Fresh FDI in tobacco products banned

April 8th, 2010 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Thursday approved a proposal of the commerce and industry ministry to ban foreign direct investment (FDI) in tobacco products, including cigarette manufacturing.
“This (FDI) will be prohibited for manufacturing of cigarettes whether or not they are for domestic or foreign consumption,” Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said after a CCEA meeting.

Currently, 100 percent FDI is allowed in the sector.

This policy change would only ban fresh inflows and not impact existing tobacco companies with foreign investment, it was clarified.

The ban is expected to “enhance public accountability by way of the government’s commitment towards proliferation of anti-smoking regime in the country”, said Chidambaram.

India is signatory to the World Health Organisation-sponsored framework convention on tobacco control. It is committed to lower tobacco cultivation and consumption in India.

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