Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss today said that more resources will be chanalled for tobacco control and for this purpose money collected through surcharge on tobacco products is proposed to be used for tobacco control activities.
Speaking after inaugurating the regional workshop on Illicit Trade in tobacco products organized by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and WHO, Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) here, Dr. Ramadoss said that every year more than Rs. 500 crore is collected through the surcharge.
He proposes to write to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for using the corpus for anti-tobacco activities in the country as a dedicated non-lapsable pool.
Dr. Ramadoss said that South-East Asia Region is home for one fourth of humanity and is focus of attention for tobacco companies. Countries of the region have been coordinating on various international health fora.
He assured that India will give full support to strengthen global anti-tobacco measures.
Referring to the illicit trade for tobacco products, he said that illicit trade in tobacco product not only undermines the efforts of the Government to raise taxes and investing the same in relevant social programmes but it also hampers the control of tobacco supply chain by making available cheaper tobacco products.
He also said that that WHO - Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) provides a potent mechanism to anchor tobacco control measures in the country.
"India has strongly supported the WHO, FCTC from the very beginning and the current Workshop is reviewing the text of the Draft Protocol on convention on illicit trade in tobacco products issued by the Chairman of Inter-Governmental Negotiating Body (INB)," he added.