Move to issue licence for selling tobacco items opposed
The Punjab chapter of the Federation of Retailers Association of India (FRAI), a body of over 4 crore micro, small and medium retailers, here on Thursday raised concerns over the proposal of licence for selling tobacco products.
In a related development, the government has extended the gutkha and pan masala ban for a year in Punjab.
The FRAI said it would lead to harassment of retailers. No other state in India had such punitive laws, it added.
The FRAI appealed Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to protect the interests of over 1.5 lakh micro retailers and their family members and save them from the potential harassment.
Upinder Chaurasia, a FRAI member, said retailers who also sold tobacco were facing immense financial pressure because of extreme regulation of the tobacco industry.
"These measures will increase the cost of doing business for these poor retailers and cut their earnings by 60-70 per cent, which will be a big blow to them," he said.IANS