A total of 97 lawmakers have signed a letter addressing the finance minister to protect public health, recommending increase in taxes and prices of all kinds of tobacco products including cigarettes in the 2022-23 final national budget.
The letter, initiated by the “Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health & Wellbeing”, was handed over to National Board of Revenue Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem on Tuesday, read a press release.
The letter was handed over by Dr Nizam Uddin Ahmed, executive director and Dr Md. Rafiqul Islam, director, of Shastho Shurokkha Foundation, the secretariat organisation of “Bangladesh Parliamentary Forum for Health & Wellbeing”.
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In the letter, the lawmakers recommended increasing the price of lower and medium tire cigarettes and bidis to save low-income people.
It also mentioned that, if the recommendations are implemented, the additional revenue could be used to achieve SDG's target of 3.4 per cent - to reduce non-communicable disease deaths by one-third by 2030. Increasing the price of low-end cigarettes could protect low-income cigarette users.