Shares of cigarette companies such as Godfrey Phillips and ITC surged as much as 10.4 per cent following reports that a Health Ministry proposal to ban sale of loose cigarettes is likely to be put on hold.
ITC jumped 5.67 per cent to Rs 383.60 on the BSE, becoming the top gainer amongst the 30 Sensex components.
Shares of Godfrey Phillips surged 10.38 per cent to Rs 650 and VST Industries zoomed 6.52 per cent to Rs 1,991.60.
A Health Ministry proposal to ban sale of loose cigarettes is likely to be put on hold following objections by some MPs, including some Union ministers, and farmers associations against taking drastic regulatory steps.
At a meeting called by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Health Minister J P Nadda assured the MPs that he will look into all issues pertaining to tobacco and arecanut growers and industry before taking any policy decision.
India is the second-largest tobacco producer in the world and its export earns the country foreign exchange over Rs 6,000 crore annually.