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Centre forms panel to recommend tobacco taxation policy to cut demand

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 19

The government has constituted a nine-member expert committee to develop a roadmap for tobacco tax policy and recommend immediate steps to be taken for making India compliant with the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control by way of raising taxes on tobacco to reduce demand.

The committee has been told to analyse the current tax structure of all forms of tobacco and suggest options and models of tax rates and standards for consideration in the Budget of 2022-2023 and future budget sessions.

The committee will have among members Vikas Sheel, additional secretary health, Pulkesh Kumar, deputy secretary health as coordinator, Rijo John, health economist, one representative each of NITI Aayog, tax research unit of the Finance Ministry, GST Council, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and WHO country office.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its guidelines provide the foundation for countries to implement and manage tobacco control.

To help make this a reality, WHO introduced the MPOWER measures which are intended to assist in the country-level implementation of effective interventions to reduce the demand for tobacco, contained in the WHO FCTC.

The committee has been told to make recommendations to ensure India becomes MPOWER compliant with the highest level of achievement.

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