Tobacco sellers' body raises voice against Centre's move
Kolkata: Paschimbango Pan and Tamak Bikreta Samity (PPTBS), an organisation of small scale retailers and traders selling various tobacco products and other items have threatened to organise mass agitation to protest against Centre's move to restrict the tobacco product sellers from selling non-tobacco items.
The members of the PPTBS who held a press conference at Calcutta Press Club said that they have also written to the Minister of State for Health and also to the Chief Secretary of the state urging them to take up the issue with the Centre as it would affect around 5 lakh small scale sellers who sell tobacco and non-tobacco items.
Moloy Kumar Biswas, a representative of the PPTBS said that the Centre has no right to restrict tobacco product sellers from selling other items. Many of the shops that sell tobacco products also stock various other items. If the Centre imposes any such rule it will affect around 5 lakh traders. The members of the PPTBS threatened to go for a bigger movement throughout the state if their demands are not met. The organisation also claimed that the Ministry of Health has sent a letter to the Chief Secretaries of various states saying that the retail shops selling tobacco products must not be allowed to sell any non-tobacco products. A member of the organisation said: "This is grossly unfair and an undemocratic move. All the family members of the traders will be in deep trouble. Any forced reduction in the products sold by us will have a severe financial impact us."