Ramadoss wants a dedicated corpus to fight tobacco

September 16th, 2008 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Anbumani RamadossNew Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Tuesday said funds collected through surcharge on tobacco products should be used for tobacco control activities and he will soon write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his approval.The minister said that more resources would be mobilised for tobacco control activities such as awareness campaigns, alternate cropping, establishment of labs, and alternative employment for tobacco growers etc.

After inaugurating a workshop on illicit tobacco trade here, Ramadoss told reporters that he will write to Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for using the corpus for anti-tobacco activities in the country as a dedicated non-lapsable pool.

Every year more than Rs.500 crore is collected through the surcharge.

He said Southeast Asia region is home to 25 percent of global population and is in the target of tobacco companies. The minister pointed out that WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) provides a potent mechanism to anchor tobacco control measures in the country.

About the arrangements for blast victims in Delhi, Ramadoss assured that all the arrangements would be made for the proper treatment of the victims.

Ramadoss and his deputy Panabaka Lakshmi also visited Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to meet victims of Saturday evening terror blasts in delhi.

He advised doctors and other staffs to “take excellent care of the patients undergoing treatment at the hospital”.

The minister also said that his ministry is helping Bihar, which faced a devastating flood recently, to monitor the outbreak of epidemics.

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