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Govt to impose Health Tax on cigarettes in next budget

ISLAMABAD: The Federal government has approved imposition of Health Tax on cigarettes and beverages in the budget for fiscal year 2019-20, ARY News reported on Thursday.

The federal cabinet has approved a tax of Rs 10 on a pack of 20 cigarettes, while Rs1 tax will be received on a 250 milliliter bottle of beverages.

Moreover the rate of excise duty on cigarettes is also being increased.

The health tax will earn Rs. 30 billion and tax on beverages will provide another eight billion rupees per annum to the government, officials said.

According to sources, the cabinet after discussing the health hazards posed by smoking, decided to impose the tax on cigarettes and the amount will be spent in the health sector.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister for National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza in a statement said that the prime minister’s support for this tax express his resolve to improve health sector despite the economic crisis.

He said increase in cigarette prices is imperative to prevent children from tobacco smoking.

Over 15 million people in Pakistan use tobacco and around 1,60,000 people in the country died of the causes related to tobacco smoking, Dr. Zafar said.

The government had earlier announced to impose sin tax on smokers and the amount collected from the tax will be spent on health sector.

Tobacco use is a major cause of non-communicable diseases which include 15 types of cancers, health reports said.

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