The consumers’ legal protection forum (CLPF), Assam has asked the state government to increase prices on all Tobacco products as a means of generating additional revenue for the Covid-19 fight. The recommendation comes amid a devastating second wave of Covid-19 infections and deaths in the state.
The forum has urged the GST council to consider it an extraordinary measure because tax revenue from Tobacco could significantly contribute to the increased need for resources during the pandemic. According to the recommendations, the Extra Taxes levied will help augment the health infrastructure of the state to prepare for a possible third wave. The recommendations further asserted, “Increasing Tobacco Taxes in these challenging times will be a win-win Policy as it can address the economic shock from Covid-19 pandemic and directly reduce Covid-19 related co-morbidities.”
Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam today submitted a letter to Ajanta Neog, Finance Minister, Assam along with the Samir Kr. Sinha, Principal Secretary, Finance; Rakesh Agarwala, Commissioner of Taxes, Assam and urged them to raise the issue of compensation tax on Tobacco products in the next GST council meeting expected to be held on 28 May.