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Nadeem Jan calls for 50pc increase in taxation to deter smoking among youth

05:39 PM | 17 Mar, 2024
Nadeem Jan calls for 50pc increase in taxation to deter smoking among youth

ISLAMABAD – Former Federal Minister for National Health Services Dr Nadeem Jan called for a significant increase in cigarette taxation by 50% to deter smoking among the population, especially the youth, due to serious health risks. 
Dr Jan stressed the importance of higher taxes as a measure to make cigarettes less accessible and to combat tobacco-related health issues effectively.
During an anti-tobacco awareness session hosted by the Center for Research and Dialogue and IBC, he critically addressed the cigarette industry’s claims that higher taxes would lead to a surge in illicit trade, labeling these assertions as misleading tactics aimed at persuading the government to lower taxes on tobacco products. Dr. Jan pointed out the adverse impact of such misinformation on state revenues and public health. Despite industry pressures, he highlighted the efforts of the health ministry to implement policies to reduce smoking rates in Pakistan.
Dr Jan advocated for the adoption of a single-tier taxation system to replace the current multi-tier system, which was influenced by the cigarette industry under the pretext of combating illicit trade. 
The introduction of a third-tier in 2017 led to a significant drop in government revenue, prompting investigations by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Senate into the financial losses incurred. The national exchequer suffered a staggering Rs 567 billion loss during last seven years due to various tactics used by the industry and inefficient tax collection.
Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), he called for a unified pricing system to simplify regulation and discourage tobacco use. Malik Imran, Country Head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also spoke at the session, emphasizing the economic burden of tobacco consumption on the country, estimated at an annual loss of Rs615 billion. Imran criticized the tobacco industry’s undue influence on government policy and its unfounded warnings against tax increases, which contradict the industry’s record-high revenues and the government’s doubled revenue from the previous financial year.
Both speakers underscored the necessity of stringent regulation and public awareness to counter the tobacco industry’s misleading claims and propaganda, including on social media platforms, advocating for a significant tax increase on tobacco products as supported by the World Bank’s findings.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan Today - Pak Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Riyal 22 May 2024

 Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on May 22, 2024 (Wednesday) in open market.

USD to PKR rate today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.15 for buying and 280.05 for selling.

Euro moved down to 297 for buying and 300 for selling while British Pound rate is 349 for buying, and 352.5 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.25 and Saudi Riyal came down to 73.50.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 22 May 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.15 277.15
Euro EUR 297 300
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349 352.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.95
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.45 74.2
Australian Dollar AUD 183 184.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.34 748.34
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.51 38.91
Danish Krone DKK 40.52 40.92
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.34 3.45
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.3 912.3
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.34 59.94
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.11 172.11
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.92 26.22
Omani Riyal OMR 723.13 731.13
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203 205
Swedish Korona SEK 25.98 26.28
Swiss Franc CHF 305.97 308.47
Thai Bhat THB 7.67 7.82

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