Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 06:25 AM IST

Proposed 26 pct sin rate on Tobacco to negatively impact revenue, public health

Updated: Nov 02, 2016 12:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 2 (ANI-BusinessWireIndia): India has the second largest number of tobacco users (275 million or 35 percent of all adults in India) in the world - of these at least one million die every year from tobacco related diseases. Tobacco-use imposes enormous health and economic costs on the country.

There is certainly an overarching consensus that goods that are harmful to society categorized as "sin" such as tobacco be taxed at the highest rate under GST as recommended in the Chief Economic Advisor report which seeks a 40 percent GST sin rate on all tobacco products including cigarettes, bidis and chewing tobacco.

The GST council meeting that concluded on October 20th proposed a much

lower 26 percent GST sin rate which would have significant impact on the revenue as well as the health of our nation, both of which require serious consideration.

Dr. Rijo John, Assistant Professor, IIT Jodhpur, "Compared to a GST Sin rate of 40 percent, imposing a 26 percent Sin rate would reduce total tobacco tax revenue by almost one fifth (17 percent, or roughly Rs.10, 510 crore) even if the government retains the current excise on tobacco products post GST. Clearly, 26 percent Sin rate will be well below the rate required to maintain a revenue neutral position for tobacco and will significantly reduce tax burden on ALL tobacco products since the existing average VAT rates themselves are higher than 26 percent on most tobacco products."

Tobacco-use imposes enormous health and economic costs on the country. The total direct and indirect cost of diseases attributable to tobacco use was a staggering Rupees 1.04 lakh crore (USD 17 billion) in 2011 or 1.16 percent of India's GDP.

"A much lower GST rate would make all tobacco products even more affordable to youth and other vulnerable populations, leading to the impact of the tobacco epidemic becoming more severe driving up health care costs and resulting in productivity losses. This will certainly lead to an increased number of fatalities per year, which is not a good news for any country. I firmly believe and urge that the government should tax the tobacco products at very high rate to ensure it discourages mass consumption" Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, Oncologist, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

Approximately 48 percent of men and 20 percent of women consume tobacco (35 percent of the adult population overall) - of these at least 10 lakh are dying each year from tobacco related diseases. Bidis comprise 48 percent of the tobacco market, chewing tobacco 38 percent and cigarettes 14 percent so it is evident that bidis account for a significant portion of those deaths.

According to Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, CEO, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) "The current tobacco tax differentiates significantly between various forms of tobacco products (such as bidis, smokeless tobacco and cigarettes). Continuing to sell cheap, virtually tax-exempt bidis to the underprivileged, even in the new GST system, will ensure that the poor continue to be trapped in vicious cycle of poverty and ill health, exacerbated by affordability and addiction which causes them to spend more on tobacco and less on food, healthcare and education. We would urge the central and state governments to tax all forms of tobacco including bidis at the highest tax rates under GST regime, to insulate the population from its ill effects."

According to, Ashim Sanyal, COO, Consumer VOICE "With 85 percent of smoked tobacco being consumed as Bidis, a large percentage of the 10 lakh tobacco related deaths occur because of bidi use. Therefore, treating bidis under the highest category for sin products to attract maximum tax would not only save the lives of lakhs of poor Indians but would also help reduce the overwhelming health disparities between various strata of society. The government should treat such issues on a priority basis and ensure that there is no distinction made amongst all forms of tobacco and are taxed at highest possible rates so as to keep our most vulnerable populations away from falling prey to it."

"I lost my husband at a young age due to tobacco. I am suffering because of a

wrong 'personal choice' made by him. I and my two daughters were not only pained emotionally but devastated financially. How can even anyone think of giving any kind of subsidy to this factory of widows and orphans? Government should not be seen supporting an industry that destroys 10 lac families each year for amassing vulgar profits." Sumitra Pednekar, wife of Maharashtra's former home and labour minister Satish Pednekar , who died of oral cancer.

