Tobacco farmers seek withdraw of COTPA Amendment Bill

The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) has appealed to Key Minister Narendra Modi…

The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) has appealed to Key Minister Narendra Modi not to go in advance with the COTPA Monthly bill, which will enhance the illegal cigarette trade in the country.

This, in flip, would adversely impression the domestic demand for the home developed tobacco and incomes of the tobacco farmers in the country.

“The government is circulating the draft bill for feed-back. We request the government to withdraw the bill and not to get affected by the global non-governmental organisations that are misrepresenting facts to advertise the fascination of vested groups,” mentioned Murali Babu, General Secretary of Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA). He mentioned the illicit cigarette trade is creating a decline of ₹1,three hundred crore each 12 months to the tobacco farmers in the country.

The FAIFA has submitted memorandum to the Key Minister and Ministries of Wellness, Agriculture, Commerce and Labour, urging them not to go in advance with the bill.

The bill seeks to make initiatives to reduce all immediate and indirect advertising, marketing and sponsorship about tobacco. It also calls for curbs on marketing, distribution and sale of cigarettes. Violations would entice a jail time period and wonderful.

“The Government has imposed harsh tobacco polices this sort of as expanding the dimension of pictorial warnings, punitive taxation on cigarettes and withdrawal of export positive aspects,” Javare Gowda, President, Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), mentioned. These moves have severely impacted the incomes of tobacco farmers, who really do not have viable choices in the dry and arid areas.

He mentioned India experienced emerged as the fourth most significant and quickest developing illicit cigarette marketplace in the entire world with illicit cigarettes symbolizing one-fourth of the cigarette marketplace. “In the final fifteen yrs illicit cigarette marketplace in the country has doubled from 13.5 billion sticks in 2006 to 28 billion sticks in 2019,” he mentioned.

The association pegged the full decline owing to the illicit cigarettes in the final yrs at ₹6,000 crore. The lawful cigarettes’ share of full tobacco use in the country declined from 21 for each cent in 1981-eighty two to nine for each cent in 2019-20.

The association, nonetheless, argued that the stringent polices did not prevent the in general tobacco use from developing. It, in point, grew by 46 for each cent during the period.

“The harsh amendments will terrorise retailers and traders and they would not want to engage in the sale of lawful cigarettes. As a outcome, felony syndicates who have been pushing illegal tobacco will gain ground and will flood the Indian marketplace with illicit cigarettes,” Javare Gowda contended.