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LAHORE: Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control Department Punjab has decided to issue Tobacco vendors licenses by implementing Punjab Tobacco Control Act 1958 for which formal registration of vendors selling tobacco and its products has been started across Punjab.

DG Excise Muhammad Ali said that the tobacco license fee was being increased for the first time after 1958, according to which the smallest hawker or vendor would be charged Rs1,000, the bigger trader will be charged Rs5,000, then Rs8,000 and the biggest one would be charged Rs15,000.

DG Excise added that the license fee would increase at the rate of 15 percent every year. He was speaking at a meeting which was also attended by Additional DG Excise Ahmed Saeed, Director Excise Rizwan Sherwani, Federal Ministry of Health District Coordinator for Tobacco control Shehzad Iqbal, Miss Cathy Wright and Khurram Hashmi from the non-governmental anti-tobacco organization and representatives of the tobacco vendors union.

He said, “The violator can be fined up to one lakh rupees while media awareness campaign regarding the license will also be launched.”

DG Excise Muhammad Ali expressed his determination that the national and international agenda regarding tobacco control efforts would be fully ensured. He said, “Murree will be made a tobacco-free city in collaboration with the federal government and non-governmental organizations.”

Earlier, Miss Kathy Wright said that the licensing process was an important weapon to reduce the use of tobacco. She assured that her organization would provide full support to the Excise Department for the success of licensing move.

Additional DG Excise Ahmad Saeed said that the registration for issuance of licenses of mega stores like Metro, Al Fateh and Euro store had been done and the rest were in progress.

He said that there were more than 25,000 tobacco business units in Punjab to be licensed. Ahmed Saeed said that licensing would also increase government revenues.

On this occasion, DG Excise also presented a commemorative shield to Miss Cathy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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