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Monday July 22, 2024

Health advocates for boosting economy through tobacco tax hike

By INP
June 05, 2024
A representational image showing a man smoking a cigarette in Islamabad on May 30, 2024. — Online
A representational image showing a man smoking a cigarette in Islamabad on May 30, 2024. — Online

Islamabad: Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) in a statement appreciated Special Investment Facilitation Council’s (SIFC) previous work on investing in better economic decisions. Tobacco tops the list when it comes to increasing taxes on non-essential items for boosting economy.

Health activists are hopeful that SIFC will advocate for an increase in cigarettes taxes by 26 per cent in upcoming budget of year 2024-25. This will be a win -win situation for both the economy and public health as it will generate Rs17 Billion in revenue and after this tax increase, there is huge potential for long-term savings in health cost recovery by 19.8 per cent.

Malik Imran Ahmad country head Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) said that, higher taxes on tobacco products can lead to increased revenue for the government. Pakistan currently holds the highest proportion of young people, as 64 per cent of the total population of Pakistan is below the age of 30. While 29 per cent is between the ages of 15 and 29 years. Dr. Khalil Ahmad programme manager SPARC, expressed his gratitude towards the SIFC, mentioning the urgent need to make sustainable decisions right now for strengthening economy in the long run and saving Pakistani children. Which is possible if the proposed 26 per cent tax increase on cigarettes secures a place in the upcoming federal budget 2024-25.