ADIC highlights delay in increasing Excise Duty on cigarettes

16 July 2019 - 251   - 0

The Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) has highlighted a delay in implementing the Finance Ministry’s gazette on increasing excise taxes on cigarettes.

According to a gazette signed by the Finance Minister on July 10, excise taxes for a batch of 1000 cigarettes which measure between 67 mm – 72 mm in length were to be increased upto Rs 37,000 from July 11 onwards.

This would also mean that the price of a cigarette would go up by at least Rs 15, since tobacco companies revise market prices in keeping with tax rates.

“...according to our findings from price inquiries in the market, prices of Bristol and Navy Cut brand cigarettes belonging to the mentioned length has not been increased even by July 14,” ADIC noted.

The gazette issued on July 10 had replaced the previous Excise Duty of Rs 20,500 imposed on the similar cigarette variety through a gazette issued on March 05.

“Experts in the field have been consistently demonstrating the need for a tax increase for cigarettes of this length, however it has not been implemented for a very long time,” the ADIC said.

While commending the decision to increase taxes for cigarettes, the drug authority stated that there is room for suspicion since the latest gazette has not been formally released to the public.

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