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Firstly, thanks for a

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Anurag Dahiya , Singapore 24/12/2014 00:24:11

Firstly, thanks for a very useful and eye-opening analysis. Looking at the Beedi industry, the one obvious issue is that of alternatives for the families involved in Beedi rolling if taxes were to be raised enough to decrease consumption. One aspect of Beedi rolling is that due to child labour not being allowed, the activity of rolling has largely transitioned to an "outsourcing" model, which means children are still employed by the industry, but no longer directly. They instead help parents at home - typically mothers - who work as sole breadwinners or to supplement income. This is still an exploitative activity, though on the surface perfectly legal. Kids pull out of school, or de-emphasize it in the process. Would it not be better to find a way to improve the Beedi rollers' remuneration than raise taxes. That would help raise standards of living and hopefully gradually raise the families out of dependence on Beedi rolling. This could be achieved by means of higher mandatory fees for Beedi rolling, and mandating direct transfers through means such as Aadhar card linked accounts. Isn't that another way to make the Beedis more expensive while still keeping families of the labour involved cushioned from the impact of lower volumes?

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Anurag Dahiya , Singapore 24/12/2014 00:25:18

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