Retailers body urges PM Modi to order recall
New Delhi: Federation of Retailer Association of India (FRAI), a representative body of micro, small and medium retailers, on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order recall of proposed amendments in law on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
They insisted that the changes threaten to further attack livelihoods of petty retailers selling tobacco products across India.
FRAI, which claims to represent 4 crore micro, small and medium retailers from across India with membership of 34 retail associations from northern, southern, eastern and western part of the country, said small retailers are already reeling under impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and "this fresh attack will be devastating for their families".
The federation said, "Its member organisations from all over the country are disturbed by the undemocratic amendment of COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) Bill 2020 proposed by the Ministry of Health."
They said, "The amendment disallowed retail sale of loose sticks of cigarettes prohibits sale of tobacco products to persons below 21 years, put controls on in-shop advertising and promotion amongst others, as they seemed to be aimed at destroying the business for the smaller retailers without impacting large retailers."
The coronavirus-triggered lockdowns and economic destruction has further damaged the economic condition of small retailers and any further adverse policy which destabilises their business activity will be devastating.
"This fresh attack will be devastating for their families," FRAI said in a statement. Urging a recall of the proposed 2020 amendments in the COTPA law, FRAI said the changes "threaten to further attack the livelihoods of petty retailers selling tobacco and related products."