Lobbying body, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has written to the health and family welfare ministry seeking participation of stakeholders associated with the sin goods industry in the 7th Conference of the Parties (COP7) beginning next week.
The COP7 is touted as the most important global anti-tobacco conference. It will review the implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. It is being hosted by Indian and will be held from November 7-12.
“I am writing to you with a request, if the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare could consider inviting all relevant stakeholders and engage extensively with industry on FCTC Articles contained in the Conference Agenda,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in the letter marked to C K Mishra, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“Besides that, we would like to suggest inviting representatives from the farming community, especially representative bodies of tobacco farmers.”
In the letter, Banerjee said adequate participation of all relevant stakeholders will help in arriving at a balanced and pragmatic position on various proposals and guidelines at the conference. CII also highlighted that India is the world’s second largest producer of tobacco, an extremely important cash crop.
“It (tobacco) provides livelihood to 4.6 crore people, including farmers, farm labour, rural poor, small self-employed retailers, women, tribals, etc., more than 70 per cent of whom are engaged in the agricultural sector and have no other means of sustenance,” Banerjee said.