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Specific taxes on tobacco could cover up losses

Published : 27 Apr 2020 09:32 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 02:13 PM

Fazle Hossain Badsha, MP from Rajshahi-2 constituency, has said that it is possible to bear the economic loss caused by corona virus spread through imposing specific tax on tobacco products which are harmful to public health. He made the remarks in a webinar titled ‘Proposal to impose a specific tax on tobacco products to corona's economic losses’ using the meeting software Zoom at 11am on Monday. The webinar was jointly organized by the Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA) and the Bangladesh Network for Tobacco Tax Policy (BNTTP).

Public leader Fazle Hossain Badshah said, "It is possible to cover up a lot of losses by imposing taxes on tobacco products to make up for the economic losses during the Corona period. However, for this, a specific tobacco tax policy needs to be formulated and implemented quickly. 

At the same time, in order to overcome the economic crisis, crops have to be grown on the lands which are uncultivated all over the country. However, tobacco cannot be cultivated in fertile land in any way”.

Former chairman of the National Board of Revenue and Professor of the Institute of Governance and Development, BRAC University  Nasiruddin Ahmed said that in the case of bidis, a research paper published by the NBR has mentioned about the specific tax on bidis. 

As a result, there is no legal complication in the specific taxation of cigarettes. On the contrary, it is very important to implement it in the face of huge economic losses during the Corona period.

In the Webinar Dhaka University Professor of Economics Rumana Haque opened the discussion with the keynote address. During this time, she proposed a specific tax on tobacco for the fiscal year 2020-21. At the same time, she presented specific recommendations for the implementation of Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's pledge to make the country tobacco free by 2040. 

The webinar was conducted by Advocate Syed Mahbubul Alam, Technical Consultant of The Union. In the webinar, more than 50 leaders of various anti-tobacco organizations also expressed their important views.