Companies & Sectors
Tobacco companies halt production to protest bigger pictorials
New Delhi : As the government on Friday enforced the much debated 85 percent pictorial warnings on packets of all tobacco products, manufacturer across the country decided to halt production, citing ambiguity in the government action.
 
The move is likely to result in a daily loss of Rs.350 crore to the government, apart from increase in illegal cigarette and tobacco products in the market.
 
The government decision comes even after recommendations of a parliamentary committee advocating pictorial warnings on tobacco and cigarette packets be brought down to 50 percent from 85 percent, saying the latter will be too harsh on the tobacco industry.
 
Various health experts welcomed the move, citing that the health ministry could not take a better step than this to curb the tobacco-related deaths in the country, which currently stand at over 10 lakh, costing the government over Rs.1,04,500 crore - a whopping 1.16 per cent of India's gross domestic product.
 
"We now look to the health minister to continue his crusade against tobacco and implement the 85 percent pictorial health warnings on both sides of tobacco packages, as planned, to save the Indian youth and children from tobacco addiction," Harit Chaturvedi chairman, Max Institute Of Oncology, and director, surgical oncology, at Max Healthcare, told IANS.
 
M.C Misra, director of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), said: "This is one of the best initiative. Eighty percent of the cancer patients are linked with tobacco and tobacco chewing. Though not every consumer will stop taking tobacco but this initiative will have a impact on a large chunk."
 
With the implementation of new warnings, India will now move to the second position from 136th in the list of countries with such warnings on tobacco packs, including neighbouring Nepal (99 percent), Sri Lanka (80), Thailand (85) and Bangladesh (50). 
 
India will host the Conference of the Parties of the WHO tobacco-control treaty in November 2016.
 
Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, chief executive, Voluntary Health Association of India, said: "This landmark decision of the government to implement stronger and larger pictorial warnings on both sides will save millions of Indians who die due to tobacco-related diseases every year."
 
Till now tobacco packets available in the market had statutory pictorial and textual health warnings that covered only 40 percent of the package area and that too on one side only. 
 
The government move comes despite repeated requests and several memorandums submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister J.P. Nadda, following economic losses to tobacco farmers and those dependent on the tobacco industry for livelihood. 
 
The announcement to shut production was made by the Tobacco Institute of India (TII), which comprises manufacturers accounting for more than 98 percent of the country’s domestic sales of duty paid cigarettes in India. 
 
Though no official from the health ministry was available for comment, M.C. Misra, Director, AIIMS said: "It does not matter even if the loss is Rs.3,500 crore. Nothing is more important than the lives of the people. During such initiatives, there are advantages and disadvantages; so we need to be ready for everything." 
 
Calling it a black day for all tobacco farmers, Murali Babu, general secretary of the Federation of All India Farmers' Associations (FAIFA), a tobacco farmers association, told IANS: "The government is trying to murder the Indian tobacco farmers by going ahead with such initiatives."
 
Both the Tobacco Institute of India and the FAIFA have said that 85 per cent warnings will promote illegal cigarette trade, and adversely affect the livelihood of 45.7 million people dependent on tobacco farming, including farmers, labourers, workers, traders and others.
 
According to them, the government should align the tobacco pictorial warning policy with the other tobacco producing countries such as the US, China and Japan, which do not have any pictorial warnings. 
 
The US, China and Japan, accounting for 51 percent of global cigarette consumption, have only text-based warnings (about 30 percent in size), they said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Hemen Parekh

8 months ago

Ambiguity is Bad !

Where ?

* Health Ministry wants warning images on cigarette packs to cover 85% of the surface , against earlier rule of 40%
* A Parliamentary Committee had recommended 50 %

Reaction :

* From friday ( 01 April 2016 ) , all cigarette factories have shut down in protest ,
According to Tobacco Institute of India , this will cause,
# Daily revenue loss of Rs 350 Crores
# Threatening livelihood of 45.7 million people dependent on the Industry
# Increase in trade in illegal cigarettes ( which already causes an annual
revenue loss of Rs 9,000 cr to the exchequer )

What should Government do ?

Negotiate with the Industry and reach Agreement , using my suggestion as under :
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source : My Blog dt 18 Aug 2013

Going Up in Smoke ?

Yesterday , Times of India reported :

India's tobacco industry supports 38 million people ( 380 lakhs )

Every year , some 6 million ( 60 lakh ) people die in India thru use of tobacco ( mostly cigarettes )

Of these , some 6 lakh die by inhaling smoke of other cigarette smokers

So what can we do to save these 60 lakh ?

Immediately close down entire tobacco industry ?

And jeopardize the lives of 380 lakh ?

Obviously , we cannot adopt a mutually exclusive solution !

We must find a solution that , not only saves those 60 lakh but also continue to provide livelihood to 380 lakhs

That cannot be done in one - or even five - years , but it is entirely possible to solve this problem over , 20 years , as follows :

* Thru appropriate legislation , phase out tobacco industry by 2033

* Immediately stop expansion of existing units

* Do not allow new units to come up

* Place a recruitment freeze in tobacco industry - no fresh hiring at any level

* No replacement for retiring employees , after 2018

* Provide incentives to industry to redeploy capital / manpower in alternate industries - especially those industries with large scope for creation of new jobs

* Give generous tax-breaks to industry to remain profitable , even as they wind-up operations

* Provide incentives to put up new-industry projects in less industrialized regions

* Provide incentives for re-training existing workers in new skills in demand by others

* Subsidize Voluntary Retirement Schemes of industry


This is just a partial list . I am sure , if there is political will , experts will come up with many more viable suggestions

Hint :

If Shri Piyush Goyal can plan on banning all petrol / diesel driven vehicles on roads from 2030 , then banning cigarettes from 2036 , ought to be a " Child's Play " !



