- Advertisment -
HomeBusinessIncreasing tobacco prices to meet IMF requirementsTAZAA News

Increasing tobacco prices to meet IMF requirementsTAZAA News

- Advertisment -

Tazaa News latest news updates,

The tobacco tax increase is seen as too little and too late, as health activists have called on the government to introduce a health tax on tobacco products in line with the standards set by the International Monitor Fund (IMF).

Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Leader, Tobacco Free Kids Campaign, stated that the government is repeatedly talking about difficult choices to meet the demands of the IMF. He said that increasing the tax on the tobacco sector will not only help to solve our economic problems, but will also benefit the society.

Malik Imran mentioned that tobacco disease causes an annual economic burden of 615 billion dollars, which is 1.6% of Pakistan’s GDP. On the other hand, the income from the tobacco industry is 120 billion. When a product causes so much harm to health, it should be taxed. Pakistan moved in this direction in 2019 by proposing a tobacco health levy law, but it did not see the light of day due to continuous interference from the tobacco industry.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zaman, the founding chairman of the Department of Sociology of Quaid-e-Azam University, said that measures are needed to prevent smoking among young people. Easy and cheap access to tobacco products is banned all over the world. He added that Pakistan should generally follow the developed countries in introducing the cigarette tax.

According to estimates, tobacco products cause 170,000 deaths in Pakistan every year. On average, Pakistani smokers spend 10% of their average monthly income on cigarettes. Due to the cheap and easy access, about 1200 children start smoking in the country every day. A struggling economy like Pakistan cannot afford this huge loss of human and financial resources.

Khalil Ahmed Dogar, SPARC program manager, stated that this difficult financial situation requires sustainable measures. Pakistan wants foreign aid to save its citizens from financial disaster. Therefore, the government should take those decisions that can benefit the health and wealth of the people. One-time measures will put us back to square one and we will have to ask for foreign aid again.


The Ultimate Managed Hosting Platform