Tobacco Industry Interference in South Asia - June 2022

From TobaccoUnmaskedSouth.Asia
Revision as of 12:04, 7 July 2022 by AdminEditor (talk | contribs) (→‎The Regional Summary)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Background

This page is the first of a series that summarises tobacco industry interference and their activities reported in South Asia. This page covers tobacco industry interference and their activities reported in the month of June 2022 When relevant, this series will feature the cannabis industry as well, as it is heavily backed by the tobacco industry.

South Asia includes eight (8) countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This page summarises data from the investigative research findings of the [www.cct.lk CCT] in partnership with the [www.sarccct.org SARC-CCT]. This page will be continuously updated as and when incidents related to the respective month are reported.

The Regional Summary

Table 1 summarises tobacco and cannabis industry interference and activities reported according to the country during the month of June 2022.

Table 1: Summary of reported tobacco and cannabis industry interference

Reported Countries Tobacco Company Number of Incidents
Afghanistan - 0
Bangladesh Japan Tobacco International (JTI) 1
British American Tobacco (BAT) 1
Bhutan - 0
India ITC Limited India 5
Maldives - 0
Nepal - 0
Pakistan - 0
Sri Lanka Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) 1
ITC Limited India 1


The details of the reported incidents are mentioned below:

Afghanistan

No incidents reported for this month.

Bangladesh

  • Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has announced the initiation of a training program together with Kazuko Bhuiyan Welfare Trust aiming to “support and promote Japanese language learning in Bangladesh”. Kazuko Bhuiyan Welfare Trust is reportedly a non-profit organization which aims “to strengthen Japan-Bangladesh relationship from a cultural and educational perspective” as stated in their website.[1]
Image 1: Media reporting JTI’s Initiative to encourage Japanese language learning in Bangladesh. [1]
  • British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) published a half a page advertisement in the Daily Star newspaper on the World Environmental Day. The advertisement highlighted an afforestation program titled ‘Bonayan’ (Forestry in English) conducted by BATB. A similar advertisement was published in the same newspaper on 5 June 2021 as well.[2][3][4]
A plethora of scientific evidence from around the globe reveal that tobacco smoking, cultivation and manufacturing processes negatively impact the environment, the range of environmental harms including deforestation, water pollution and global warming.

Bhutan

No incidents reported for this month.

India

According to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 state governments are permitted to cultivate, produce, manufacture, hold in possession, transport, sale, purchase or consume cannabis (excluding cannabis resin) and allow to regulate of cannabis cultivation for industrial and horticultural purposes.
  • ITC Limited India mentioned the possible export of raw tobacco worth of INR 1,990 Crore (approx. USD 252 million) to [British American Tobacco (BAT) British American Tobacco (BAT)]] in 2022- 2023 on the shareholder notice on Annual General meeting of the year 2022. It is further reported that ITC has sold raw tobacco worth of INR 1,797 Crore (approx. USD 227) in 2021- 2022 in total. As of March 2022, BAT held 24.17% shares of ITC through Tobacco Manufacturers (India) Limited. [6]
  • ITC Limited India announced that the turnover for the financial year 2022 as INR 59,101.09 Crore (approx. USD 7.47 billion) and that cigarettes contributed 39.68% of it. The contribution of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) was only 27.01%. [7]
  • Classmate, the stationary brand of ITC Limited India, partnered with Environmentalist Foundation of India to introduce a tree plantation project in Chennai denoting the World Environment Day. Reportedly, the project is targeting 24 schools in the city aiming to “motivate school students to understand the importance of environment-positive actions and develop eco-consciousness”. Environmentalist Foundation of India is a not for profit trust funded by Arun Krishnamurthi (an Indian Environmental Activist) which prioritizes “the environment through positive conservation” as stated in their website. [8]
Tobacco companies are well known for their involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in order to gain leverage in interference in tobacco control actions and policies and also to whitewash their image and reputation.
  • ITC Limited India introduced a campaign targeting World Environmental Day titled “Sustainability 2.0 Agenda” aiming to “strengthen ITC's efforts towards decarbonisation, building green infrastructure, promoting climate-smart and regenerative agriculture”. It further reported that ITC plans to combat climate changes and restore the biodiversity for a “Greener Earth”.[9]
A plethora of scientific evidence from around the globe reveal that tobacco smoking, cultivation and manufacturing processes negatively impact the environment, the range of environmental harms including deforestation, water pollution and global warming.
  • Media reported that Three ITC Hotels; ITC Windsor, ITC Grand Chola, ITC Gardenia are ranked as the top three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Zero Carbon certified hotels. LEED certification is reportedly a rating system that expresses how efficiently a building is designed and operated. The certification is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization that works in building design and construction based in the United States as stated in their website. ITC hotels are owned by ITC Limited India, the main tobacco company in India, which diversified their business into other ventures.[10]

Maldives

No incidents reported for this month.

Nepal

No incidents reported for this month.

Sri Lanka

  • Media reported that share price index for Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) went down by 6.4% to Rs. 600 per share.[11]
  • ITC Limited India announced that the construction project under the WelcomHotels Lanka (Private) Limited, a subsidiary of ITC, was impacted due to economic crisis in Sri Lanka. This project is reportedly the first ITC foreign venture in the hotel field which is worth USD 300 million. Media reported that the construction of some structures including the 50–story residence tower and the 30–story hotel tower was completed despite the difficulties.[12][13]
Image 2: Media reporting the progress of ITC’s construction project in Colombo, Sri Lanka [13]

Pakistan

No incidents reported for this month.

TobaccoUnmasked Resources

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 prothomalo.com JTI Bangladesh, Kazuko Bhuiyan Welfare Trust supports Japanese language learning, 31 May 2022, accessed June 2022
  2. Tobacco Industry Watch. BATB Using CSR as Cover for Advertisement, May 2022, accessed July 2022
  3. The Daily Star World Environmental Day 2022, 5 June 2022, accessed July 2022
  4. The Daily Star. Bonayan pledges 'Ecosystem Restoration' to build a greener tomorrow, 5 June 2021, accessed July 2022
  5. F Salik. Explained: What Is Hemp, The Cannabis Species With Amazing Medicinal Benefits, India Times, 22 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  6. The Economic Times. ITC to sell Rs 1,990 crore of raw tobacco to British American Tobacco, 23 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  7. Outlook. ITC FMCG Business' Annual Consumer Spend Over Rs 24,000 Crore In FY22, 22 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  8. R Kumar. ITC Classmate celebrates World Environment Day with tree plantation, 8 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  9. NDTV Business. ITC’s Sustainability 2.0 Agenda Aims For A Green Infrastructure, 5 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  10. S Sinha. LEED certifies 3 ITC hotels as 'net zero carbon' properties, 3 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  11. Economy Next. Sri Lanka shares slump to one-month low; foreigners exit after PM’s cautioning, 7 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  12. I A Dutt. ITC's luxury project in Colombo hit by headwinds as Sri Lanka economy sinks, 23 June 2022, accessed June 2022
  13. 13.0 13.1 Daily Mirror online. ITC One Colombo development achieves key milestones towards 2023 completion, 10 June 2022, accessed June 2022