Anti-tobacco campaigners for specific excise tax on tobacco products


DHAKA, May 3, 2018 (BSS) – Anti-tobacco campaigners today recommended imposition of specific excise tax on tobacco products instead of the existing ad valorem tax.

They said if specific duty is imposed on tobacco products, the government will be able to collect additional revenue from tobacco companies.

They came up with the observations at a press conference jointly organised by Progotir Jonno Gyan (Progga) and Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) at Jatiya Press Club urging the authorities concerned to take effective steps for imposing tax on tobacco items in the upcoming national budget for fiscal 2018-19.

National Professor Brigadier (retd) Abdul Malik, Anti-Corruption Commissioner (ACC) commissioner Dr Nasir Uddin Ahmed, ABM Zubair of Progga, WHO official DR Syed Mahbubul Haque and Dr Mahfuzur Rahman of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, among others, spoke at the press conference.

Chief reporter of ATN Bangla Nadira Kiron read out a set of recommendations at the press conference.

They said tax is imposed on per piece of cigarette or bidi or its weigh in ad valorem tax system, which is a complicated one. If specific excise tax is imposed, they said, collection of tax from tobacco products will be easier.

The campaigners said if the tax system is simplified, the availability of tobacco products will fall that will ultimately help reduce tobacco use.

They proposed elimination of the differential tax between local and multi- national corporation (MNC) brands in the lowest tax tier.

They asked the authorities concerned to combine the high and premium tiers under a single tier (high) and set the minimum price for the low tier at no less than Tk 50 per 10 sticks and raise the ad valorem tax to 60 percent.

Similarly, they suggested setting the minimum price for the high tier (high and premium) at minimum Tk 100 per 10 sticks and keeping the ad valorem tax on the high tier at the existing 65 percent.

They also proposed introducing a specific tax of Tk 5 taka on per 10 sticks for all cigarettes.

They also suggested elimination of the distinction between filtered and non-filtered bidis and setting of the minimum price at Tk 30 per pack of 25 sticks and raising the ad valorem tax to 45 percent of price and adding a specific tax of Tk 6 for per pack of 25 sticks.