16.09.2022: Anti-tobacco organisations calls for increase in GST on tobacco products

TAXConsumer VOICE from Delhi and the National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) – India has urged the GST Council to levy highest 40 per cent tax on all types of tobacco products including cigarettes. Currently the tax on tobacco products is 28 per cent. 

The appeal was made during a State-level symposium organised by the Consumer VOICE and the NOTE-India, on taxation of tobacco products engaging experts in the domain of economics and government officials, at the Secretariat, Porvorim. The symposium was chaired by Chief Secretary P K Goel. 

After the meeting, Goel said that tobacco products contributes one per cent to GDP and the cost is almost five per cent in terms of health care. He said that 10 per cent of tobacco is produced in India as compared to 11 per cent of tobacco produced across the world. India is second largest country producing tobacco and consuming tobacco.

Goel said that though one of the challenges is how to find alternate source of livelihood for those involved in production, COPTA has to be made more stringent to deter tobacco chewing and smoking. He said that chain smokers had become chronic smokers and the need was to reach out to these smokers/addicts to discourage them.

Dr Shekhar Salkar said that in Goa, smoking has decreased by four per cent as per last two studies. But there is slight increase in smokeless tobacco in villages. He said that Goa is the best State as far as use of tobacco is concerned and it is 9.5 per cent of the total use of tobacco in the country.

Stating that there is no safe limit for tobacco, Salkar strongly advocated the need for long- term strategy to stop smoking. 

Source: Herald Goa

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