5-speed listening (Level 6)

India to remove 287 laughable laws



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The Indian government will scrap 287 obsolete laws that date back to the 19th century, when India was under British rule. India's Law Minister Ravi Prasad is overseeing a "clean-up" of India's legal system. He has been instructed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to streamline the statute book and make India an easier place in which to live and do business. India's legislature is mired in hundreds of arcane laws introduced in the times of the British Empire. Mr Prasad called some of the laws "laughable" and had "no place in a modern and democratic India". Prasad has a tough task ahead of him. Even after this initial cull, the country will still have thousands of regulations that are obstacles to business.

The repeal of the laws will take effect from November. After then, it will no longer be illegal to fly a kite without police permission. A 1934 law classified a kite as an aircraft. A law that is a constant source of irritation to factory owners is one that requires them to have red buckets full of water and sand, even if their buildings are equipped with state-of-the-art sprinkler systems. Another oddity to go is the Motor Vehicles Act, that says a car safety inspector must have clean teeth. Also going is the Registration of Foreigners' Act, 1939, which requires foreigners staying in India for more than 180 days to report his/her movements. This should give a boost to India's tourism industry.

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