ISLAMABAD           -        Speakers on Tuesday urged government to impose Rs1 health tax on sugary drinks as it will add around Rs 10 billion in national exchequer.

The activists also urged the government to increase taxes on tobacco products in a press conference here.

ZahidShafiq, Program Manager HDF stated that now is the high time for the government to increase taxes on tobacco products to save our youth from this menace. 

He stated that currently the government is facing a financial crunch due to the pandemic. He added that the total economic cost of smoking in Pakistan was estimated at Rs143 billion in 2012. This includes direct healthcare costs and costs due to lost productivity, according to a 2018 report entitled Global Economic of Smoking-Attributable Diseases.

By levying a surcharge of Rs10/pack of cigarette, the government can generate up to 40 billion in revenues. Moreover, if the government levies a surcharge of Rs1/250ml of sugary drinks, around 8 to 10 billion more can be generated in revenues. These additional revenues can help in facilitating the relief packages that the government has announced.