Mangaluru: The 'beedi' industry might face closure due to the mandated larger pictorial warnings covering 85 percent of the packaging space, a federation said on Saturday.
The All India Beedi Industry Federation has urged the government to drop the law stating that thousands of workers and tobacco growers would lose their livelihood.
Federation's President R P Patel in a statement said that the beedi industry was the highest employer in Karnataka after agriculture and construction.
Patel said being a traditional industry, it could not be closed overnight. The government should not be indifferent to the plight of the beedi workers despite repeated representations from various stakeholders.
Beedis manufactured in India were unique and the industry employed 80 lakh rollers, mostly women at their homes. Another five lakh persons do packing manually, 20 lakh adivasis pluck tender leaves, 30 lakh farmers which together supported more than two crore people directly and indirectly, the statement said.