A ban has been imposed on the guthka and pan masala across the state of Maharashtra which came effect on July 20, 2012. The state government has issued a notification, in which it has mentioned a ban on the sale and consumption of guthka and pan masala within the state.
The ban will be valid for a year after which it would be extended for another 12 months. Last week the state cabinet decided on the ban and the figures show that guthka was one of the major reasons for the oral diseases like cancer.
The sale of guthka is said to be around Rs. 300 crores a month while the government earns more than Rs. 100 cores in taxes on it every year. Earlier the state even attempted a ban in the year 2002 and then in the year 2008, but it then encountered several legal hurdles.
The new Food Safety and Standards Act FSSA which was passed last year, will facilitate the ban this time. Moreover, even in the year 2010, the state banned the sale of guthka and cigarettes within 100 metres of schools and colleges. The urge to ban guthka gained momentum after the deputy chief minister d senior NCP leader Ajit Powar announced it at a public forum.