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ITC shares slump 4 per cent as govt proposes ban on sale of loose cigarettes

Brushing aside opposition, the government had on Tuesday moved to amend the anti-smoking law and proposed radical changes, including ban on sale of loose cigarettes.

Photo for representation purposes only. (Source: Reuters) Photo for representation purposes only. (Source: Reuters)

Shares of tobacco companies ITC and Godfrey Philips India fell sharply by as much as 4 per cent on Wednesday after the government proposed to amend the anti-smoking law and proposed radical changes, including ban on sale of loose cigarettes.

ITC stocks fell by 3.92 per cent to Rs 346.10 a piece on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Similarly, shares of Godfrey Philips slid 3.38 per cent and VST Industries stock was down 1.86 per cent.

Brushing aside opposition, the government had on Tuesday moved to amend the anti-smoking law and proposed radical changes, including ban on sale of loose cigarettes and raising the minimum age of a person buying tobacco products to 21 years from the existing 18.

Amon major recommendations in the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Amendment) Bill 2015, the government proposed raising the fine on smoking in public places from Rs 200 to Rs 1000.

The recommendations, which were put out by the Health Ministry on Tuesday to seek suggestions from the public, also suggested removal of designated smoking zones in hotels and restaurants.