Health Desk—June 11, 2017: Anti-tobacco campaigners on Saturday demanded an increase in tax rates on tobacco products as the proposed taxation policy for fiscal 2017-18 will keep the items within people's reach and following that they will be encouraged in this regard.
They made the observations at a press conference jointly organised by Progotir Jonno Gyan (Progga) and Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) in association with different anti-tobacco campaigning organisations at Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
In his speech, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, said, youths slowly become addicted to various drugs after getting used to consuming tobacco products such as cigarette. However, its price was not increased according to people's affordability.
Brig (retd) Prof Abdul Malik, founder of National Heart Foundation, said the government spends double the amount it earns from the tobacco sector for patients suffering from diseases caused by tobacco.
Among others, Prof Rumana Haque of Dhaka University, former National Board of Revenue Member Mohammad Aminur Rahman and ATMA Convenor Liton Hayder also spoke in the event.
However, the speakers said that tax on tobacco products such as cigarettes was not increased in accordance with last year's increased buying power of consumers, per capita income and inflation.