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Activists hail govt move to shed stake in ITC

Govt currently owns 32% in ITC through five public sector insurers and SUUTI

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

A man talks on his mobile phone as he walks past an ITC office building in Kolkata. Photo: Reuters
A man talks on his mobile phone as he walks past an ITC office building in Kolkata. Photo: Reuters

Anti-tobacco activists have welcomed the government's likely move to divest stake in

"This is a good move and in complete consonance with the government's stated intent of tobacco control. We really appreciate government's efforts in that direction and pledge our full support to it in this noble cause," said Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director, and member of

On Friday a section of media reported that the finance ministry is considering divesting stake in Government owns 32 per cent stake in through five public sector insurance and Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI).

The government's move comes in the back of a public interest litigation in Bombay High Court questioning Life Insurance Corporation's share holding in ITC, the largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the country.

The PIL was filed by Sumitra Pednekar, wife of former Maharashtra minister Satish Pednekar, who died of oral cancer in 2011. It questions the government's contradictory policy on tobacco. The court has made government ministries and Security and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) parties to the petition.

"Tobacco can not in any way be seen to be contributing positively to the society. The government's move is truly pioneering one especially considering that government will forgoing huge amounts in dividends from these companies," said Sumitra Pednekar.

First Published: Fri, June 09 2017. 19:28 IST
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