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Kolkata port taking preparatory measures for cyclone Yaas

Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP), formerly known as Kolkata Port Trust, is monitoring the situation in view of the forecast of a very severe cyclonic storm, Yaas, and taking preparatory measures to avoid loss of human lives, vessels, and other properties, an official said on Saturday. The port authorities asked officials to ensure that all its vessels are taken inside the dock before the onset of the cyclonic storm, and no ships will be kept at river jetties, SMP Chairman Vinit Kumar said.

Control rooms at Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock Complex have been set up, he said.

“We are continuously monitoring the situation and will stop our operations at the right time. Control rooms at KDS and HDC have been manned by senior officers since May 21. Tugboats and launches will be available for any emergency,” Kumar said.

A low pressure area formed over east central Bay of Bengal on Saturday, which is likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and move towards West Bengal, adjoining north Odisha and Bangladesh coasts around May 26 morning, the regional Met Department said.

The system is very likely to cross the coasts of the two states and the neighbouring country on May 26 evening, said Regional Meteorological Centre (

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) Director G K Das.

Kumar held a meeting with the deputy chairman of the port and officials of various departments to speed up the process of making preparatory arrangements.

The authorities hired and installed many generator sets at strategic locations, and will keep payloaders ready for any exigency, he said.

The port also asked officials to make sure that frontline workers with hydraulic ladder, diesel or battery- operated saw and other equipment are stationed at various locations.

CISF personnel and security staffers have also been urged to patrol the port areas to send first-hand information to the control rooms, the official added.

Digital tax: France to ‘fight’ for Amazon inclusion

France said on Wednesday it would make sure that Amazon is subject to a minimum global tax endorsed by the G7 nations.

According to the plan, countries would be allowed to tax a share of the profits of the most profitable companies in the world at a rate of at least 15%, regardless of where they are based. This would apply, however, only to companies whose profit margins exceed 10%.

Despite Amazon’s market capitalisation of more than $1 trillion, its profit margin last year amounted to just 6.3%, placing it firmly below that threshold. But French finance minister Bruno Le Maire told the broadcaster

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that the potential loophole would not stand. The tax reform “must apply to Amazon”, he said. “France will fight to make sure that it does.” “The problem with Amazon is that some of its businesses don’t generate a profit margin of more than 10%,” Le Maire said, singling out its deliveries branch. At Amazon’s cloud-based services, meanwhile, margins are “very large”, he said. The answer was to treat Amazon’s businesses separately for tax purposes “so that all the very profitable parts are certain to be subject to this digital taxation”.