Not ready to print larger pictorial warnings: ITC

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Kolkata | Published: April 3, 2016 1:12:49 AM

FMCG major ITC on Saturday said it is not ready to print larger pictorial warnings on its cigarette packs, as required under a new government norm...

FMCG major ITC on Saturday said it is not ready to print larger pictorial warnings on its cigarette packs, as required under a new government norm, and its factories will be shut till clarity emerges on the matter. Insisting that “the question of the legality of the new warnings has been and continues to be pending before the court”, the company said it “did not commit to wasting substantial resources in creating the large number of cylinders and other tools necessary for a change-over of the warnings”.

“As a result, the company is at present not in readiness to print the health warnings,” the company said in a BSE
filing.

An ITC spokesperson declined to comment on the health ministry’s statement on Saturday that there was “no ambiguity” in the policy.

“ITC has been compelled to shut its cigarette factories with effect from April 1, 2016, until clarity emerges in the current uncertain state of the rules on health warning,” it added.

The company further said the implementation of any change in the health warnings on the cigarette packages is an elaborate process for the manufacturers, entailing months of preparation involving substantial cost and effort.

“Since the matter of new health warning was under the Parliamentary Committee’s consideration, and the government had itself held out that it would await the committee’s report, the industry was led to believe that the government would re-notify new health warnings after considering the committee’s recommendations,” it added.

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