Why Bengal ‘Paanwaalahs’ Are Protesting Against Centre?

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Kolkata: Protesting against the Centre’s advisory proposing a ban on tobacco and paan shops from selling food items, shop owners on Tuesday said this could lead to a drastic fall in their daily sales and affect their livelihood.

“To avoid a harmful product, you can’t adopt a blanket ban on all the other products. The advisory issued by the government would adversely affect the livelihood of millions of paan shop owners across the country,” Ramlal Bazar Babosayee Samity General Secertary Moloy Biswas said.

The paan shop owners took out a rally on Rani Rashmani Avenue.

“Thousands of paan shop owners, who sell tobacco products like gutkha, cigarette, paan masala and scented tobacco, also sell non-tobacco products such as sweets, chips, fruit cakes and soft drinks. The sales of these consumer goods approximately comprise about 40-50 per cent of retailers’ daily sales though the sales vary across places,” he told IANS.

He said they feared a drastic decline in sales if the proposal was implemented.

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