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June 17, 2020

Anti-tobacco activists thank govt for retaining taxation

Islamabad

June 17, 2020

Islamabad : Society for Protection of Rights of the Child (SPARC), Human Development Foundation (HDF) and Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) jointly held an online ‘Post-Budget briefing session on tobacco taxation’ on Tuesday.

Anti-tobacco activists have thanked to Prime Minister Imran Khan for retaining the taxation on tobacco products in federal annual budget 2020-21 despite the pressure from big tobacco industry. The activists have also put forward their recommendations for future to save millions of lives from harms of tobacco.

Malik Imran Ahmed, Country head Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) said, that every year tobacco industry tries to manipulate policymakers in order to fill its coffers at expense of lives of more than 170,000 people who die due to diseases caused and aggravated by usage of tobacco products.

Malik thanked the government to not buy in to the deceptive tactics of big tobacco industry and retain the taxation cap on tobacco products. Sajjad Ahmed Cheema, Executive Director, SPARC stated that government should have considered the growing inflation rate while finalizing the taxes on tobacco products for fiscal year 2021-22.

He further mentioned that due to increase in inflation and hike in dollar prices, the prices of basic goods for living have increased whereas, the prices of tobacco products are still the same. They should have increased as well. Heavy taxation on tobacco products will not only reduce the tobacco consumption and its accessibility but will also keep the minors off from tobacco.