Anti-tobacco drive: Health dept wants cooperation from excise
The Punjab health department on Thursday asked the excise and taxation department to coordinate with it in the campaign against illegal hookah bars and the other establishments flouting anti-tobacco laws.
In a communiqué to the financial commissioner (excise and taxation), health department principal secretary Vini Mahajan has sought instruction for the field staff to ensure that every tobacco-product pack carries the mandatory pictorial warning that smoking is injurious to health. "This way, the illicit manufacturing and trade of tobacco products can be checked to a large extent," she stated.
Mahajan suggested the financial commissioner to even cancel the permits of all manufacturers whose tobacco products didn't carry the pictorial health warning that is mandatory under Section 7 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003. Being part of the district-level coordination committees for tobacco control, the excise and taxation department officials above the rank of inspector have powers to act under Sections 5 (prohibition of tobacco advertisement/promotion/sponsorship) and 7 (health warning on tobacco-product packs) of COTPA.
Mahajan also suggested the excise and taxation department to appoint nodal officers for tobacco control at the state and districts levels to coordinate with their counterparts in the health department for technical guidance and training.
Departments across the state have been sent instructions on how to punish the offenders and asked to check wholesale and retail dealing of illicit tobacco products. Mahajan stated that one in every 10 cigarettes consumed worldwide was illegal.
A LeT 'commander' from Pakistan succumbed to his injuries and a constable injured when the former snatched rifle from the latter and fired at a police party during the recovery of hidden weapons along the Indo-Pak international border in the Arnia sector of Jammu district late Wednesday, said officials. The deceased terrorist was a commander of terror group LeT, alias Qasim, alias Jehangir of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Hussain.
Five members of a family and their employer were found dead in two houses in Tawi Vihar locality in Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu city late on Tuesday, police officials said on Wednesday, adding that they suspect the deaths to have been caused by poisoning. The police received a call from the sister of one of the deceased, who said that her brother was not responding to calls, Jammu SSP Chandan Kohli said.
A day after Congress appointed former two-time legislator Vikar Rasool Wani its J&K chief, there is indignation within the party as many leaders have termed the decision unfortunate. The Congress on Tuesday appointed Wani as its Jammu and Kashmir chief and senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad the head of the campaign committee. However, Azad who is the senior-most member of the party, refused to be a part of the campaign committee.
The top Kashmiri political leaders on Wednesday said that allowing non-locals to vote in the upcoming elections in J&K will be disastrous and will tilt the balance in favour of the BJP. Peoples Conference chairman and former minister Sajjad Lone said that allowing non-locals to vote in assembly elections will be as disastrous as 1987 rigging. The real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals,” MupDP president Mehbooba Muftiweeted.
The government medical college in Amritsar, which is one of the oldest secondary and tertiary medical care institutes of the country, seems to have failed in meeting the expectations of thousands of patients of north India, especially of the Majha region comprising Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Pathankot districts, due to several shortcomings, including the acute shortage of super specialist doctors and support staff.