Bangladeshi government will increase taxes on tobacco products..

April 1, 2009 - The increase will be part of the next fiscal budget (July 2009-June 2010), its news agency BSS quoted a senior official as saying. During a meeting with a local research organization Unnayan Samannay (Development Coordination) recently, Chairman of the Bangladesh's National Board of Revenue (NBR) Abdul Mazid said the purpose of increasing tax on cigarettes and tobacco products is not to boost revenue but to protect public health. Mazid said imposition of higher tax would help downsize usuage of tobacco items in the country.

The NBR chairman further said, "We have to increase taxes on the tobacco products each year, as Bangladesh signed a United Nations agreement against tobacco. Under the rules, the country has already restricted advertisement, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products and smoking of cigarettes in public places and made warning on cigarette packets mandatory.

Bangladesh is the first signatory of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and 20th ratifier in the world, Following this the government of Bangladesh enacted the Bangladesh Tobacco Control Act 2005.

Nearly two-thirds of the world's smokers live in 10 countries: China, which accounts for nearly 30 percent, India with about 10 percent, Indonesia, Russia, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Germany and Turkey.

Reference:Bangladesh to increase tax on cigarettes, other tobacco products, BSS News Agency, 3/30/2009.

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