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Everything to know about: Tobacco Board of India

HISTORY OF TOBACCO IN INDIA

Tobacco is the important cash crop in India but its origin is from the Continent of South America initially it is an herb and is used as medicine. Afterward, it is consumed as a drug, now in the form of cigarettes, beedi, and so on. Even though the history of tobacco has a trace in the king’s rule, especially in the period of Mughal they have consumed tobacco in the way of Hookah.

The Portuguese introduced tobacco in the year 1605 and started to cultivate it in the state of Gujarat. Thereafter the British rulers imported seven species of Nicotiana from America and begin to cultivate them in the Calcutta Botanical Garden.

FORMATION OF TOBACCO BOARD OF INDIA

The Union Government should take the control of tobacco industry for securing the public interest. The Tobacco Board of India is a statutory body established under the Tobacco Board Act, 1975. The Act extends to the whole of India and consists of 33 sections and 6 chapters. The Tobacco Board of India works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The Tobacco Board came into existence on 01.01.1976 and it is a replacement for the Tobacco Export Promotion Council. The headquarters of the Tobacco Board of India are at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.

The Mission of this board is “to strive for the overall development of tobacco growers and the Indian Tobacco Industry”. The board only promotes the Indian Virginia tobacco and its types.

COMPOSITION OF THE BOARD

The board comprises of

  • Chairman
  • Vice-chairman
  • Members of the board

CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN

The Chairman is appointed by the Central Government and the current chairman of the board is Mr.Raghunadha Babu Yadlapati. The board can select the vice-chairman from its members and they will perform the duties and functions of the chairman or by delegated to him by the chairman.

MEMBERS 

Three members are of MP. Eight members are appointed by the Central Government from the Ministry of Agriculture, Commerce, Finance, Industrial development, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Gujarat. 

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Two members are appointed by the Central Government, to represent the tobacco-growing states in the alphabetical order other than the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Gujarat.

No more than 10+ members are to be appointed by the Central Government from the tobacco growers, manufacturers, dealers, exporters, packers, and experts in tobacco marketing and agricultural economics. The members of tobacco growers should not exceed the number of 6. Agricultural Marketing Adviser to the Government of India, Department of Rural Development, ex-officio. Executive Director, ex-officio 

The Central Government may appoint any officer on the board as a member and they can attend the meetings of the board but they don’t have the right to vote.               

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD

The powers of the board are stated below

  • To issue the Certificate of Registration.
  • To levy fees [section 14-A]
  • To make inspection [section 15].
  • To borrow on the security of the tobacco Fund.[section 18] 

Section 8 of the Tobacco Board Act, 1975 states the functions of the board

  • Regulating the production and curing of Virginia tobacco.
  • Keeping a constant watch on the Virginia tobacco market, both in India and abroad.
  • Maintenance and improvement of existing markets.
  • Development of new markets outside India for Indian Virginia tobacco and its products. 
  • Devising of marketing strategy in consonance with demand for the commodity outside India, including group marketing under limited brand names.
  • Propagating information useful to the growers, dealers, and exporters packers of Virginia tobacco, and manufacturers of Virginia tobacco products.
  • Purchasing Virginia tobacco from grower’s expedient for protecting their interests.
  • Promoting the grading of tobacco at the level of growers
  • Sponsoring, assisting, coordinating, or encouraging scientific, technological, and economic research for the promotion of the tobacco industry and such other matters may be prescribed.

REGULATIONS OF THE TOBACCO BOARD

Chapter 3 of the Tobacco Board Act, 1975 exclusively deals with the Regulation of the Production and disposal of Virginia tobacco.

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Registration is a must for the following  

  • Tobacco growers
  • Nursery growers 
  • Curers  of Virginia Tobacco
  • The processor of Virginia Tobacco
  • Manufacturers of Virginia Tobacco
  • Exporters of Virginia Tobacco
  • Packers of Virginia Tobacco
  • Auctioneers of Virginia Tobacco
  • Dealers of Virginia Tobacco

Firstly the growers of tobacco have to apply for the certificate of registration in the tobacco board if they are granted the certificate then they can plant the Virginia tobacco. Without approval, no one is permitted to grow the Virginia tobacco.

 If one wants to grow the Virginia tobacco seedlings for commercial purposes must register on the board as a nursery grower. Seedlings shouldn’t be sold to non-registered growers. The license should be obtained for the grading work [segregating the tobacco leaves based on their color, types, etc] and construction of Barns. 

If the trader is importing the tobacco from another country then the trader must provide this information to the board i.e. tobacco detail, crop year and grade of the tobacco, quantity of tobacco, CIF value (Cost Insurance Freight), and from which country they are importing the tobacco.

PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION IN THE TOBACCO BOARD OF INDIA

In the digital world now the registration application can also be done online via the website of the Acco board you can apply for the certificate for registration.

The application would be different for each category but the common criteria/stages are application form, upload the documents, payment, and form submission the tobacco board will provide the certificate after you complete the following stages

1. You have to fill in the necessary details like company name, address, and others in the application.

2. Next you have to upload the documents which are required.

3. Afterwards you have to make payment according to your application category and other charges. You can make payment in either online or offline mode it is solely at your discretion.

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4. Lastly you have to submit the form.

Application form for registration

In the application form, the trader must provide the details like company name, address, and other details which are required to fill on it.  If you saved the details you cannot change them. Once you click the complete option you cannot retrieve it.

Upload the documents

 If the trader wants to submit the document on the offline mode then they have to send the hard copies of the document to the headquarters of the board if they are refused to send it, then the application cannot be processed.

 If the trader selects the online mode, they must upload the required document in scanned copies. Before uploading the documents check properly once it is done and then click the option completely.

Modes of Payment for the application form.

If you are doing the online payment then the original demand draft will be cross verified by them. You can make payments using your net banking, Credit card, or debit cards.

If you are making the offline payment you must provide the payment on demand draft only then do you have to upload the demand draft and send the original to the tobacco board headquarters which is situated at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.

If you are facing any issues with applying you can ask the tobacco board and they will assist you.

CONCLUSION

India is the second-largest producer and third largest exporter of tobacco in the world. Nearly 45.7 million people in India are engaged directly and indirectly in working in the tobacco industry.

Exports of tobacco and tobacco products contributed Rs.5969.59 Crores in terms of Foreign Exchange during the year 2019-20. the tobacco board is created to maintain the demand and supply of Virginia tobacco and to avoid the fluctuations in the market.

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Volume 1 Issue 4

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