The Health and Family welfare Department has proposed increase in tax on tobacco expressing concern over the health hazards.
Principal Secretary in the Department PK Mohapatra has suggested in a letter to Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) UN Behera to increase tax on tobacco products in order to discourage its use.
Mohapatra has stated that all the cross border check gates should be instructed not to permit entry of any banned tobacco items into the State.
He has also requested that the Finance Department should take steps to ensure reduction in illicit trade and tax evasion by tobacco industry.
Besides, the H&FW Department has suggested to the School and Mass Education Department and Higher Education Department to include chapters on health hazards of tobacco use in curriculum in order to create awareness among the students and young generations.
The Department has also sought help of Housing and Urban Development Department, Information and Public Relations Department, Excise Department and Agriculture Department to contribute in implementation of anti-tobacco laws and discourage people from using such products.
Similarly, in a letter to the authorities of East Coast Railway, the Health Secretary has requested to take necessary steps to stop sale of gutkha and other tobacco products in railway platforms and trains.
The H&FW Department’s action came in the backdrop of a recent Supreme Court case where the apex court sought report on the Ankur Gutkha versus Indian Asthma Care Society and others to be submitted within seven days.
The State Government has banned storage, manufacture and sale of gutkha and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine under.