New Delhi: The tobacco industry is facing losses of over Rs 350 crore each day as cigarette makers have shut operations due to lack of clarity on proposed graphic health warnings on tobacco products, Assocham said on Tuesday.
It said the lack of clarity has also opened floodgates in terms of illegal imports to the extent of 90 per cent.
“Tobacco industry is facing losses worth over Rs 350 crore each day as cigarette makers have been forced to shut operations due to lack of clarity on proposed graphic health warnings on tobacco items,” the industry body said in a statement.
It said that the livelihood of more than 45 million people engaged in tobacco industry across India is being threatened due to this ambiguity on policy.
Global average size of pictorial warnings on tobacco products is about 31 per cent whereas according to a Health Ministry notification, tobacco products in the country are required to have pictorial warning on 85 per cent of packaging space, it said.
“With such excessive warnings, cigarette packets will virtually become unbranded thereby giving a fillip to illegal and smuggled products,” it said.
It further noted that the size of pictorial warnings in India is much larger than the average of 20 per cent that is prevalent among top five tobacco producing countries, including Brazil and China, comprising around 90 per cent of global tobacco production.