NEW DELHI: Cigarette industry body Tobacco Institute of India (TII) members have decided to stop manufacture of tobacco products, pending clarification on the new norms of the Health Ministry, to put larger pictorial warning covering 85% space on packets of tobacco products. But the tobacco industry estimates a loss of Rs 350 crore per day for the companies and impact lives of 45.7 million people.
TII has warned that unorganised cigarette manufacturers could gain from the move and result in an annual revenue loss of over Rs 9,000 crore.
The tobacco industry had highlighted that these norms were an impediment in manufacturing of tobacco products in absence of clarification. The industry, TII said, was already reeling under financial burden, following the excise duty hike on tobacco products by 10-15% in the Budget of 2016-17.
With all regulation the interest of tobacco farmers have been secured, a senior official in Agriculture Ministry said.
He highlighted that the traders are active during the current auctions for sale of 2015-16 crop of tobacco in the state of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the average price realised as on March.9, 2016 in Karnataka auction for crop season 2015-16 is Rs 135.74 per kg which is higher by Rs 28.25 per kg (26%) over the last year final average price of Rs 107.49 per kg. Similarly, the average price realised on in March 2016 in Andhra auction for 2015-16 crops season is Rs 139.08 per kg which is higher by Rs 18.58 (15%) per kg as against 120.50 per kg during last year for the corresponding volume marketed.
A TII executive told Express, “We hope a resolution is found soon, many families are involved directly and indirectly in this business.”