• Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:01 am

Tobacco prices to go up

  • Published at 10:17 pm June 13th, 2019
Representational photo Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

“Proposed tax and price measures for tobacco products are disappointing,” says anti-tobacco alliance

Tobacco products, including cigarette, bidi, zarda, and gul, are going to cost more starting FY2019-20.

“Considering the health-risk and harmful effects of tobacco consumption and to maintain compliance with global anti-smoking policy, we are committed to reducing the use of tobacco and tobacco consumption and maximize revenue collection from this sector,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, presenting the national budget for FY2019-20 to Jatiya Sangsad (JS) on Thursday.

Mustafa Kamal proposed fixing the price for every 10 sticks of low end tobacco at Tk37, and the supplementary duty rate at 55%.

He also proposed increasing the price  for every 10 sticks of medium grade cigarettes at Tk63, and the supplementary duty rate for such tobacco at 65%. 

The finance minister proposed increasing the price for every 10 sticks of higher end cigarettes at Tk93 and Tk123 respectively and keeping the supplementary duty rate at the existing 65% rate.

The minister also proposed fixing the price of 25 sticks of non-filter bidi at Tk14 and its supplementary duty rate at 35%, and to fix the price of 20 sticks of filtered bidi at Tk17 and the supplementary duty rate for that at 40%. 

He said smokeless tobacco like Zarda and Gul are also two other products like cigarettes and bidi, that are injurious to health.

In order to reduce the consumption of smokeless tobacco products, the finance minister proposed fixing the minimum retail price at Tk30 per 10 grams for Zarda and Tk15 per 10 grams for Gul, and to fix the supplementary duty rate at 50%.

In a quick reaction to the proposed budget for FY2019-20, Progga - the anti-tobacco alliance – said the proposed tax and price measures in the budget would not support Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s determination to transform Bangladesh into a tobacco-free nation by the year 2040. 

Overall, the proposed budget for FY2019-20 is disappointing for anti-tobacco advocacy groups.

Read the full budget speech for FY20 here.