R'than bears revenue loss, bids goodbye to gutkha

The state government on Wednesday decided to ban production, storage, distribution and sale of gutkha in the state. Rajasthan is the fifth state in the country to ban nicotine laced gutkha.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council of ministers presided by chief minister Ashok Gehlot. 

The ban will come into force after a notification is issued. “We decided to ban gutkha in the interest of people. Provision has been made for penalty of Rs 25,000 to 10 lakh through courts on violation,” Gehlot told reporters after the meeting.

This will cause a revenue loss of around Rs 125 crore, he said. 

“Those involved in the trade of gutkha and pan masala with tobacco should change their business in the interest of society,” the chief minister said.

Discourage use

“Medical science has proved the level of harm caused by gutkha so its production should be discouraged at all levels. We will request the Centre to make a stringent law in this regard,” he said.

“Gutkha factory owners are rich because the business has good margin. They should also stop its production and if they do not do this, then they are similar to anti-social elements as they are knowingly doing the business of poison and playing with the health of people,” he said.

Gehlot also expressed concern over possible illegal sale of gutkha after the ban and said efforts would be made to ensure that there is no sale of gutkha in any manner.Other states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have also banned gutkha. 

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