A total of 97 lawmakers have signed a letter to the finance minister urging him to increase taxes and prices on all tobacco products, including cigarettes, in the final national budget for 2022-23.
On Tuesday, the letter was handed over to National Board of Revenue Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem by the “Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health & Wellbeing.” Dr. Nizam Uddin Ahmed, executive director, and Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam, director, of the Shastho Shurokkha Foundation, the secretariat organization of the “Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health and Wellbeing,” delivered the letter.
The lawmakers recommended raising the price of lower and medium tire cigarettes and bidis in the letter to help low-income people. It also stated that if the recommendations are followed, the additional revenue could be used to meet the SDG’s target of 3.4 per cent – to reduce noncommunicable disease deaths by one-third by 2030. Raising the price of low-cost cigarettes could protect low-income smokers.