Based on current scenarios under consideration, a 40 percent Sin rate combined with the existing excise tax and top-up state rights to tax tobacco appears to be the best scenario for public health and revenue. This will not only help us maintain the current tax burden on tobacco, and will prevent more Indians from falling prey to life-threatening diseases and caught in a cycle of perpetual poverty. (ANI-BusinessWireIndia)

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): Cloudatix Biz India Ventures Pvt. Ltd, a young research startup emerging as a Smart City Solutions provider and Mediaguru, a global media services company that specializes in the entire life cycle of digital asset management services, digitization and monetization, recently launched 'Startup Accelerator Program and Internet College'.

Full Story >>

Dong Nai [Vietnam]/Tokyo[Japan], Mar.29 (ANI): Vietnam is experiencing a rapid economic growth as customers' purchasing abilities have increased that leads to opening up of supermarkets.

Full Story >>

Rajya Sabha passes Finance Bill

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 17:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Finance Bill after various amendments presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): G-20 Framework Working Group (FWG) in its third meeting at Varanasi held discussions over the state of the global economy as well asG-20 agenda on inclusive growth and reports on strong, sustainable and balanced growth and G-20 enhanced structural reform agenda among others.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): A consortium of Siemens and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. has been awarded an order from Power Grid Corporation of India, the central transmission utility of India, to supply a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): TiE Delhi-NCR, the world's largest network of successful entrepreneurs and professionals presents the sixth edition of India Internet Day to facilitate all conversations around India's aspirations as a future world leader and sustained, well-distributed growth of our vibrant economy.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): India's first mobile app based B2B E-commerce player WYDR has announced hiring of Alok Varman as their new Vice President, Operations.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): India's healthcare apex body NATHEALTH on Wednesday announced its new leadership team for the year 2017-18.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): Leading open digital payments company PayPal has announced its partnership with Vistarooms.com to enable foreign travelers travelling to India book hotels in a safe and seamless manner and on a platform they are familiar with.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): APUS Group, China's fastest growing unicorn with over 510 million global users has acquired Venture Catalysts-backed Siftr Labs for an undisclosed amount.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): The 33rd Edition of India Carpet Expo, Organized by Carpet Export Promotion Council at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, has received overwhelming response from around 350 buyers from across the world in the second day of the Expo. India Carpet Expo "Showcasing new Fall-winter collection, as per the buyers' requirements in terms of size, design, color and quality which is grabbing the interest of the buyers.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Lakshya Digital, India's leading game art development company is hosting the 'Keywords Game Art Summit' from March 28 to 31 March at Gurugram, to discuss India's growing prominence as a game art development hub for top publishers across the world.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): Citizen engagement platform LocalCircles conducted a poll regarding the impact of the Maternity Bill on employment figures among women in SMEs and Startups. The poll registered more than 4300 startups, SMEs and entrepreneurs as participants.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): FutureDial, a provider of device processing solutions partnered with Rocking Deals in order to examine and certify the quality of refurbished products that are being sold in the Indian market.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI-NewsVoir): Home Credit, one of the fastest growing NBFCs in India that has completed five years of operations in the country has emerged as the market leader in small ticket size loans.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI): India's 'star serial entrepreneur' Sandeep Aggarwal announced plans of investing Rs. 20 Crore in up to 12 start-ups by the end of this year, in the areas of healthcare, tech and retail.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday called the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill revolutionary, saying it will benefit all with the free movement of goods across the country.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI-NewsVoir): GoDaddy, the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, today announced the launch of GoDaddy's new Website Builder combining a mobile optimized website builder with an integrated set of marketing and e-commerce tools, making it easy for small businesses in India to attract visitors and drive results.

Full Story >>

Astana Expo-2017 road show held in Delhi

Updated: Mar 29, 2017 11:39 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar.29 (ANI): With less than three months to go for Expo-2017, an international exposition scheduled to take place between June 10 and September 10, 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in India and two leading tour operators of India and Kazakhstan --Sayat Travel (Kazakhstan) and Salvia Travels Pvt. Ltd. (India) - organised a road show on the theme "Travel the Great Silk Road and visit Astana Expo-2017" here.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 29 (ANI-NewsVoir): Opple, a global integrated lighting solutions company and one of world's Leading LED Lighting brand launched a unique and innovatively designed light, Twinkle Star. This is Opple's newest addition to their range of home luminaries.

Full Story >>