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Taking aim at the health ministry advisory that tobacco shopkeepers should stop retailing non- tobacco FMCG and other products, they said the move would push them to poverty and benefit modern trade outlets. Terming the move as "undemocratic", Akhil Bharatiya Pan Vikreta Sangh and its partner trade associations, which claim to represent nearly 75 lakh traders pan India, said all products sold by the retailers are legal. The associations are opposing the recent suggestion of the health ministry as their livelihood depends on selling of both non-tobacco items of everyday use such as bread, eggs, juices, soft drinks, wafers and the like, along with tobacco products. Members of the trade associations have also met with Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda, who has assured them to look into the matter, the association said in a statement. "This is grossly unfair and a draconian suggestion.
This will have a life-threatening effect on our families. All our family members are deeply troubled and stressed," the association said in a statement. Any forced reduction in the products sold by us will have a severe financial impact, it added. "This move is against the Government's promise of 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' and will have a mass-scale destructive effect on peaceful jobs and livelihoods," said Akhil Bharatiya Pan Vikreta Sangh President Ram Ashrey Mishra.