ERF-Dhaka Ahsania Mission Seminar
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April 23, 2022 4:15:29 p.m.
April 23, 2022 7:57:51 PM
Speakers at a seminar today proposed raising the price of low-level cigarettes to increase revenue generation for the government and minimize health risks.
They said that although low-level cigarettes occupy almost 75% of the entire industry, their price has remained unchanged for the past two years. Therefore, the number of smokers at this level does not decrease.
Speakers offered such suggestions at a seminar jointly organized by the Dhaka Ahsania Mission and the Economic Journalists Forum (ERF), entitled “Tobacco Price and Tax”, held at the auditorium of the ‘ERF in the capital, according to a press release. .
Chaired by ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy, its General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam, Deputy Mission Director Dhaka Ahsania Mokhlesur Rahman, CTFK Grants Director Abdus Salam Mia among others spoke on the occasion.
Director (Research) of Unnayan Shamannay Abdullah Nadvy made the keynote presentation.
Stakeholders said the price of low-end cigarettes has remained unchanged over the past two years. They suggested that the price of cigarettes should be increased in view of rising per capita income and inflation.
They said there is no alternative to increasing the price of tobacco products to make Bangladesh a tobacco-free country by 2041 as announced earlier by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Nadvi, in her keynote address, said the current cigarette duty structure is complex and should be simplified further.
He proposed to lower the price of each 10-stick pack of cigarettes to the lower level of Tk 50 from the existing Tk 39, while at the middle level the price of cigarette packs should be Tk 75 from 63 Tk.
Nadvy also suggested raising the price of cigarettes to the top tier specifically.
“If this proposal is implemented, government revenue will be increased while the number of smokers will be reduced by 13 lakh. In addition, some 9 million young people will be discouraged from continuing to smoke,” he added.
In his welcoming remarks, Deputy Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Mokhlesur Rahman said that the government has already announced to make Bangladesh a tobacco free country by 2041 and to make this a reality, there is no alternative to increased duties on cigarettes and tobacco products.
CTFK Grants Director Abdus Salama Mia said controlling tobacco use is absolutely necessary to make Bangladesh a developed country. “This will not only help reduce poverty, but also reduce the cost of government in the fight against tobacco-related diseases.”
ERF Secretary General SM Rashidul Islam said the government faces a dilemma on tobacco as it wants to control tobacco on the one hand, and the government also depends on tobacco products to raise incomes. ‘somewhere else.
“But, to reduce the number of smokers, the price of cigarettes at the lower tier should be increased because about 75% of smokers consume cigarettes at the lower tier,” he added.