HYDERABAD: Union minister of state for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya has said he will consider decreasing the size of the skull-and-bones pictorial warning on beedi packets.Dattatreya’s assuarnce followed Nizamabad MP and TRS leader K Kavitha’s representation to him here on Sunday that big pictorial warning on beedi packets would adversely affect the livelihood of workers dependent on the beedi industry.
The Union government has made it mandatory from April 1 printing of pictorial warning with an image of skull and bones covering 85 percent space on beedi packets.
“About seven lakh people are dependent on the beedi industry in Telangana and 80 lakh all over India. If 85 percent of the space on a beedi packet gets covered with a skull-and-bones picture, it would deal a death blow to the beedi industry and render lakhs of beedi workers jobless. We urge the Union government to consider the plight of beedi workers before implementing this new rule,” said Kavita.
She said the new rule would come in the way of implementing certain other rules like display of complete information about the manufacturer and product.
“The health and family welfare department should have consulted other departments before coming up with such a drastic step. Even the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has pointed that increasing the pictorial warning’s size would lead to workers losing jobs. Therefore, we request the government to show alternative employment to beedi workers before implementing the rule and do it in a phased manner,” said Kavitha.