Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Going Up in Smoke ?

Yesterday , Times of India reported :

India's tobacco industry supports 38 million people ( 380 lakhs )

Every year , some 6 million ( 60 lakh )people die in India thru use of tobacco ( mostly cigarettes )

Of these , some 6 lakh die by inhaling smoke of other cigarette smokers

So what can we do to save these 60 lakh ?

Immediately close down entire tobacco industry ?

And jeopardize the lives of 380 lakh  ?

Obviously , we cannot adopt a mutually exclusive solution !

We must find a solution that , not only saves those 60 lakh but also continue to provide livelihood to 380 lakhs

That cannot be done in one - or even five - years , but it is entirely possible to solve this problem over , 20 years , as follows :

>   Thru appropriate legislation , phase out tobacco industry by 2033
>   Immediately stop expansion of existing units
>   Do not allow new units to come up
>   Place a recruitment freeze in tobacco industry - no fresh hiring at any level
>   No replacement for retiring employees , after 2018
>   Provide incentives to industry to redeploy capital / manpower in alternate industries - especially those industries with large scope for creation of new jobs
>   Give generous tax-breaks to industry to remain profitable , even as they wind-up operations
>   Provide incentives to put up new-industry projects in less industrialized regions
>   Provide incentives for re-training existing workers in new skills in demand by others
>   Subsidize Voluntary Retirement Schemes of industry

This is just a partial list . I am sure , if there is political will , experts will come up with many more viable suggestions

Question :

With national elections looming on the horizon , which political party would want to alienate , a lucrative source of election funding ?