Ban on cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol: target in limelight

Business COVID-19

The revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs entails the ban on cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol, impacting the sales.

Sikha Jaiswal 

April 16, 2020

With the extension of lockdown and an increase in the number of positive cases of novel Coronavirus, the central government has put a ban on the sales of tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol so as to ensure social distancing and a measure to slow down the spread of Covid-19. 

The announcement has been made under the Disaster Management Act where a ban has also been imposed on spitting in public places where a fine of Rs.1000 would be charged. This ban has put the shopkeepers under a huge extension of loss in Bangalore. It also puts the chain-smoker under a dilemma of their existing habit that has shut out during this lockdown. 

Mr Bishnu V, cigarette shop-owner said, “This lockdown has put an immense pressure on our daily earning .I have sold cigarettes and tobacco at a cost higher than its original price during the lockdown as it was still in demand, but now that the guidelines have been made, I will face a lot of problem and I am very much worried about my daily income as there is no mode of earning.”

The guidelines have been made to ensure social distancing and measures to prevent from fatal respiratory illness that is caused when a person talks or sneezes, as stated in the reports.

Several states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, and Maharashtra have already put a ban on tobacco consumption amid the Covid-19 outbreak, as stated in an article by Business Standards.

On April 8, news reported, with a sigh of relief that Liquor shops in Karnataka would remain open for three hours ,if the lockdown gets extended beyond April 14, but going with the present scenario, it has been extended to May 3rd and the been continues on the sales.

The liquid trade has shuttered in due to Covid-19 lockdown resulting in a financial loss of nearly 20-40% of the state’s revenue, for which the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) has wrote letters to the state government to allow online sale of alcohol so as to curb the loss, as reported.

The consumers said, “The only medium of resistance has also been taken away and now I am hoping to see if the current guidelines paves way for a better situation.”

A Liquor shop owner in Kolkata said, “It is been days that my shop is shut due to pandemic which have affected me as it was the only source of income for me. I thought that after 21 days lockdown I can open my shop for few hours but this new guideline has nothing new for us and people like me.”

With this, the Ministry of Health tweeted that “we can and we will defeat the virus,”


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