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Farmers’ body calls on PM Modi to withdraw cigarette and tobacco bill

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Farmers’ organization FAIFA on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recall the bill to amend the law on cigarettes and other tobacco products, saying it would be the death knell for Indian tobacco farmers.

Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2020 (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) Amendment Bill 2020 will give a huge boost to the ever-increasing illicit cigarette trade in India and will have a negative impact on the legal cigarette trade, FAIFA, which claims to represent farmers and agricultural workers of cash crops. across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat, said in a statement.

Federation of All Indian Farmers’ Associations (FAIFA) secretary-general Murali Babu said that in the amendment bill, all provisions of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ( CCSA) are applied fully and in some cases more than what CCSA requires. .

“However, there has still not been any discussion or action regarding the real issues tobacco growers are going to face as a result of these tough legislative proposals,” he said, adding that the FAIFA wanted to highlight this anomaly to the Prime Minister and its direct impact so strict. laws are going to have on the members of this federation and other tobacco producers.

The FAIFA appealed to Modi “to recall the COTPA amendment bill because it will be the death knell for Indian tobacco producers FCV”.

The harsh amendments that have been proposed “will terrorize retailers and traders and they would not want to engage in the sale of legal cigarettes,” FAIFA President Javare Gowda said, adding that as a result criminal syndicates who pushed illegal tobacco would gain ground there and flood the Indian market with illicit cigarettes.

Since these illicit cigarettes do not use tobacco produced by Indian farmers, it would result in loss of income and livelihoods for millions of tobacco farmers who depend on the country’s harvest, he said. added.

Ministry of Health’s proposed COTPA amendment bans the retail sale of loose cigarette sticks, bans the sale of tobacco products to people under the age of 21, imposes controls on in-store advertising and promotion , among others.

The FAIFA said that in recent years the government has imposed “tough tobacco regulations” such as increasing the size of picture warnings, imposing punitive taxation on cigarettes with a charge. tax more than tripled since 2012-13 and even removed the export benefits.

All of this takes a toll on the livelihoods of tobacco growers’ crores without providing other livelihood options, he added.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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