April 24, 2024, 8:30 am

Rising of high taxes on tobacco goods stressed

  • Update Time : Saturday, April 24, 2021
  • 315 Time View

Staff Correspondent:

Apart from imposing tax on tobacco products, its proper implementation and raising awareness among the people is also important, said the lawmakers and eminent persons. The comments made by Professor. Dr. Md. Habibe Millat, MP, Professor. Dr. Md. Abdul Aziz, MP, former chairman of the National Board of Revenue Dr. Muhammad Abdul Mazid and the National Professional Officer of the World Health Organization Syed Mahfuzul Huq in the 23rd episode of ‘Corona Songlap’ organized by the Health Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM). The live discussion titled ‘National Budget 2021-2022 Tax on Tobacco Products: Our Thoughts’ was held on April 24 at 11 am under the moderation of Iqbal Masud, Director, Health and Wash Sector, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, said a press release.

Professor. Dr. Md. Habibe Millat, MP, said that 53 MPs from the Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing, formed by the Hon’ble Members of Parliament, have already sent letters to the Finance Minister, Finance Secretary, NBR Chairman and others concerned to increase the tobacco tax. Besides, 152 MPs have written to the Health Minister to amend the Tobacco Act and 153 MPs have written to the Hon’ble Prime Minister to ban e-cigarettes. So, the people’s representatives (MPs) are also playing a significant role in making the country tobacco free. Mass people also need to be aware of the dangers of tobacco.

Professor Dr. Md. Abdul Aziz, MP, said reforming the existing tax system as recommended in the 2021-22 financial year would reduce usage, save lives and increase revenue. In addition, cigarette use will be decreased by 1% per year. About 1.1 million adult smokers will be encouraged to quit smoking and more than 8 lakh young people will be discouraged from starting smoking; In the long run, it will be possible to prevent the untimely death of 3 lakh 90 thousand current smokers and 4 lakh young people, additional revenue of Tk 3,400 crore will be earned from supplementary duty, health development surcharge and VAT over the financial year 2020-21. These figures are certainly encouraging for us. Therefore, as a member of the parliamentary committee, I will try to take necessary steps in this regard.

Former chairman of the National Board of Revenue Dr. Muhammad Abdul Mazid said, “I think if the NBR only raises taxes, tobacco use among the people can be reduced.” It is also important to raise awareness among the people. Even if the tobacco tax is increased, it is often seen that the tobacco companies evade the tax. This deprived the government of revenue. So not only do we need to raise taxes, but we also need to see if the taxes are paid properly by the tobacco companies.

National Professional Officer of WHO, Syed Mahfuzul Haque said, we all know about the harmful aspects of tobacco. It not only harms the health of the person, but also causes economic and environmental damage. Regarding the increase in tobacco tax, the FCTC has said that the price of tobacco products should be increased by imposing appropriate taxes. In light of this, it can be said that if the price of tobacco increases, the demand from the consumers decreases and the government also gets more revenue. In our country, of course, the prices of different tobacco products are different. It is actually a complex system. This tax structure needs to be simplified. Only if the tobacco tax is increased will it play an effective role.

Professor Dr. Md. Habibe Millat, MP, added that there is no good side to tobacco. Instead, tobacco and tobacco products damage all the organs of a person from head to toe. If a woman is a smoker, her unborn baby can be severely harmed. It is said that the government gets revenue of Tk 22,000 crore annually from tobacco companies. But the health damage of tobacco is above 30 thousand crore taka per year. This year’s budget for the health sector is 29 thousand crores. It turns out that the amount of damage caused by tobacco is more than the budget of the health sector. Another issue is that the amendment of the Tobacco Control Act of 2013 is very important. I think only the enactment of hard laws to control tobacco and the reform of the existing tobacco tax structure can make the country tobacco free by 2040, announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Professor Dr. Md. Abdul Aziz, MP said in the context of awareness against tobacco, in our country it is often seen that farmers are smoking with the selling of milk. Again, it is seen that people smoke in places where smoking is prohibited. People do this mainly due to lack of awareness. Therefore, public awareness against smoking should be increased. People need to be made aware of the health risks of smoking in particular. That is why I am in favor of increasing the tax or bidi-cigarettes to reduce the use of smoking.

Please Share This Post in Your Social Media

More News Of This Category
© All rights reserved © 2023 The Daily Sky
Theme Developed BY ThemesBazar.Com