Sunday, October 20, 2019

Increasing tax will help save lives, boost govt revenue: Anti-tobacco campaigners

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2019-04-21 02:43:41 BdST


Health Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission has organised a discussion on the importance of increasing tax on tobacco products

Increasing tobacco tax will help save lives and boost government revenue, the speakers said at the discussion in the capital on Saturday, the organisation said in a statement.

Speakers also stressed halving tiers of tax on cigarette from four two - low and high.

They urged the government to fix retail price of low tier cigarette (10 sticks) at Tk 50 and impose 60 percent supplementary duty.

The retail price of high tier cigarette (10 sticks) should be minimum Tk 105 plus 65 percent supplementary duty, the speakers said.

For all types of cigarette, a specific tax of Tk 5 should be imposed, they said.

They also proposed abolishment of the filter and non-filter tiers of bidis and urged to fix the minimum retail price of one pack non–filter bidis with 25 sticks at Tk 35, another 45 percent supplementary duty and Tk 6 specific exercise duty.

In case of filtered bidis with 20 sticks pack, the minimum retail price should be Tk 28 with 45 percent supplementary duty and Tk 4.8 specific excise duty, the speakers said.

For smokeless tobacco, the speakers proposed mixed tax based on minimum retail price in place of tariff value.

The minimum retail price of 10 gram jorda should be fixed at Tk 35 and gul at Tk 20 with an additional 45 percent supplementary duty on both products, they said.

The specific duty on these products should be Tk 5 and Tk 3, respectively. They also demanded to impose 15 percent VAT on all tobacco products and impose 2 percent health development surcharge.

Former additional secretary for health and family welfare Mohammad Ruhul Kuddus, Savar Municipality CEO Sharaf Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury, Special Correspondent of Jamuna News Sushanta Sinha, Country Manager of Vital Strategies Md Nasir Uddin, Voice Head of Program Ajmal Hossain, and Gram Bangla Unnayan Committee Director Khondoker Reaz Hossain spoke at the programme presided over by Dhaka Ahsania Mission Director for Health Sector Iqbal Masud.

Md Mukhlesur Rahman, Assistant Director and Project Coordinator of DAM TC Project, presented the keynote paper.   

Representatives from different anti-tobacco organisations and DAM’s Health Sector Project participated in the open discussion.