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All cigarette factories to shut in protest, lose Rs 350 crore a day

| PAWAN BALI
Published : Apr 2, 2016, 1:56 am IST
Updated : Apr 2, 2016, 1:56 am IST

Upping the ante, all major Indian cigarette manufacturers, including ITC, Godfrey Philips and VST, in a drastic step, decided to shut down their factories from Friday over the controversial issue of p

Upping the ante, all major Indian cigarette manufacturers, including ITC, Godfrey Philips and VST, in a drastic step, decided to shut down their factories from Friday over the controversial issue of putting larger pictorial warnings on cigarette packets from April 1.

The Tobacco Institute of India (TII) said due to ambiguity over the government’s policy on graphic health warnings on tobacco packs, its members could not continue manufacturing cigarettes from April 1. TII members account for over 98 per cent of India’s domestic sales of duty-paid cigarettes. This will cause an estimated loss of Rs 350 crores per day in production turnover for the Indian tobacco industry, TII said.

The Union health ministry had in a recent affidavit filed in the Rajasthan high court said 85 per cent pictorial health warnings on both sides of tobacco packets will come into force with effect from April 1, 2016.

TII director Syed Mahmood Ahmad said the Indian tobacco industry had written to the ministry on March 15 seeking a clarification. Fearing a potential violation of rules by continuing production, the TII members decided to shut their factories,” TII said.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi