Smoking ban in civil secretariat, GAD sore over observance in breach

Smoking ban in civil secretariat, GAD sore over observance in breach

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Government has asked the civil secretariat employees and the commoners visiting the offices to desist spitting chewing tobacco and its products in the premises or face penalty.
In a circular issued by general administration department on Wednesday, the government observed that some of the employees and visitors have been seen spitting chewing tobacco and its products in the premises of civil secretariat and other government offices.
“It is, therefore, impressed upon all the concerned to direct the employees and visitors to desist from spitting chewing tobacco and its products in the premises of civil secretariat as violation on this account invites penalty,” reads the circular issued by Khurshid Ahmad,  commissioner cum secretary to the Government. The copy was sent to head of 23 departments.
Khurshid has asked the SSP (Security), civil secretariat, to ensure that employees, visitors are not allowed to carry such material in the civil secretariat premises and also bring violators in to the notice of the concerned administrative secretary.
Earlier, the state government issued the same circular but incidents of smoking in the premises of secretariat were not prevented, a fact acknowledged by the government itself in the latest circular. In fact many senior ministers were seen smoking in public too.
“Under the SRO 394 of 2008, dated 03.12.2008, powers have been delegated to the officers for compounding the offence under section 4 of the Act. Circular instructions have been issued in 2010 and 2014 but despite that instances of violation are being reported from the various quarters which has been viewed seriously by the authorities,” reads the circular.
Insiders in the secretariat told Kashmir Reader that preventing minister and a bureaucrat from smoking is difficult because they enter the premises without undergoing security check.
The government, according the circular 09-GAD of 2017, has invoked cigarettes and other tobacco products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003 and rules to strictly curb the menace. A person found violating the act is levaed a fine of Rs 200.

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