under the SAFTA. Bangladesh will reduce the sensitive list by 246 items for the least developed countries and 248 for the non-LDCs. India has 25 items on 695 for the non-LDCs. Manmohan Singh Indian Prime Minister, announced in September in Dhaka that he will reduce the Sensitive List by 46. Bhutan has no plan of shortening its list. Nepal has 1,295 for the non-LDCs. Nepal has reduced its list by 259 from its previous list of 1295. Now it's 1036, said joint secretary at Ministry of Commerce and Supplies; the Maldives has 681 for all seven SAFTA nations. Pakistan had 1,169 in its sensitive list but has cut its sensitive list by 20% to 936. Sri Lanka has 1,042 and Afghanistan has 1,072 items on the negative list. Traders use SAFTA to reroute palm oil through Nepal into India; the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, the apex body of the vegetable oil trade, has called upon the government to look for ways to end indirect sourcing of palm oil and soyoil from Nepal and Bangladesh under cover of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement.

This will help Malaysia reroute palm oil through Bangladesh and Nepal to offset Indian government’s move to stop imports of Malaysian palm oil after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s stand against the abrogation of special status to Kashmir. SEA has called on the government to close a loophole in the South Asian regional free-trade pact, used to circumvent customs duty by re-routing palm oil and soyoil imports

The Long Valley

The Long Valley is a collection of short stories written by the American author John Steinbeck. The collection was first published in 1938, it comprises 12 short stories. The short stories were written over several years and are set in Steinbeck's birthplace, the Salinas Valley in California, they include the prize-winning tale The Murder. Many of the stories were published previously; the Red Pony was published in Reader's Digest. "The Chrysanthemums" "The White Quail" "Flight" "The Snake" "Breakfast" "The Raid" "The Harness" "The Vigilante" "Johnny Bear" "The Red Pony" "The Murder" "Saint Katy the Virgin" Busch, Christopher S. "Longing for the Lost Frontier: Steinbeck's Vision of Cultural Decline in'The White Quail' and'The Chrysanthemums'." Steinbeck Quarterly 26.03-04: 81-90. Pellow, C. Kenneth. "'The Chrysanthemums' Revisited." Steinbeck Quarterly 22.01-02: 8-16. Renner, Stanley. "Mary Teller and Sue Bridehead: Birds of a Feather in'The White Quail' and Jude the Obscure." Steinbeck Quarterly 18.01-02: 35-45.

Renner, Stanley. "Sexual Idealism and Violence in'The White Quail'." Steinbeck Quarterly 17.03-04: 76-87. Ware, Elaine. "Struggle for Survival: Parallel Theme and Techniques in Steinbeck's'Flight' and Norris's'McTeague'." Steinbeck Quarterly 21.03-04: 96-103. Kohzadi, Hamedreza. "The Marriage of Hysteria and Feminism in John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums: Elisa Allen as a Married but Virgin Feminist Homosexual Hysteric." Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 20.4: 429-469. Https:// Penguin Classics - The Long Valley

Mind Eraser, No Chaser

"Mind Eraser, No Chaser" is the second single released by rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures. "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" was released on November 3, 2009 as the second single from the band's self-titled debut album. It was released as iTunes's Single Of The Week as part of promotion for their debut album; the song features vocals from drummer Dave Grohl. On April 20, 2010, Them Crooked Vultures released a digital 45 onto iTunes featuring the songs "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and a live version of the song "HWY 1" recorded in Sydney as the B-side; the release was in aid of Record Store Day. Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics