Campco flays move to ban gutka, paan masala

Announce rehab package for arecanut growers, before the move

Campco Limited President Konkodi Padmanabha has urged the State government not to ban paan masala, which does not have tobacco content in it.

Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday, he said that before the government takes any decision on total ban on gutka, it should announce rehabilitation package for the arecanut growers.

In the backdrop of Karnataka High Court issuing a notice to the State government, to initiate measures to ban gutka, paan masala and other chewing products which has tobacco and nicotin in it, a delegation of the Campco and other organisations had met Chief Minister Jagadeesh Shettar and other Ministers and said that the ban on paan masala will affect areca growers in 12 districts of Karnataka and five districts of Kerala.

“Without banning cigarettes, beedi, Chutta, what was the need to ban paan masala which does not have tobacco content in it.

Even gutka has 80 per cent arecanut. If tobacco was harmful, then it would be better to ban that subtsance from gutka and not entire gutka. The government should provide rehabilitation package to the growers and ban gutka in a phased manner and not all at once,” he said.

He said that the Campco will file a writ in the High Court, questioning the ban on gutka and paan masala.

The Campco has already filed a writ in Kerala High Court.

The president said that a delegation will also meet Union Minister for Commerce Anand Sharma and Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Dr Anup K Pujari to discuss on the import of inferior quality of arecanut.

The government is importing the arecanut for Rs 21 per kg. This will affect the stability of the arecanut price in the market. The government should ban the import of arecanut or it should fix a minimum tariff for the import, to protect the interest of the Indian growers.
The Campco had organised 11 farmers meet last year. It will organise 17 such meets in Karnataka and Kerala in the month of August.

The delegation which met Chief Minister included Shantharam Hegde, Narasimha Nayak, Araga Jnanendra, Ramachandra Mahabaleshwara, G Shivamurthy, H N Nagaraj, H S Shivakumar, G Nandeesh and R M Ravi.

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