NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reportedly come out in support of larger pictorial warnings on tobacco products and has asked the Health Minister JP Nadda to go ahead with the idea after a parliamentary committee stated that the move should be delayed as there is no local proof that smoking causes cancer.
According to the sources, PM Modi has directed the Union Minister to permit 60-65% pictorial warnings overlooking the recommendations of a parliamentary panel, offering a clear message that this government is not caving under the pressure from the tobacco lobby.
Narendra Modi also wants that the BJP MPs who disagrees with the idea should be out of the parliamentary panel, added sources.
The last few days have seen a major disagreement from few of the BJP leaders over the tobacco bans who have even offered controversial statements in support of the tobacco lobbying claiming that there is no scientific study confirming that smoking causes cancer.
The health ministry had then put its decision on hold to carry larger pictorial warnings on cigarette and other tobacco product packages from April 1.