New Delhi, Sep 18 : Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday termed the banning of ‘E cigarettes’ by the Narendra Modi Government as yet another ‘big bang’ announcement by the Finance Minister to divert attention from the economic slowdown in the country.
The remarks by Rsmesh came even as the Congress party welcomes the ban while questioning why the Government was not banning conventional cigarettes.
‘’Yet another 'big bang' announcement by FM. Obviously the governance motto now is ' A headline a day keeps news of the worsening slowdown away',’’Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
The comment by Ramesh was in contrast to the official statement by the Congress to welcome the ban on E cigarettes.
Addressing a press conference here, AICC spokesperson Ajay Maken welcomed Government's move to put a ban on E-Cigarettes but questioned as to why the government was not banning conventional cigerettes.
Replying to a question over ban announced by the government during cabinet briefing on Wednesday, Mr Maken said,’’We welcome and support the move by the government, however, the question is that will the government ban conventional cigarettes.’’
He, however, further asked whether the government would also ban harmful tobacco products like gutkha and others which also form a part of harmful addictive habits affecting people.
The announcement in the country came a day after the United States's New York banned e-cigarettes following deaths pertaining to vaping.
The government on Wednesday approved the promulgation of an ordinance which bans Electronic Cigarettes in the country.
Announcing this at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the ban would prohibit production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement of the same.
The ordinance is named as 'Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement) Ordinance, 2019.
Answering questions, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said the government decision will result in fetching in revenue to the government.
Ms Sitharaman said smoke exhaled by users of e-cigarettes contains high level of residual nicotine.
She emphasised that reports say 'there are some who are probably getting into the habit of e-cigarettes as it seems cool. It is believed that there are more than 400 brands, none of which is manufactured in India. And they come in over 150 flavours'.
The decision to prohibit e-cigarettes will help to protect the population, especially the youth and children, from the risk of addiction through E-cigarettes.(UNI)