Increasing tax on tobacco-products stressed

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DHAKA, June 02, 2020 (BSS)- Speakers at a discussion here today underscored the need for price hike on tobacco-based products in the forthcoming budget for combating coronavirus pandemic.

They made the remarks at a discussion titled ‘Kemon Tamak Kor Chai, Budget 2020-21’ here under the joint arrangement of Anti-tobacco organization PROGGA-Knowledge for Progress and Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA).

They said if the prices of tobacco products are effectively increased in the forthcoming budget, the use of tobacco will be reduced and the revenue will be increased simultaneously.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the lungs of tobacco-addicted people are at higher risks for the COVID-19 infections, they said.

Taking the matter into account, about 4 crore tobacco-users in Bangladesh are currently at severe risk of corona infection, they added.

If the price of tobacco-products would raise, the speakers added that the government will be able to spend the additional revenue, garnered from the increased price of the tobacco products, on the implementation of the COVID-19 pandemic-related health expenditure and stimulus packages.

Noted economist Dr Quazi Khaliquzzaman Ahmed, lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury and other prominent economists as well as eminent personalities took part in the discussion.