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

hemenparekh.in / blogs

03 April 2016

Flyover toll is 24, murder charges against construction company

The police filed murder charges against top officials of the joint venture company, Hyderabad-based IVRCL Infrastructure, which was executing the flyover project and detained at least 10 of its employees

 

Heart-wrenching cries of relatives taking custody of the dead and anguished kins waiting for the latest update on the grievously injured were the recurrent scenes in hospitals here as the toll in Kolkata's worst flyover tragedy rose to 24 on Friday.
 
Among the dead were three women while one body was too mutilated to ascertain the gender. Sixteen of the 67 rescued battled for life in hospitals, a day after an under-construction flyover collapsed, crushing people and flattening vehicles in the congested Posta area.
 
Three of the deceased were 25 years old while six others were in their 30s. The ghastly tragedy left behind a trail of devastation and raised unanswered questions about a project that was on for seven years.
 
Asha Joshi, 65, was the oldest among the dead, the West Bengal government said.
 
Relatives of Sabana Bano, who perished at the Medical College and Hospital, were inconsolable.
 
"She had called us repeatedly from her mobile after she got trapped when the bridge collapsed. She pleaded that we rescue her but we could not do anything," moaned a family member.
 
Three bodies were still to be identified.
 
Going into the reasons for the flyover crash, a government statement said: "It is apprehended that one cantilever pier no 40 has shifted due to which two spans covering three piers were affected."
 
Meanwhile, the police filed murder charges against top officials of the joint venture company, Hyderabad-based IVRCL Infrastructure, which was executing the flyover project and detained at least 10 of its employees.
 
"The charges brought against the company include murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy. So far 10 people, including R.K. Gopal Nanduri, regional business head, have been detained," Joint Commissioner of Police Debashish Boral said.
 
Three of them - senior assistant general manager M. Mallikarjun, structural manager Pradip Kumar and assistant manager (administration) D. Majumdar - were subsequently arrested.
 
A 23-member special investigation team (SIT) has been set up to probe the disaster. A police team reached the company headquarters in Hyderabad to question its officials.
 
The chief engineer and an executive engineer of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority - the state government unit in charge of the JNNURM project - have been placed under suspension.
 
An IANS correspondent who visited the site found cranes busy clearing mounds of debris, dust rising from ongoing demolition and fear of eviction loomed large on those living in the vicinity.
 
The area is still littered with shattered glass and splinters of iron and steel. There were also plastic bottles, a slipper and a children's notebook, strewn next to a truck.
 
With the government asking 62 families in houses close to the spot to vacate their premises for the removal of the collapsed span, the residents were frantically searching for new addresses.
 
Many of the residents of the sardine-packed multi-storeyed houses and numerous commercial establishments lining K.K. Tagore Street - right under the flyover - were still in a state of shock.
 
"I get goose-bumps every time there is a loud noise... This used to be a bustling route. I hope the authorities deal with the mess swiftly and avoid another disaster," said Hari Shaw, caretaker of a small temple.
 
Army teams which had been carrying out rescue operations have returned to the barracks.
 
The KMDA has ordered the immediate inspection of the flyover to ascertain its safety and stability.
 
A petition was filed in the Calcutta High Court for a court-monitored probe into the tragedy.
 
Filed before the bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, the PIL (public interest litigation) seeks a CBI investigation as well as a panel of experts from IIT Kharagpur to probe the causes for the flyover collapse.
 
With the ruling Trinamool Congress facing flak, it field its local MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who argued the project was flawed since its inception during the Left Front's tenure but could not be discarded or remodelled due to financial implications.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party sought a CBI probe, calling the incident an "act of fraud protected by the West Bengal government".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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CBDT processes 6.53 lakh online tax returns' correction requests

CBDT said a detailed user manual for filing online rectification is available on the e-filing portal, on which taxpayers can also monitor the status of disposal of their requests

 

India's tax department has processed over 6.53 lakh online rectification applications in the last fiscal and asked assessees to make use of the e-filing portal for correcting mistakes in tax returns, an official statement said on Friday.
 
"Taxpayers who are not satisfied with the outcome of processing of their Income Tax Return by the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru, can avail of the facility of online filing and tracking of rectification requests on https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in," the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement here.
 
Its CPC has already processed 6,53,763 online rectification requests in 2015-16 till February 29, 2016, the statement added.
 
CBDT said a detailed user manual for filing online rectification is available on the e-filing portal, on which taxpayers can also monitor the status of disposal of their requests.
 
It said that in case of any mistake in data entry of tax payment or tax deduction at source (TDS) details, taxpayer can use the "Rectification Request Type - Taxpayer is correcting data for Tax Credit mismatch only" option on the website for entering the correct details.
 
In case of a data entry mistake in any other schedule, or omission of any details, the taxpayer can select the option "Taxpayer is correcting Data in Rectification" and the reason for seeking rectification.
 
In any other case, the taxpayer can select the option "No further Data Correction Required, Reprocess the case" where the mistake in processing may have occurred due to non-reporting of TDS by the deductor.
 
"CBDT is committed to ensuring accuracy in processing of returns and determination of refunds and seeks the active cooperation of taxpayers in ensuring correctness of data while submitting the return or rectification request," it said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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