Government’s Opposition Of Health Hazard Tax Is An Utter Disappointment
By News Desk
Islamabad – Coalition for Tobacco Control Pakistan (CTC-Pak) and Society for Alternative Media and Research SAMAR), a member of Non-Communicative Diseases Alliance (NCDA), have shown their utter disappointment on government’s action of opposing imposition of health hazard tax on tobacco and sugary drinks. According to a report, Advisor on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin blocked a proposal of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination regarding imposition of health hazard tax on tobacco and sugar-sweetened beverages. Report further says that Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Faisal Sultan raised the issue of health hazard tax pending by the ECC for consideration.
SAMAR and CTC-Pak, while showing concern on the finance ministry’s move, in a statement have said that blocking of proposal is tantamount to benefiting the tobacco industry and beverages industry whereas the health of people is at stake. In 2021 budget, no tax was raised on the tobacco products and now another delay is disappointing for anti-tobacco advocates.
The tobacco industry’s quarterly financial reports show that they are earning more profits; that means consumption of tobacco is because of availability of cheap cigarettes and health of people is being compromised. A high health cost is directly associated with use of tobacco products.
While urging upon reconsideration by the ECC in view of health issues and increasing taxes on those items that are harmful to people’s health, like tobacco products, he appreciated the efforts of ministry of health for getting imposed health hazard tax.