Sunday, 18 August 2013

Going Up in Smoke ?

Yesterday , Times of India reported :

India's tobacco industry supports 38 million people ( 380 lakhs )

Every year , some 6 million ( 60 lakh )people die in India thru use of tobacco ( mostly cigarettes )

Of these , some 6 lakh die by inhaling smoke of other cigarette smokers

So what can we do to save these 60 lakh ?

Immediately close down entire tobacco industry ?

And jeopardize the lives of 380 lakh  ?

Obviously , we cannot adopt a mutually exclusive solution !

We must find a solution that , not only saves those 60 lakh but also continue to provide livelihood to 380 lakhs

That cannot be done in one - or even five - years , but it is entirely possible to solve this problem over , 20 years , as follows :

>   Thru appropriate legislation , phase out tobacco industry by 2033
>   Immediately stop expansion of existing units
>   Do not allow new units to come up
>   Place a recruitment freeze in tobacco industry - no fresh hiring at any level
>   No replacement for retiring employees , after 2018
>   Provide incentives to industry to redeploy capital / manpower in alternate industries - especially those industries with large scope for creation of new jobs
>   Give generous tax-breaks to industry to remain profitable , even as they wind-up operations
>   Provide incentives to put up new-industry projects in less industrialized regions
>   Provide incentives for re-training existing workers in new skills in demand by others
>   Subsidize Voluntary Retirement Schemes of industry

This is just a partial list . I am sure , if there is political will , experts will come up with many more viable suggestions

Question :

With national elections looming on the horizon , which political party would want to alienate , a lucrative source of election funding ? 

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