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Progga criticises ‘anti-public health’ budget

UNB, Dhaka

Anti-tobacco group Progga has labelled the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Years as anti-public health and ineffective to reduce tobacco consumption. “The budget leaves cigarette tax rates and price slabs untouched which will benefit tobacco companies,” Progga Executive Director ABM Zubair said in a statement on Friday.

He said that considering factors such as inflation and increase in per capita income, this hike in tobacco price will do “absolutely nothing” in encouraging low-income people to cut tobacco use and discouraging potential new users and the youth from lighting up.

The budget also keeps the existing 45 per cent corporate tax on cigarette, bidi and smokeless tobacco companies. The 2.5 per cent health development surcharge on the income of tobacco businesses is also in place.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive was to build a tobacco-free nation by 2040 by adopting a strong tobacco taxation policy.  “Unfortunately, the proposed budget does not reflect the directive of the PM and frustrates the anti-tobacco activists,” Zubair said.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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