A total of 24 anti-tobacco organisations have called for increasing the prices and taxes of harmful tobacco products in the recently proposed national budget of fiscal year 2021-22.
They also lauded the 154 MP's who recommended for amendment of the Tobacco Control Act and tax hike, said a press release.
The organisations came up with the request at a virtual press conference on Tuesday in reaction the proposed budget.
SM Abdullah, Associate Professor of Dhaka University, while delivering the keynote, said considering the increase in per capita income and inflation in one year, the real price of all tobacco products has come down as compared to the previous year.
This will increase the use of tobacco by existing users and encourage teenagers and youth to start using tobacco, he said.
Speakers at the press conference, said without introducing a Specific Taxation system, the government will lose a huge amount of revenue.
However, by imposing specific supplementary duties on tobacco, the government would get an additional revenue of tk 3,400 crore, which could be used to deal with the damage caused by the Corona epidemic, they suggested.
AID Foundation, ARK Foundation, Bangladesh Cancer Society, Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA), BCCP, Bangladesh Network for tobacco Tax Policy (BNTTP), Bureau of Economic Research BER), Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), Development Activities of Society (DAS), Dhaka International University (DIU), Development Organisation of the Rural Poor-DORP, Grambangla Unnayan Committee (GUC), NATAB, National Heart Foundation (NHF), Pratyasha Anti-drug Organization, Progga, Shastho Shurokkha Foundation (SSF), SUPRO, Tamak Birodhi Nari Jote (TABINAJ), Tobacco Control & Research Cell (TCRC), Unnayan Shamannay, Voice, Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) and Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), organised the press conference.
Professor Dr Golam Mohiuddin Faruque, Oncologist and Project director of Bangladesh Cancer Society moderated the event.
Professor Dr Nasiruddin Ahmed, Former chairman of NBR; Professor Dr Rumana Huque, Department of Economics of University of Dhaka and Convener of BNTTP; Professor Sohel Reza Choudhury, Head of Department of Epidemiology and Research, National Heart Foundation; Saifuddin Ahmed, coordinator of Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance; Farida Akhter, Coordinator of Tamak Birodhi Nari Jote (Tabinaj); Advocate Syed Mahbubul Alam, Technical Adviser of The Union; Iqbal Masood, Director of Health Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission; Dr Nazim Uddin Ahmed, Executive Director of Shastho Shurokkha Foundation and Hasan Shahriar, Head of Programme of PROGGA have expressed their opinions there.