Higher tax on tobacco products stressed

Anti-tobacco campaigners at a programme in Dhaka on Monday underscored the need for imposing higher taxes on tobacco products aiming to discourage the people from consuming cigarettes and other tobacco products.

They also called for formulating a specific tax policy on tobacco to reduce consumption significantly while addressing a post-rally discussion titled ‘Imposing Specific Excise Taxes on All Tobacco Products’, reports BSS.

Association for Community Development (ACD) organised the meeting at Shaheb Bazar Zero Point in the city demanding formulation of tax policy on tobacco products to enhance taxes on tobacco products. ACD Finance Director Pankaj Karmaker, Programme Manager Shahinur Rahman, Project Coordinator Abdur Razzaque, Advocacy Officer Shariful Islam and
Project Officer Ahsan Ullah Sarker addressed the meeting.

The speakers put emphasis on combating the existing violation of the tobacco control law for protecting public health from non-communicable diseases. He said the number of mobile court should be enhanced both in rural and urban areas including some key areas —

 ailway stations, bus terminals and amusement areas to ensure sound atmosphere for the people.

Various issues like abolishment of various levels of tobacco tax, imposing two percent surcharge on tobacco products, adjustment of specific amount of excise tax on tobacco products were discussed elaborately in the meeting. Highlighting different negative impacts of tobacco consumption, Project Coordinator Abdur Razzaque said the government should impose
higher taxes to protect human health and economic losses.

Referring to a latest survey report on tobacco usage he added that around one lakh people are killed annually from tobacco-related diseases in Bangladesh.