Saturday, 2 April 2016

Ambiguity is Bad !


Where  ?

*  Health Ministry wants warning images on cigarette packs to cover 85% of the surface , against earlier rule of 40%

*  A Parliamentary Committee had recommended 50 %

Reaction :

*  From friday ( 01 April 2016 ) , all cigarette factories have shut down in protest ,

According to Tobacco Institute of India , this will cause,

   #  Daily revenue loss of Rs 350 Crores

   #  Threatening livelihood of 45.7 million people dependent on the Industry

   #  Increase in trade in illegal cigarettes ( which already causes an annual
       revenue loss of Rs 9,000 cr to the exchequer )

What should Government do ?

 Negotiate with the Industry and reach Agreement , using my suggestion as under :

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Source : my blog dt 18 Aug 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



Hint :

If Shri Piyush Goyal can plan on banning all petrol / diesel driven vehicles on roads from 2030 , then banning cigarettes from 2036 , ought to be a " Child's Play " !



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hemenparekh.in / blogs

03  April  2016

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