Tobacco causes more than 170,000 deaths each year in the country, now government took it as a serious concern and in consultation with the Ministry of Health, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to impose Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes in the next federal budget.
According to the details, the purpose of imposing federal excise duties on cigarettes is not only to increase tax revenues but also to curb the use of some harmful items like cigarettes.
Senior officials of the FBR stated that the FBR would hear the perspective of the Health Ministry keeping in view the revenue implications of each proposal.
After that FBR will consider items declared as unhealthy by the Ministry of health for imposing or increasing the FED.
The government’s next fiscal year’s budget proposes to increase the FED from 13 per cent to 25 per cent to reduce the consumption of caffeinated beverages, both in terms of imports and domestic supply.
Tobacco substitutes and e-cigarettes were also added to the list.
In addition, the government has proposed to increase the current rate of FED on filter rod, which is the main ingredient in cigarette manufacturing, from Rs 0.75 to Rs 1 per kg.
The Anti-tobacco activists also urged the government on Thursday to increase federal excise duty on one of its key products, cigarettes, to discourage its use.
This was emphasized during an online seminar on “Knowledge and Fact Sharing Sessions on the Effects of Tobacco on Health”. The seminar was organized by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC).
Malik Imran Ahmed, country head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), said the Pakistani government should follow the Australian example and implement simple packaging for tobacco products. Following the Australian leadership, he said that since then, more than 15 countries have adopted simple tobacco packaging laws, while several other governments are in the process of formally considering the policy.