The Assam government today announced setting up of an enquiry committee, to be headed by the Additional Chief Secretary, to probe illegal cigarette trade in the state and prevent it.
"Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has directed that an enquiry committee, to be headed by the Additional Chief Secretary, be constituted to check and disband illegal trade in cigarettes reportedly happening in the state," an official release said.
The committee will study different aspects of the illegal trade in cigarettes and come out with a strategy to stop it, it said.
The development comes a day after the industry chamber FICCI released a report on illegal trade in seven core sectors resulting in Rs 39,239 crore of revenue loss in 2014. The FICCI estimated that Assam was losing around Rs 600 crore every year due to illicit trade of tobacco, while Meghalaya is losing Rs 90 crore annually.
Assam Additional Director-General of Police (CID) Mukesh Sahay had earlier said that a part of the funding of insurgent groups in the Northeast was being made by smugglers and illegal traders in tobacco and alcohol.
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