By Hamid Khan Wazir
ISLAMABAD: The much-needed increase of taxes on cigarettes and other harmful tobacco products has started yielding its positive results as the national treasury has bloomed with Rs 25 billon additional revenue, clearly indicating the imposition of such levies would help Pakistan becoming an economically sustainable Country.
Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) said that the success achieved from the revenue collected due to increase in taxes on cigarettes. According to the health activists, this progress has been achieved due to government’s good judgement and strong resolve.
The Country Head for Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) Malik Imran Ahmad shared that the national treasury has bloomed with Rs 25 billon additional revenue after the tax increase on cigarettes.
Malik Imran Ahmad said that this tax increase was a way forward for Pakistan into becoming an economically sustainable country, adding that the much-needed increase on cigarettes and other harmful tobacco products would aid in forming a better and stable economy.
“This is a win-win situation for Pakistan as it is helping government generate more revenue and saving youth from tobacco hazards by keeping cigarettes expensive,” he said.
The former Technical Head at Tobacco Control Cell in the Ministry of Health Dr. Ziauddin Islam said that tax increase on cigarettes needed to be revised every year in order to meet Pakistan’s international commitments of controlling tobacco.
Dr. Ziauddin Islam said that this extra revenue from increased tax will prove to be the savior of Pakistan’s current and future economic crises.
Zaiuddin Islam stated that cigarette smoking caused a number of non-communicable diseases, adding that practicing this tax increase in every fiscal year can become an ideal way of saving the health of our people by making cigarettes pricey, which will also cause the healthcare system less burdened.
The Program Manager SPARC Khalil Ahmed Dogar supported the government’s decision of tax increase and expressed hope the move would serve best the interest of Pakistan’s youth and economy.
Khalil Ahmed Dogar mentioned that this increase in tax on cigarettes has brought Pakistan closer to international standards and with more sustainable efforts, Pakistan protect its current and future generations from harms of tobacco.