Rajasthan state government has completely banned the production, storage and selling of all Gutkha (flavored and mixed tobacco) products. The decision came late evening of 18 July in a meeting led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot with the councils of ministers.
As per few trade experts, although the sale and consumption of Gutkha will be treated as illegal, tobacco is exempted from the ban which sounds a bit improper.
Penalty ranging from Rs.25000- Rs.10 Lakh will be imposed on those who are found guilty of being involved in Gutkha trade.
The decision has been welcomed by many social organizations working on different health projects. “It will definitely reduce the adverse health implications on those who are addicted to it, most of whom are in the 18-30 year age bracket” said a social worker who did not wish to disclose her name.
Since the ban on Gutkha is expected to have adverse business impact on many local traders and distributors, many people feel that the Govt decision will only induce another illegal trade in state.
According to TOI, CM Gehlot has said that stricter provisions should be made to jail those who illegally sell, manufacture or store Gutkha.