The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to ban “ gutka ” in the State with effect from April 2013. An official release quoting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the ban would be effective from April 1, 2013 keeping in mind employment interests of lakhs of workers, employees and entrepreneurs engaged in the gutka industry.

It said that the decision has been taken in view of the Food Safety Act passed by Parliament.

Mr. Yadav hoped that till the ban is enforced, the workers and entrepreneurs would be able to find alternative employment, the release said.

The State government’s decision comes in the wake of the Allahabad High Court directives to restrain manufacturing, sale and distribution of gutka in the State. In its order dated September 18, the High Court had directed the State government to inform the court within 14 days, about the steps taken to implement the order. The High Court fixed October 10 for filing the compliance report on the Centre’s directives under the Food Safety Act.