Call it an effect of a health freak new generation or hike in excise duty, cigarette production fell 37.8 per cent year-on-year in April, official data show.
After the government raised excise duty in the Budget for 2013-14, major cigarette players had raised prices.
Even after that ITC, which makes four cigarettes out of every five sold in India, saw its profit (earnings before interest, taxes) from cigarette business going up 20 per cent to Rs 2,112 crore during the fourth quarter of 2012-13.
The data on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) released on Wednesday also showed that computers production declined 41.7 per cent in April year-on-year, while telephone instruments including mobile phones & accessories' fell 30.9 per cent. While analysts said computers output may be down due to higher usage of lap tops and tablets, a decline in mobile phones production surprised them.
The data also showed a sudden fancy of Indians towards pens. Their production rose sharply by 36.8 per cent in April year-on-year.
The data also revealed as if Indians consumed vitamins a great deal. Their production was up 136.6 per cent. Gems & jewellery output rose sharply by 24.5 per cent. Even as auto industry is in bad shape, three wheelers production grew 21.4 per cent.
A day after release of IIP data, the government revised industrial growth to 2.3 per cent for April from two per cent estimated earlier. However, production of manufactured items was not affected by it. It was so because, the government had earlier made wrong calculation on electricity generation front only. Electricity generation growth was revised up to 4.2 per cent against 0.7 per cent calculated earlier.