The government has decided to take all necessary measures to ensure the implementation of relevant laws to increase tax on cigarettes.
On Thursday, while speaking to participants of a seminar titled ‘Implications of the Cigarette Tax Policy in Pakistan’, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that the government will implement relevant laws to enhance tax on cigarettes. He added health was already a neglected sector in Pakistan.
Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) organized the event in collaboration with Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (Sparc). The purpose of the seminar was to share findings of recent research work on tobacco taxation conducted by SPDC and to discuss implications of tax policy for cigarette consumption, government revenues and health outcomes.
Mr Khan confirmed that the government will overcome all challenges thrown by the tobacco industry, in order to secure Pakistani children from the harms of tobacco.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs highlighted that enhancing the federal excise duty (FED) rate would help the government fulfil its vow of reducing tobacco use and tobacco-related morbidity, mortality, and associated economic costs.
He also said that “An increase would also advance Pakistan’s obligations as a signatory country to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and generate much-needed revenues for reducing the fiscal deficit.”
Malik Imran Ahmad, country head, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids also addressed participants, said that there is a negative effect on our economy of the tobacco industry and that the industry also put a huge health cost burden of Rs 615 billion on this already poor country. He added that it also directly affects poor smokers who spend 10 percent of their average monthly income on cigarettes.