LIC, UTI and other PSUs are big shareholders in Tobacco Industry, violate anti-tobacco treaty

On World No Tobacco Day, CNN-IBN aired the news about an RTI query filed by Voice of Tobacco Victims, which revealed that public sector concerns like Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and Unit Trust of India (UTI Limited) had a large chunk of shareholding in cigarette companies like ITC and VST. This violates an international treaty India signed in 2004.

Anti-tobacco groups are questioning the nexus between the government and tobacco majors.Government-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India has invested in nearly a hundred crore shares (99,58,91,658 shares) of ITC Ltd, VST Industries and DS Group. Cigarettes and Tobacco products, which kill lakhs of Indians every year, are the main source of revenue for these companies.

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