Medical experts urge to impose levy on tobacco

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Islamabad:  The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), health activists emphasized the urgent need for the implementation of the Tobacco Health Levy in Pakistan, a measure that has been pending since 2019. The levy, if executed in a timely manner, could have generated an additional revenue of 250 billion Pakistani Rupees for the national exchequer. This substantial amount could have been utilized to enhance healthcare infrastructure and sustain efforts in tobacco control.
Dr. Khalil Ahmad Dogar, Program Manager at SPARC, said that the Tobacco Health Levy, pending since 2019, presents a crucial opportunity for Pakistan to bolster its healthcare infrastructure and fortify the ongoing efforts in tobacco control. The potential additional revenue of 250 billion Rupees could significantly contribute to the betterment of public health, particularly for our children. It is imperative that the caretaker government takes swift action and moves towards the immediate implementation of this bill.
Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Director at Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, stated that the delay in implementing the Tobacco Health Levy is a missed chance for Pakistan to address critical public health concerns and generate substantial revenue for the national exchequer. With the potential to inject 250 billion Rupees into healthcare and tobacco control efforts, this levy could pave the way for a healthier future. We urge the caretaker government to seize this opportunity and prioritize the immediate implementation of the Tobacco Health Levy.
He further urged the government to consider the immense benefits that the timely implementation of the Tobacco Health Levy can bring to the nation’s health and economy. This will send a much-needed message to the general public that the government remains committed to the protection of children’s rights and the improvement of public health in Pakistan.

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