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Betel shop owners demand rollback of Health Ministry’s decision to ban sale of non-tobacco products

Betel shop owners demand rollback of Health Ministry’s decision to ban sale of non-tobacco products

Bhubaneswar, 27/10/2017 ( Odisha Samachar / Swarnaprava Nayak )  : Members of Bhubaneswar Khilipana Dokani Mahasangha on Friday opposed the Health Ministry’s decision to ban selling of non-tobacco products at their retail shops.

In a press conference held in the state capital here, Mahasangha General Secretary Dukhishyam Mohapatra said, “In the democracy, everyone has the right to representation, before goving verdicts which may have a life-defining impact on them. It is unfortunate that the
Health Ministry has not consulted the petty retailers, nor taken their interests in mind before taking the decision. In fact, in most cases, the purchases at the store are made by adults and just by generalizing; it is possible that minors may buy tobacco products at the same store by someone’s figment of imagination. Sale of tobacco products to minors is not allowed by the government and there is a penalty for violation of this regulation, and our members strictly adhere to such rule. We are all aware of this law and have put up boards prominently in our shops in compliance with the current regulations.”

“We fear that present situation is a result of lobbying by
multinationals that are out to destroy local traders’ business. Hence, we appeal that such a communication should be investigated. If it is not withdrawn, the government must provide permanent jobs to us and our family members so that we can meet our two ends”, Mohapatra added. Earlier in the day, the protestors took out a rally from Master Canteen Square to the meeting venue to press for the demand.

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