VAT on tobacco based products should be increased to discourage smoking taking health reasons into consideration.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Mohammad Atiqul Islam made the comment while speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural function of a public awareness exhibition focusing on the dangers of abandoned cigarette butts organized by BD Clean at T&T School ground in the capital’s Banani area on Friday.
“Smoking is not only harmful for the smokers but for the whole community as well. Hence, further steps including an increase in VAT should be considered in order to discourage it,” he said.
Currently, a VAT of 15 percent is applied to all tobacco products. Excise duty on cigarettes account for just over one half of retail prices on average. However, it may see a hike in future because of initiatives to encourage a healthy community.
The DNCC Mayor paid deep tributes to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said that his consciousness is immortal. Hence, the conscious and ideals of Bangabandhu will always flow from generation to generation.
MrIslam said that the exhibition organized by the BD Clean members with 50 million cigarette filters and 3 million discarded plastic bottles collected from the roads of the country to create public awareness on the occasion of the 50 years of great victory is truly commendable.
The DNCC mayor further said, “After the use of plastic products for various purposes, users not disposing it properly, it is a cause of environmental pollution that contributes to long term issues like waterlogging. Hence, recycling of plastic products must be ensured.”
The mayor praised the overall activities of BD Clean in creating a healthy environment through cleanliness drive across the country and announced a prize of Tk 10 lakh for BD Clean. Atiqul Islam informed that Dhaka North City Corporation has already signed an agreement with China Machinery Engineering Corporation to generate electricity from waste for the first time in the history of the country. A total of 3,000 metric tons of solid waste will be used daily in the 42.5 MW power generation project in Aminbazar area of the capital.
The DNCC mayor inaugurated the public awareness exhibition as the chief guest at the end of his speech and visited the exhibition with the invited guests.
DNCC CEO MdSelim Reza, senior officials, local councillors and Farid Uddin, founder of BD Clean were present at the event, among others.