AVN 60.40 Increased By ▲ 0.25 (0.42%)
BOP 10.11 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
CHCC 130.25 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (0.15%)
DCL 9.57 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.1%)
DGKC 105.66 Increased By ▲ 0.13 (0.12%)
EFERT 67.80 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.15%)
EPCL 30.73 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.26%)
FCCL 21.30 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.09%)
FFL 13.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.3%)
HASCOL 14.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.07%)
HBL 125.35 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
HUBC 80.50 Increased By ▲ 0.35 (0.44%)
HUMNL 8.79 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.11%)
JSCL 17.25 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.29%)
KAPCO 25.46 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.24%)
KEL 3.77 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.27%)
LOTCHEM 12.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.15%)
MLCF 35.54 Increased By ▲ 0.09 (0.25%)
OGDC 112.77 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (0.11%)
PAEL 34.74 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.29%)
PIBTL 11.93 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.34%)
PIOC 87.47 Increased By ▲ 0.36 (0.41%)
POWER 9.40 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.43%)
PPL 99.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.05%)
PSO 182.80 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.05%)
SNGP 55.08 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.15%)
STPL 11.85 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.42%)
TRG 50.35 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.1%)
UNITY 13.35 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-0.74%)
WTL 1.39 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (2.21%)
BR100 4,146 Decreased By ▼ -14 (-0.34%)
BR30 21,193 Decreased By ▼ -110 (-0.52%)
KSE100 39,915 Decreased By ▼ -115 (-0.29%)
KSE30 17,262 Decreased By ▼ -35 (-0.2%)
COVID-19 TOTAL DAILY
CASES 284,660 0
DEATHS 6,097 0
Sindh 123,849 Cases
Punjab 94,477 Cases
Balochistan 11,906 Cases
Islamabad 15,261 Cases
KP 34,692 Cases

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of National Health Services should pursue imposition of Sin Tax (Health levy) on cigarettes and ensure implementation of World Health Organisation Framework on Tobacco Control to curb tobacco consumption in Pakistan.

Sources told Business Recorder that the budget for 2012-201 will include measures to discourage tobacco use as well as illicit trade of cigarettes. In special Cabinet meeting for coming budget for approval of Finance Bill (2020), Ministry must plead its case for implementation of Sin Tax with the help of provinces and increase the warnings on tobacco packs. The plan to spend the revenue generated from increased taxation on tobacco on health services is still in the pipeline.

"As the ministry did not pursue this case, the FBR paid no attention to realizing it," an official told this scribe.

In 2018, the ministry had asked FBR to increase tax on tobacco products and channel the generated revenue into improving health-related facilities, whereas in 2019, the ministry had proposed to levy a health-tax on tobacco products.

Furthermore, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Zafar Mirza shared that nearly eight million people are killed by the tobacco epidemic every year. He said, "More than seven million die due to direct smoking, while 1.2 million become a victim to second-hand smoking. Low and middle-income countries are the targets of more than 80 percent of tobacco-induced preventable deaths". "Tobacco claims 160,000 lives in Pakistan annually and remains one of the serious challenges in the face of public health. Moreover, 1,200 Pakistani children, aged between 6-15 start smoking daily," he said.

The health ministry is obligated to develop strategies to protect the health of the people from tobacco under the FCTC - an international treaty to which Pakistan is a signatory.

In order to make the tobacco control efforts sustainable in Pakistan, the Health Ministry has developed a draft policy in coordination with the provinces. "Our Ministry has tabled a promising tobacco taxation reform proposal in the upcoming budget which seeks Rs 24 billion in additional tax revenue, which will then be used in health-related facilities," the SAPM said.

"We will continue to strive to raise taxes, enhance size of graphic health warnings and promote a smoke-free society by providing a counter-marketing campaign, awareness against nicotine use and empower young people to engage in the fight against tobacco," he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020