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Cigarette, Bidi to be costlier

Published : Thursday, 7 June, 2018 at 6:14 PM Count : 678


Use of cigarette, Bidi and other smokeless tobacco products are going to be costlier from the next fiscal under the new proposed budget.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith made the proposal while placing the national budget for fiscal 2018-19 at Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday.

The minister during his speech said, "Maintaining harmony with the anti-smoking state policies of the states around the world, decreasing use of tobacco, reducing health risk and increasing revenue collection are the big challenges of this sector."

The Finance minster proposed to fix the price of the low segment for every 10 sticks of cigarette at Tk 32 and above while increasing the supplementary duty rate to 55 percent.

He also proposed to increase the price of the medium segment for every 10 sticks of cigarette at Tk 48 and increase the supplementary duty rate to 65 percent. At the same time, he proposed to fix the price of the high segment for every 10 sticks of cigarette at Tk. 75 and Tk. 101 and keep the supplementary duty rate to existing 65 percent.

Muhith said, “Bidi is more harmful than cigarette. Due to the overall improvement of socio economic status, bidi smokers are gradually declining. At present, number of workers presently working in the bidi industry is also less compared to previous years. Last year, we decided to abolish bidi production within 2/3 years.”

The minister further said, “I have earlier mentioned that our Honorable Prime minister has decided to make Bangladesh a tobacco free country by 2041. In line with this commitment, we have decided to abolish bidi production by 2030 and cigarette production by 2040. So, we will not increase the price of bidi this year. However, price of 20 sticks of filter bidi will be fixed at Tk 15 from existing Tk 12.”
Smokelesss tobacco like Zarda and Gul are another two healthhazardous items like cigarette and bidi.

In order to reduce the consumption of smokeless tobacco products, the minister proposed to fix the price of Zarda and Gul based on its weight. He proposed to fix price of 10 grams of Zarda and Gul at Tk 25 for next year.

LY





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