Additional revenue can contribute to necessities like vaccinations and can also be utilised to augment health infrastructure to prepare for a possible third wave, say public health groups
Hyderabad: Public health groups, doctors and others have urged the GST council to increase compensation on all tobacco products to generate additional revenue for the government.
Appealing to the GST council before its meeting on May 28, the groups urged to consider levying compensation cess on all tobacco products, saying this additional revenue can contribute to necessities like vaccinations and can also be utilised to augment health infrastructure to prepare for a possible third wave.
“Increasing compensation cess on all tobacco products will be a win-win proposition as it will bring in substantial revenue for the government while motivating millions of tobacco users to quit and preventing youngsters from initiating tobacco use,” says Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Association of India.
Emphasising on how the increased taxes will discourage tobacco use as well, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, a cancer surgeon, said, “Tobacco users have greater risk of death following Covid-19. Increasing taxes will reduce the consumption and will limit their vulnerability to Covid-19 and its complications.” There have not been any major increase in tobacco taxes since the introduction of GST in July 2017.