Panwalas, vendors, small and marginal shopkeepers today gathered outside state secretariat staging silent protest against state government’s decision to ban selling of open cigarettes and other tobacco products in the hill state.
About two hundred small and marginal shopkeepers who were carrying play-cards in their hand staged silent protest to bar sale of open cigarette in their shops.
President of Himachal Pradesh Beeri Association, Mr. Deepak Sharma told media persons that their livelihoods are on the stake over this decision taken by state government recently.
We are demanding to reverse the decision as this renders their livelihood after selling petty items in small pan and beeri counters and shops in the state.
The state government has banned sale of cigarette and other tobacoo items in loose packets moreover selling of tobacco items would require compulsory license from the Health department.
” It is our humble appeal to the government to not bring such change in prevailing practice as they would not be able to feed their families ” Mr. Sharma said.
The decision not only impose license raj on them but also force the illiterate sections to become victim of corruption and injustice to seek license.
The argument was being given by the authority that ban would discourage smoking habits however it seems unpractical as selling entire packet would promote its use more , they alleged.