The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has taken a ‘revolutionary’ step to discourage smoking in the country and decided to levy a special tax on smokers, which will be called ‘sin tax’.
As per media reports, the government has decided to impose a new tax on smokers in a bid to discourage smoking to cut associated health hazards and generate money for health-related projects.
The reports said that with the levy of ‘sin tax’ cigarettes prices will go up further in the country. The proceed generated through the tax will be spent on the projects of the Prime Minister’s Health Programme.
Sources said that the Health Ministry is considering different options to implement the proposed tax. The Ministry is considering to impose levy ranging from Rs5 to 15 on a cigarette packet.
The tax under the specific head is expected to generate billions of rupees annually. The total cigarette consumption in the country is estimated to be worth over Rs4 billion.
Pakistan will be the second country in the world to impose ‘sin tax’ on cigarette smokers. The Philippines was the first country to introduce the tax. The number of cigarette packs put on store shelves by retailers fell drastically after the tax was introduced.
The Philippines government imposed the tax in 2012 to raise revenues and discourage smoking, which kills nearly 88,000 Filipinos each year according to World Health Organization data.