Anti-tobacco organizations call for increased GST on tobacco products

Sep 15, 2022 | 07:17 IST

Anti-tobacco organizations call for increased GST on tobacco products

A Goa state-level symposium on tobacco products called for the GST to be increased from 28% to 40%; India produces 10% of the world’s tobacco, the second largest producer and consumer

Team Herald

PANJIM: VOICE of Delhi Consumers and National Tobacco Eradication Organization (NOTE) – India has urged the GST Board to levy the highest tax of 40% on all types of products in the tobacco, including cigarettes. Currently, the tax on tobacco products is 28%.

The call was made at a state-level symposium organized by Consumer VOICE and NOTE-India, on Tobacco Product Taxation, engaging experts in the field of economics and government officials, at Porvorim Secretariat. The symposium was chaired by Secretary General PK Goel.

After the meeting, Goel said that tobacco products contribute 1% to GDP and the cost is almost 5% in terms of health care. He said 10% of tobacco is produced in India compared to 11% of tobacco produced globally. India is the second largest tobacco producing and consuming country.

Goel said that while one of the challenges is finding an alternative source of livelihood for those involved in production, COPTA needs to be made stricter to deter tobacco chewing and smoking. He said that heavy smokers had become chronic smokers and that a hand should be reached out to these smokers/addicts to discourage them.

Dr. Shekhar Salkar said that in Goa smoking decreased by 4% according to the last two studies. But there is a slight increase in smokeless tobacco in the villages. He said that Goa is the best state when it comes to tobacco use and accounts for 9.5% of the total tobacco use in the country.

Stating that there is no safe limit for tobacco, Salkar strongly advocated the need for a long-term strategy to quit smoking.

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