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Govt to go ahead with pictorial warnings on tobacco packets

 Union Health Minister J P Nadda today said his ministry will stick to the deadline of April 1 to implement larger pictorial warnings on tobacco packets despite a parliamentary panel's recommendations to keep the proposal on hold.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The health ministry has finally given nod to implement larger pictorial warnings on tobacco packets​. Union Health Minister J P Nadda today said his ministry will stick to the deadline of April 1 despite a parliamentary panel's recommendations to keep the proposal on hold.

The Committee on Subordinate Legislations (2014-15), examining the provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, had said it had received a large number of representations expressing "serious" apprehensions from MPs as well as other stakeholders against the proposed notification.

"As the entire process including finding out the socio- economic ramifications of the notification and possible remedies is likely to take some more time.

"The committee strongly urge the government that the implementation of the notification viz GSR 727-E dated October 15, 2014 may be kept in abeyance till the committee finalise the examination of the subject and arrive at appropriate conclusion and present an objective report to the Parliament," the committee had said.

BJP MP Dilipkumar Mansukhhal Gandhi who heads the committee, said that it was of the "firm" opinion that all apprehensions needed to be comprehensively examined before the amendment notification is brought into force from April 1, 2015.

The notification regarding amendment to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008 envisaged modification to increase the size of specified health warning from the current 40 per cent to 85 per cent of the principal display area of the package of tobacco products.

Further, the notification envisaged that every cigarette package or product shall contain the particulars like name, address of the manufacturer, origin, quantity, dates and others. The notification was scheduled to come into force from April this year.

The committee also felt that the socio-economic effect on the livelihood of the workers associated with the tobacco industry trespasses the domain of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and therefore and it would be imperative for them to seek views of other ministries especially the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Agriculture and others.  

(With Agency inputs)

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