Beedi manufacturers across India on Thursday joined cigarette makers in stopping production, saying it’s “not possible to print” warnings covering 85% of packets as required under a new government rule.
All India Beedi Industry Federation, a body of over 240 manufacturers controlling over two-third of total branded beedi production, said the loss due to stopping production will be around Rs 200 crore daily.
“We are supporting the cigarette industry on this issue. The shutting down of beedi production meant for the domestic market will lead to a daily loss of Rs 200 crore,” AIBIF Member Arjun Khanna told PTI.
A notification by the Health Ministry on September 24, 2015, for implementation of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Amendment Rules, 2014, came into force on April 1, 2016. These prescribe larger pictorial warnings, covering 85% of packets on tobacco products.
“As per the notification, beedis cannot be produced without this new enhanced pictorial warning from April 1, 2016... It is not possible to print the warnings...as the curved area and wrapping paper edges prevent printing on a reasonably large area of the curved surface,” AIBIF said.
The practical impossibility implies that the beedi industry cannot implement the new warning rules in its present form, the federation added.
“Therefore it is not possible to produce beedis without violating the law. Being a law abiding industry, there is no option but to stop production,” it said.