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Tobacco Industry's profit margin increased due to shifting of tax burden on customers

12:48 AM | 6 Jun, 2023
Tobacco Industry's profit margin increased due to shifting of tax burden on customers

ISLAMABAD - The Society for the Protection of the Rights of Child (SPARC) issued a press release to highlight the Tobacco industry’s mischievous ways to earn additional profits from tobacco users. According to health activists, the government should be earning additional revenues from increased tobacco taxation, not the tobacco industry.

Malik Imran, Country Head Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said that the tobacco industry's profit margin increased due to the shifting of the tax burden on customers He further added tobacco industry’s ulterior motive is to earn hefty profits from its consumer that's why the industry has always tried to manipulate the government and tax policies into its favour.

Malik Imran said that cigarette production in May is significantly lower than the rest of the months, indicating the industry's intention to pressure the government from implementing tax increases. The tobacco industry is utilizing every platform to get benefits from its consumers as well as to gain leniency in tax earnings.

The FED shared in retail price continuously declined from 45.7 per cent in 2020-21 to 41.0 per cent in 2022-23 (Aug-Feb). During the same period, the producers' price increased from 41.1 per cent to 44.4 per cent. The overall price increase was 164 per cent and 170 per cent in tier one and tier 2 respectively. Cigarette manufacturers have also kept increasing their net-of-tax price of the economy brand increased by 121 per cent, much higher than the prevailing inflation rate.

Dr Ziauddin Islam, Former Technical Head, Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of Health, said that cigarette manufacturers have over-shifted the tax burden to consumers to increase their profitability. The Tobacco industry has used various tactics, such as front-loading and abrupt changes in production, to avoid tax hikes and influence tax policy.

Another ploy by the tobacco industry is presenting overblown figures of Illicit trade, to pressurize the government into withdrawing FED from the budget. After a tax increase of over 150 per cent in February 2023, the FED share rose to 51.6 per cent—though it has not increased as much due to tax over-shifting by the cigarette industry and remains lower than the widely-accepted benchmark of 70%. The consumer price increased by PKR 131. Similarly, the price increase of premium brands was more than the tax increase. This way, the cigarette industry has over-shifted the tax increase.

Khalil Ahmed Dogar, Program Manager, SPARC, said that the tobacco industry is directly targeting the youth’s future and the government’s economic well-being. He further added that FBR has started countering illegal cigarette packs successfully by implementing a track & trace system on tobacco. To end this tobacco menace, we must understand the underlying facts and truth of the tobacco industry’s wrong approach which only focuses on its own profits at the expense of its customers.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 20 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains marginally same against US Dollar and other currencies on April 20, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound stands at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.25 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 20 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71


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