Maharashtra's anti-spitting bill which the state government was to introduce to curb the spread of infectious diseases has led to a tug of war between Maharashtra Health Ministry and Finance Ministry. Most recently, the Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant claimed that the anti-spitting law file is stuck with the Finance Department, whereas the Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has denied the claim. 

 

 

Sawant, on a last year's World Cancer Day function, had mooted a law banning spitting at public places, besides the one proposed to ban chewing of tobacco in public.

 

 

In his claim, the minister said, "The bill is ready but stuck in the Finance Department. We are yet to decide on channelisation of funds which would be generated from (fines on) offenders,"

 

 

"Maharashtra will be the first state in the country to come up with such a law," the Health Minister added.

 

 

However, Mungantiwar denied receiving any file regarding the matter.

 

 

"No file comes to the Finance Department and gets stuck. We either work on a particular case or send it back if there are any issues. As far as this case is concerned, no such file is pending," he told PTI.

 

 

As per the draft bill, a first-time offence of spitting in public will attract a fine of Rs 1,000 and a day of social work at a public hospital or government office.

 

 

Second-time offenders will have to pay a fine of Rs 3,000 and do a three-day community service. Further repeat offences will attract a fine of Rs 5,000 and a five-day social service.

 

 

However, the bill is yet to see the light of the day as it is still stuck somewhere between state government ministries.