The cabinet on Monday gave approval to the draft of "The Health Development Surcharge Management Policy-2017" aimed at controlling the use of tobacco and creating mass awareness against the adverse impacts of tobacco on human health.
The draft was given nod at a meeting held at Prime Minister's Office in the morning with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
A law is already in place for controlling the use of tobacco, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said while briefing reporters, adding that the policy has been formulated as a guideline in this regard.
Secretary Shafiul said some specific suggestions have been incorporated in the policy regarding tobacco control and its use to establish Bangladesh as a smoking-free country by 2040 as earlier declared by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
A regular cabinet meeting takes place on Monday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at Dhaka's PMO office Focus Bangla
The cabinet secretary said surcharge has already been imposed and Tk300cr per year is being deposited into the Health Ministry. The fund is used for various purposes of the health sector, particularly in tobacco control and preventing non-communicable diseases.
He said the fund would be used in 14 specific sectors to help ensure long-term management in the health sector, especially to create awareness among common people against tobacco use, prevent farmers from cultivating tobacco and create alternative employment opportunities for them.
Besides, activities on national tobacco control, research and training will be conducted along with monitoring and evaluation and such activities under the new policy.
At the very outset of the meeting, the cabinet adopted a felicitation motion as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been regarded as 'Star of the East', 'The Mother of Humanity' and compared with 'Raoul Gustaf Wallen-berg' by the global media.