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Islamabad: Speakers at a webinar highlighted that the need for tobacco taxation is one of the clauses of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme which Pakistan needs to abide by.

Read: Pakistan to opt in New Program for Debt Relief

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Nausheen Hamid said that tobacco taxation and related health issues need constant monitoring and the federal government was committed to coming up with such systems.

The webinar was organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Tuesday titled ‘Fiscal Intervention for Health Policy; advocating the case of imposing higher taxes on tobacco regime’.

Ms Hamid said tax evasion in the tobacco industry results in a loss of billions of rupees to the national economy, mainly in health costs and a trace and track system needs to be established urgently.

Read: Pakistan wins WHO award for anti-tobacco campaign

Social Policy and Development Centre Managing Director Dr Asif Iqbal said that the three-tier system had resulted in an increase of low-quality tobacco consumption in Pakistan.

He suggested that a 30 percent increase in the Federal Excise Duty (FED), will increase not only the tax revenue by Rs 19 billion of tobacco products but also drop the consumption rate by around 3.8 percent.

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