New Delhi: The highly expected Finance Budget of the year came out yesterday. Apart from the budget, the daily chores of Arun Jaitley was made known to the people by our news channels. As Arun Jaitley’s car took left, the news channels shouted that it is a budget for the communists. And when it overtook a common man, they said that the budget is against the common man.
Leaving aside the other points presented on the budget, one of the points which caught the attention of youth and old men alike and gave heart attacks to a few were the probable rise in the tobacco products with their hike in excise duty. Many of the listeners including prospective future financial experts on News channels debates were confused over why the rise in exercise duty will reduce smoking.
Ajith Menon, who owns tea stall here, was furious that this will reduce his customers, as the only regular customers to tea shops are the one who come here to smoke. In the same tea stall, Rahul Singh, a college student, said in between cigarette puffs, “yeh toh achche din nahin. Coming days are worst days for us. I run my life with this cigarettes. I feel like I’m in ICU now and someone removed my Oxygen mask.”
In another announcement by the Government, it has pressurised the Tobacco industry to replace the warning picture of lungs affected by cancer and “Smoking is injurious to health” with the price of Cigarette packet printed in large font. This notice has been extended to do the same for other tobacco products too. Similar moves to display the price of cigarette instead of the current warning signs on the corners in movie scenes depicting character smoking cigarette are being discussed in the finance ministry.
Subhadeep Bandopadhyay, an IT employee working in Bangalore, furiously tweeted, “The end of days has come for sure. Time to get to Onsite asap. Fascist rulers. #SuperBudget not”. In further tweets, he bemoaned over how he survived the stressful job with his cigarettes alone and how he feels nervous now.
The Smokers Association of India, Tobacco Chewers and Spitters of India and Smokers’ Chain condemned this step by the BJP government and were angry over the “Achche Din” promise going berserk now. They have planned to do “Smoke till die” similar to “fast till die” outside Parliament and Arun Jaitley residence, starting tomorrow.
Leader of Smokers’ Chain, Mahesh, said, “This is a black day for us. We are told that we will die by Lung Cancer by smoking. Then, why not die now, here, asking for our basic rights? We will smoke till we die. We will smoke till the govt. agrees to provide cigarettes free to smokers. We get rice in subsidy, dhal in subsidy, but the cigarette we smoke after eating these is now becoming rich man’s luxury. This government is surely pro-rich.”
Similar to Anti-Smoking video being shown in theaters, new video has been planned to be shown in theaters from November 2015 onwards. In that documentary, Rakesh, who was billionaire, starts smoking and ends up in streets begging for money, in a year. He will be shown as saying, “Mein hoon Rakesh.. I started smoking on August 2014. I used to chew all tobacco products. Now I’m in platform, unable to eat the next meal,” and then a voice-over will say, “The bad news is Rakesh cannot save money. He came to rags on August 2015.”