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June 10, 2019

‘Health tax on cigarettes, fizzy drinks’

Islamabad

June 10, 2019

Islamabad : The federal government is set to slap a 'health tax' on cigarettes and fizzy drinks to protect the people from their harmful effects, increase revenues, and reduce the relevant healthcare costs.

According to the 2019-20 budget document to be formally unveiled in the National Assembly tomorrow (Tuesday), health tax of Rs10 will be imposed on every pack of 20 cigarette sticks and Rs1's each on all 250 millilitres carbonated drinks.

The revenue generated in this way will be used for the health sector's development over and above its routine budgetary allocations.

The budget will also introduce measures to check illegal manufacturing and trade of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Focal Person to PM for tobacco control Babar Bin Atta confirmed the health tax's imposition in the next fiscal and said it would not only discourage the use of cigarette but will also generate Rs40-50 billion.

"The government has taken a courageous decision showing It can't be blackmailed by the merchants of death," he said.

Over 15 million people in Pakistan use tobacco and around 160,000 people in the country die of the causes related to tobacco smoking every year. Tobacco use is a major cause of non-communicable diseases, including 15 types of cancer.

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