Dr. Kholiquzzaman leads the anti-tobacco campaign

Anti-tobacco campaigners and economists yesterday demanded that the government, considering the growth of people’s purchasing capacity and per capita income, impose higher tax on tobacco products to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040.

They also demanded imposition of 15 percent value added tax (Vat) on all tobacco products, make the taxation procedure simpler, formulate a separate tax policy for tobacco, and take strict measures to bring all smokeless tobacco brands under tax.

Economist Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Chairman, National Anti-Tobacco Platform was the chief guest at the event. The special guest was Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Senior Research Fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

For the last several years, anti-tobacco activists have been demanding change in the tobacco products’ tax structure, which is very complex and old, said Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).

“Relevant government bodies like NBR [National Board of Revenue] agreed with our demands, but we didn’t see any reflection of it,” said the noted economist.

“We are again demanding to impose such a tax so that it becomes effective to increase the price of tobacco products. It will help protect people from the dangers of tobacco,” added Kholiquzzaman, also chairman of National Anti-Tobacco Platform.



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