close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
June 18, 2020

Govt praised for retaining tobacco taxation despite pressure

National

June 18, 2020

Islamabad: The anti-tobacco activists during an online session have thanked the federal government for retaining taxation on tobacco products in the 2020-21 budget despite pressure from the industry.

They made recommendations to save lives from the harms of tobacco. The session was jointly organised by the Society for Protection of Rights of the Child, Human Development Foundation and Pakistan National Heart Association here on Tuesday.

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

Malik thanked the government to not buy into the deceptive tactics of the 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 the fiscal year 2021-22.

He said due to an 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."

Azhar Saleem, CEO, Human Development Foundation (HDF)stated that the country is facing a severe shortage of funds to combat the health and poverty crisis.

The increase in taxation and Federal Excise Duty leads to more funds available for health and contributes to a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

Ch Sanaullah Ghuman, secretary-general of the Pakistan National Heart Association said a lot needs to be done to safeguard Pakistani children from harms of tobacco. "The government needs to remain steadfast and adopt a futuristic approach to overcome any challenges thrown by big tobacco industry."

According to the activists, the hike in prices is a much-needed course of action required to save lives, along with strict implementation of laws regarding graphic health warnings, promotion and advertising bans, and smoke-free places.