ITC to resume cigarette production soon

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Top cigarette manufacturer ITC said it will soon resume production, after two weeks suspension due to government’s strict packaging norms requiring heavy health warning.

“Consequent upon a high court order passed in favour of the company (ITC), the company will soon resume manufacture of cigarettes in its factories,” it said in a regulatory filing.

Citing lack of clarity in the government directive mandating tobacco products packaging to be labelled with 85 percent pictorial warnings on the consequences of smoking, tobacco companies halted production from April 1.

The new rule increased the pictorial warning space on tobacco products packaging from 20 percent to 85 percent. The cigarette manufacturers opposed the move saying it could lead to flooding of foreign cigarettes in the market.

On April 12, industry body Assocham said tobacco industry was losing Rs.350 crore a day because of the shutdown.

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