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Pakistan to soon impose 'sin tax' on sugary drinks, cigarettes

ANI  |  Islamabad [Pakistan] 

may soon impose a 'sin tax' on sugary drinks and cigarettes, said the country's for National Health Services (NHS) Aamer Mehmood

"A is an internationally recognised term and is specifically levied on certain goods deemed harmful to society, for example, tobacco, candies, soft drinks, fast foods, coffee and sugar," the of the Ministry, Dr told Dawn.

Hafeez also cited India's example as one of the 45 countries around the which impose a 'sin tax' on gutka and paan masala. He further mentioned that the money collected through this tax in is spent in turn on the The consumables on which the tax is imposed cause major illnesses which burden the public exchequer.

The noted that while no figure has been zeroed down on as the tax, a hefty tariff will be imposed so as to reduce the usage of cigarettes amongst youngsters in

There have been recurring calls by the in the nation for a to be imposed.

"Recently, during a meeting with Arif Alvi, we again raised the issue of such a tax," the of the National Heart Association (PANAH), Sanaullah Ghumman said.

He further told Dawn, "The for health was also present at the meeting, and the assured us that he would do what was possible. The proposal was floated during the tenure of the former government as well but was unfortunately not implemented. And even now, I fear for its fate since it is difficult to take such a decision in the face of an influential tobacco industry."

The nation's Tobacco Control Cell's website has mentioned that there are approximately 1,60,100 tobacco-related deaths in Pakistan every year, while Pakistan's has noted that this exponentially adds to the country's health care expenses.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 19:05 IST