Ministry of Commerce and Industries Current Affairs - 2019

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Health Ministry Urged to Frame Law to Ban Manufacture, Sale of e-cigarettes

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries has urged the Health Ministry to frame law banning manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in the country as in the absence of the domestic legislation, it would not be possible to put a blanket ban on its imports.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries has stated that without banning domestic sale and manufacturing of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) through law, it will be an infringement of global trade norms to put an import ban.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vaporise a solution, which a user then inhales. The main constituents of the solution, in addition to nicotine, are propylene glycol.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had asked the commerce ministry to issue a notification banning the import of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including e-cigarettes and flavoured hookah. To put the ban into effect the Commerce Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to frame rules regarding the domestic sale and manufacturing so that the Ministry of Commerce and Industries can go ahead with imposing of the blanket ban on the imports.

As per the World Health Organization report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2017, governments of 30 countries which includes Mauritius, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have already banned the Electronic cigarettes.

Core Industrial Output increased in February

The output from the eight core sectors which include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity witnessed a growth of 2.1 per cent in February, compared to the corresponding month last year as per the data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

How Core Industries Performed?

  • The production of cement (weight: 5.37%) grew at 8%, the most of all core industries.
  • Coal (weight: 10.33%) production rose by 7.3%.
  • Crude oil (weight: 8.98%) output increased by 6.1%.
  • Steel production (weight: 17.92%) increased by 4.9%.
  • Natural gas (weight: 6.88%) production increased by 3.8%.
  • Fertilisers (weight: 2.63%) production increased by 2.5%.
  • Electricity production increased by 0.7%.
  • The output of refinery products (weight: 28.04%) declined by 0.8% in February.

The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 125.8 in February 2019 and it was 2.1 per cent higher as compared to the index of February 2018. The cumulative growth of the core industries during April to February 2018-19 was 4.3 per cent.