Tobacco giant ITC today plunged by 3.5 per cent in the early trade on BSE after the company said it has halted production of cigarettes at all its manufacturing units in view of uncertainty over pictorial warnings.
ITC share that had a subdued start, dipped by 3.51 per cent to an early-low of Rs 164.70 per piece at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The scrip reacted in a similar manner on the National Stock Exchange where it declined by 3.45 per cent to trade at Rs 165 in the morning session.
Similarly, another cigarette maker Godfrey Phillips India (GPI), which according to sources has also stopped production, tanked by 5.48 per cent to a low of Rs 1,914 on BSE.
ITC, which is a maker of India Kings, Gold Flake and Navy Cut, has stopped production at all the five units located across India due to uncertainty over pictorial warnings to be carried on tobacco products starting this month.
The company said there was no clarity on types of warnings to be carried on the packages. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had notified in May this year that all tobacco product packages in the country must carry pictorial health warnings depicting a cancer-stricken mouth etc., from December 1, 2010.
Meanwhile, the 30-share benchmark Sensex was trading at 20,052.62, up 59.92 points from previous close.