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!
August 4, 2020

Local cigarette manufacturers mocking laws

National

August 4, 2020

Islamabad: Local cigarettes manufacturers continue flouting health ministry laws regarding cigarettes advertisement and promotion. They are using corona situation as a marketing tool for illegal promotional campaigns, which are clear violation of regulatory directives of ministry of National health services, regulations and coordination.

In a recent activity, videos and pictorial evidence of which is available with this correspondent, Khyber Tobacco Company seen doing advertising campaign illegally by beating drums and playing music to attract consumers towards illegal cigarettes brands like Kissan and Classic. Pictures also shows face mask branding having logo of Classic cigarette brand and gold street brand owned by Khyber-Tobacco Company.

Video also shows selling of Kisaan cigarette brand at price Rs30 which is far below to minimum applicable tax and below the minimum fixed price of a cigarette brand. According to sources, shopkeepers across country are openly selling illegal cigarette packs with a price of around Rs15 to 35, which is far below than the minimum price of 20 cigarettes pack. Minimum price per packet as per law is Rs62.76 and minimum tax per packet is Rs42.12. Anyone can witness that how illegal brands like Kissan and classic cigarette brands by Khyber Tobacco Company openly available in market and violating all health and revenue laws.

According to details, as per the health ministry law, tobacco advertisement guidelines 2009, tobacco advertising by any means is completely banned and cigarette manufacturing companies cannot offer incentives or giveaways to attract consumers especially youth to enhance sale neither these companies can use any promotional tactic like music galas etc.

However, local cigarette manufacturers are openly violating the regulations and offering different free items that include face masks and other such products on buying those illegal brands.

According to the SRO of tobacco advertisement guidelines, offering free incentives like free cigarette samples and any other such gifts are not allowed. However, local cigarettes manufacturing companies of which some are owned by parliamentarians are continuing their efforts to increase tobacco use in youth by illegal promotion activities including public events and promotion through branding on their free gifts.

These local illegal cigarettes manufacturers not only violating the advertising guidelines but also evading billions of rupees due to non-payment of taxes. Statistics suggest that illicit tobacco trade in Pakistan had risen to an alarming extent to dent the legal tobacco industry.

Resultantly, the pervasive tobacco black market was causing a loss of an estimated Rs40 to 60 billion to the national kitty, annually.

Plethora of laws fails to nab criminals who manufacture, market counterfeit cigarettes and flout every law on the subject. Over 25 laws exist for checking illegal cigarette trade alone with 13 law enforcing agencies responsible for cracking down on tax evaders, smugglers; counterfeit brand manufacturers who inflict loss of billions on the national exchequer per annum, but the authorities concerned have failed to stop illegal manufacturing of cigarettes and its supply to consumers all over the country.