Bengal CM announces ban on gutka, online lottery

The Times Of India
KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced a formal ban on gutka and online lotto which will be effective from July 1. The move is among a host of measures that will be taken up by the state government which includes a health insurance scheme for performing artists and workers in the film industry.”Online lotto started during the Left Front regime. It is a social problem which led to fight among members of families. It had anyway stopped functioning, but we got it banned officially as we have done in the case of gutka,” she told reporters at Writers’ Buildings.”Some people had started channels showing online lottery. Though I am for the employees (of the channels), I am against those who have done this. One has got the freedom to go to the court against me to challenge the ban. I am not going to say anything regarding that,” she added.

Besides, the Mamata Banerjee government also showered her largesse on artists of the state. “We are announcing a health insurance scheme with coverage of up to Rs 1.25 lakh for performing artists and workers in the film industry. These people don’t have a regular job,” said Mamata.

Welcoming the move, filmmaker Gautam Ghose who was present with the chief minister at the media briefing, said, “This is an extremely worthwhile step. I thank the CM for this. This was a long-standing demand of technicians who find it very difficult to meet their medical expenses.”

The chief minister also announced a pension of Rs 750 per month for folk artists who appear in government advertisements. This will be in addition to the one-time grant of Rs 7,000 announced by her to poor artists.

In order to meet the supply-demand shortfall, Mamata said a new reservoir will be set up for sweet fishes. In addition, a hilsa research centre will come up in the state.

On Tuesday, the Trinamool supremo also held a task force meeting in which she urged that the prices of poultry should be brought down from the present Rs 180/200 per kg to Rs 140/150 per kg.

The Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday decided to do away with “Online Lotto” and gutka. A formal ban on both will be effective from July 1. These figured among a host of measures announced by Chief minister Mamata Banerjee this afternoon at Writers’ Buildings.

“Online Lotto started during the Left Front regime. It is a social problem. It had even led to fight among members of families. It had anyway stopped functioning, but we got it banned officially as we have done in the case of Gutka,” she told reporters. She said, “Some people had started channels showing the online lottery. I am for the employees (of the channels) but against those who have done this. One has got the freedom to go to the court against me to challenge the ban. I am not going to say anything regarding that.”

The chief minister also said, “We are announcing a health insurance scheme with coverage of up to Rs 1.25 lakh for performing artistes and workers in the film industry.” These people don’t have a regular job. Welcoming the move, film director Gautam Ghosh, who was present with the chief minister at the media briefing, said, “This is an extremely worthwhile move. I thank the CM for this. This was a long-standing demand of technicians, who find it very difficult to meet their medical expenses.” The CM also announced a pension of Rs 750 per month for folk artistes for government advertisements.

The later will be in addition to the one-time Rs 7,000 grant announced by her to poor artists. Mamata also said the government will set up a Hilsa research centre and set up a new reservoir for sweet fishes to meet the supply-demand shortfall. At a task force meeting today, the CM also urged that the prices of poultry should be brought down from the present Rs 180/200 per kilogram to Rs 140/150 per kg.

Formal Gutka and Online Lotto ban effective from July 1.

Health insurance scheme for film artistes and workers.

Rs 750 pension for folk artistes

Setting up of Hilsa research centre

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