September 28, 2017

Why so much micromanaging? Goes against ease of doing business

At a time when small businesses and corner shops are struggling to make money, the government comes out with a plan to stop cigarette and paan bidi shops selling biscuits, softdrinks etc.

The health ministry had on September 21 sent letters asking state governments to develop a mechanism by which shops will need permission from municipal authorities to sell tobacco products. The letter, which ET has seen, also asks states to prohibit such shops from selling non-tobacco products such as sweets, chips, biscuits and soft drinks in a move to prevent children and those who don’t use tobacco from exposure to such products.

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My question: in mumbai, these small shops also sell batteries, snacks, shampoo / washing powder sachets, toothpaste etc. This is a need which small businesses fulfill.

It is not possible for many cigarrete/ paan bidi shop to survive solely on 2-3 products. These will eventually be forced to shut shop or do business under the table (more likely).

If government is so serious about health of its citizens, why not simply ban these products? One can also ban biscuits, snacks, fast food/ junk food, softdrinks. These are unhealthy and harmful.

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