Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javadekar addressed the media on Wednesday. The press conference is being held at the PIB Conference Hall at the National Media Centre in Delhi.
The Union Ministers announced that more than 11 lakh Indian Railways employees would get a wage bonus of 78 days. The government also announced the ban of production, marketing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution and storage of e-cigarettes.
Follow the live updates here:
3:38 pm: Preeti Sudan, Secretary Health and Family Welfare: The punishment proposed is imprisonment up to 1 year or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both for the first offence and imprisonment of 3 years or a fine up to Rs 5 lakhs or both, for subsequent offence. E-hookahs are also included.
3:34 pm: The ban on e-cigarettes is expected to have a budgetary impact of Rs 2,028 crore.
3:31 pm: "Reports say that there are some who are probably getting into the habit of e-cigarettes as it seems cool. It is believed that there are more than 400 brands, none of which is manufactured in India. And they come in over 150 flavours."
3:23 pm: "E-cigarettes were promoted as a way to get people out of their smoking habits but reports have shown that many people are not using it as weaning mechanism but are addicted to it," said Sitharaman.
3:17 pm: Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: Reports say that there are some who are probably getting into the habit of e-cigarettes as it seems cool. It is believed that there are more than 400 brands, none of which is manufactured yet in India. And they come in over 150 flavours.
3:13 pm: "The Union Cabinet has given approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned," said Nirmala Sitharaman.
3:07 pm: Government announces the ban of e-cigarettes.
3:01 pm: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, "For 11 lakh railway employees, this govt has consistently for last 6 years, being giving record bonus, equivalent to the wage of 78 days. This year also, 11,52,000 employees will get 78 days wage as bonus. This is the reward for productivity."