“Raise cigarette prices to lower level to reduce health risks”

0

Experts Say at ERF-Ahsania Mission Seminar

Guests and participants at a seminar entitled “Tobacco Prices and Taxes” held at the ERF Auditorium in Dhaka. Photo: Collected

“>



Guests and participants at a seminar entitled “Tobacco Prices and Taxes” held at the ERF Auditorium in Dhaka. Photo: Collected

The price of cigarettes at the lower tier should be increased to increase revenue generation for the government as well as to minimize health risks, speakers told a seminar today.

The Dhaka Ahsania Mission and the Business Journalists Forum (ERF) organized the seminar titled “Tobacco Price and Tax” at the ERF Auditorium in Dhaka.

For all the latest news, follow the Daily Star’s Google News channel.

Speaking at the seminar, they said that although the share of lower tier cigarettes accounts for nearly 75% of the entire industry, its price has remained unchanged over the past two years. As a result, the number of smokers at this level is not decreasing, they said.

They also said the price of cigarettes should be increased in view of rising per capita income and inflation.

There is no alternative but to increase the price of tobacco products to make Bangladesh a tobacco-free country by 2041 as announced earlier by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, they added.

During the keynote address, Abdullah Nadvy, Director (Research) of Unnayan Shamannay, said that the current cigarette duty structure is complex and should be further simplified.

He proposed to increase the price of each 10-stick pack of cigarettes to the lower level of 50 Tk from the existing 39 Tk, while the price of mid-tier cigarette pack should be 75 TK from 63 Tk .

Additionally, Nadvy suggested specifically increasing the price of cigarettes to the top tier.

“If this proposal is implemented, government revenue will be increased while the number of smokers will be reduced by 13 lakh. Also, some 9 lakh young people will be discouraged from continuing to smoke,” he added.

Dhaka Ahsania Mission Deputy Director Mokhlesur Rahman said the government has already announced to make Bangladesh a tobacco free country by 2041 and to achieve this there is no alternative to increasing duties on cigarettes and tobacco products.

CTFK Grants Director Abdus Salama Mia said controlling tobacco use is absolutely necessary to make Bangladesh a developed country. “This will not only help reduce poverty, but also reduce the cost of government in the fight against tobacco-related diseases.”

ERF Secretary General SM Rashidul Islam said the government faces a dilemma on tobacco as it wants to control tobacco on the one hand, and the government also depends on tobacco products to raise incomes. ‘somewhere else.

“But, in order to reduce the number of smokers, the price of cigarettes at the lower tier should be increased because about 75% of smokers consume cigarettes at the lower tier,” he added.

ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy chaired the program.

Share.

Comments are closed.