Govt urged to increase FED on tobacco by 30pc

Observer Report

Tobacco control activists urge the government to increase FED on tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco products, in Pakistan. Over 22 million (19%) Pakistani adults (18+) currently use some form of tobacco. Almost one third of Pakistani men (32.4%) and 5.7% of women smoke tobacco. They demanded at least 30% increase in the Federal Excise Duty (FED) for each slab of cigarettes to enhance revenue collection and lower the consumption of tobacco, especially among youth.

There are two tax slabs for cigarettes. An amount of Rs 33/- FED is imposed on cigarettes costing less than Rs. 90/- per packet and Rs. 90/- on cigarettes with a price of Rs. 90/- and above.

Syed Anis Bilal, Team Lead at Human Development Foundation (HDF) said that an increase in the exchange rate of dollar had an effect on prices of basic goods but prices of tobacco products remained the same. He said civil society organizations wanted a better future for Pakistan and were seriously concerned why heavy taxes were not imposed on the tobacco industry.