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‘Sin Tax’ to be imposed on smokers

ISLAMABAD: Taking another revolutionary measure in health sector, the government has decided to impose ‘Gunnah Tax’ (Sin Tax) on cigarette smokers across the country, ARY News reported.

Sources said the federal government was excogitating over different options as high-level consultation meetings are underway in this regard.

ARY News correspondent Jahangir Khan said the centre had decided to levy the sin tax on smoking tobacco. “The earning from this tax would be expended on welfare of masses under Prime Minister National Health Programme,” he said.

This step will likely climb cigarette prices as earning through this tax is estimated to be in billions of rupees. It is also pertinent to mention that this tax is not new to the world as it has already been introduced in some of the European Union countries in different forms and in Philippines it has been imposed with passing of Sin Tax Reform bill.

Read More: In US, cigarette smoking rate declines to new low

According to a World Health Organisation report, “Within the first year of passing the bill, Philippines raised more than USD$1.2 billion and allowed the Philippines to provide health care to an additional 14 million families or roughly 45 million Filipinos.”

Jahangir Khan said a tax of around 5 to 15 rupees a packet was also expected to be levied.

According to government sources, more than four billions of cigarette packs are sold across the country a year.

Sin Tax is being anticipated to generate billions of rupees tax to the public exchequer.

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