With tobacco linked to up to 900,000 deaths a year in the country, the government wants to raise the minimum smoking age to 21 from 18, and ban the sale of single cigarettes, which make up 70 per cent of overall sales.
Before taking its proposals to Parliament, the government in January asked for public suggestions.
The result was unprecedented: 45,000 e-mails and more than 100,000 letters delivered by mail, in white and brown sacks stacked up in the health ministry, beside the desks of officials working on computers.
Analysing and collating public responses is crucial for the legislative process to move forward. The sheer volume has left officials stumped, with some fearing that it could take as much as five months to sift through the letters.
Legislative process taking public response into account?!?
This sure is impressive. Hats off. A rather bold position to take. This will be a challenge.
BUT HOLD ON - I don't recall the government taking any public suggestions when it was coming up with the land-bill? Or when they decided to block 800 odd websites? Or when they decided to… well you get the point.
I am in favour of smoking and staunchly support every delay, anywhere in the world, on a ban on Tobacco sale/marketing. Obviously I do not have a problem with the delay in the tobacco-control legislation in India. But I do have a problem with the explanations being offered. Chutiya samjh rakha hai kya?
Dikhaawon pe mat jaao… apni akal ladaao.