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GST Council asked to put highest tax on tobacco

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 20, 2016, 3:30 am IST
Updated Oct 20, 2016, 4:19 am IST
An increase in tobacco prices by 10 percent decreases tobacco consumption by 4 percent in high-income countries.
India has the second largest number of tobacco users (275 million or 35% of all adults in India) in the world. (Representational image)
 India has the second largest number of tobacco users (275 million or 35% of all adults in India) in the world. (Representational image)

Bengaluru: The Institute of Public Health (IPH), a not-for-profit organisation, has appealed to the GST Council to slap the highest possible tax rate under GST on all types of tobacco products, including cigarettes, bidis, smokeless tobacco and pan masala, to discourage their consumption.

“It has been proven globally that the most direct and effective method for reducing tobacco consumption is to increase their price through higher taxes. It is particularly effective in reducing tobacco use among vulnerable populations, such as youth, pregnant women and low-income smokers,” says Dr Upendra Bhojani, Assistant Director, Institute of Public Health.

 

An increase in tobacco prices by 10 percent decreases tobacco consumption by 4 percent in high-income countries and by about 6 percent in low- and middle-income countries. India has the second largest number of tobacco users (275 million or 35% of all adults in India) in the world. Each year, about 1 million Indians die from tobacco-related diseases and if current trends continue, tobacco will account for 13% of all deaths in the country by 2020.  “IPH appeals to the GST Council that tobacco and tobacco products, including bidis, be taxed at the highest rate under GST with imposition of an additional central excise duty and a provision for states’ right to impose top-up taxes be retained.  A healthy and productive citizen will contribute more to nation building and help in realizing India’s dream of becoming a world economic power,” adds Dr Bhojani.

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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