Jaitley Urged To Tax Much More On Tobacco Products
Consumer Voice, a voluntary organisation in the interest of Consumer Education, has urged the Union Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley, to seriously reconsider the tax treatment of tobacco products to ensure a significant increase in excise taxation and decrease in the affordability of tobacco products, both in this year's budget and when finalizing the GST reformTweet
-- Terming the increase proposed for the taxation of tobacco products presented in this year's budget as highly disappointing, its Chief Operating Officer, Mr Ashim Sanyal, in a press release said, the Union budget 2017-18 has once again failed to address the urgent public health crisis caused by tobacco use, especially bidis. This move will have little impact on tobacco costs and NO impact on bidi use since paper-rolled bidis constitute only miniscule portion of the bidi market, as the majority of bidis consumed in India are tendu rolled/hand-made (98% of all bidis).
Tobacco-use imposes enormous health and economic costs on the country. Each year, almost 1 million Indians die from tobacco-related diseases in India.
This years' budget increased the total excise tax on tobacco products by much less than the increase in these products in last years' budget 2016-17. Both years increase were perceived as disproportionately small by the tobacco control community as they implied a minor total increase in the retail price of tobacco products compared to a larger increase in real income growth. Hence tobacco products were effectively more affordable. In other words, budget 2017-18 is even worse than that of last year's for tobacco control because tobacco products became, once again, more affordable across the board.
Notes to Editor
About Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (Consumer VOICE)
Consumer VOICE is one of the Leading Consumer Organisation in the India. Working under "Jago Grahak Jago" program of Ministry of Consumer Affairs besides other Ministries, Regulatory bodies, standards organizations, world bodies and Standing Committees of Parliaments, our work of Comparative Testing for product testing and services evaluations are for the masses. We are doing advocacy for all the consumers to various authorities and consumers across India are getting benefited from our work. Our magazines and website, besides educational workshops on various subjects are the tools of consumer education and empowerment across the nation and all consumers get benefited from our work.