National Organization for Tobacco Eradication NOTE-India with Consumer VOICE, New Delhi along with Goverment of Goa organized a state level stake holders meeting and discussion on “Taxation of tobacco products“on 13th September 2022 at 3.00 PM.at secretariate, porvorim.
Chief Secretary Shri puneet Goyal was the key note speaker along with Principal Secretary and Finance secretary Shri Candavellua, mrs Ruchika Katyal ,State tax Commissioner, mr Kunal Anuj,Joint Commissioner CGST and Expert economists from Goa mr manoj kamat, Mallikarjun collage, mr Suman Gupta from Bits pilani goa campus,mr Pranab Mukhopadya from goa university, mr naresh shirodkar from DMC college, dr rajendra tambawho discussed in detail about the current status of tobacco taxation and drew a road-map for reducing tobacco consumption by leving heavy taxes on tobacco products which are sin goods harming the health of consumers.
Mr ashim Sanyal coo consumer voice delhi and mr rijo John from kochi expert were also present . Dr Devdutt sail secretary Note india , mr Ashfaq shaikh were also present.
Dr Shekhar salkar president NOTE ( india) initiated the topic and explained the risk involved in tobacco consumption on health its financial burden on the country health wise.
He also said that for every 100 rs earned as tax by govt people and government spends around 800 rs in health and related expenditure. Plus death in a family cannot be converted into financial loss.
Amongst the suggestions laid out after due deliberations it was suggested that GST council in consultation with GoM and fitment committee should consider the slab increase of forty percent GST plus additional cess on all tobacco products, they cautioned that no increase of tax for five years has made tobacco products more affordable and this should be corrected immediately.
This should be a apolitical move on covering the health issues which will generate more revenue from not only the additional taxation but also from reduced consumption of tobacco products resulting in less health care expenditure for the government.
The economist gathered also suggested that tobacco industry with less then 10 million employment overall and with alternative cropping availability should have a deadline for making India tobacco free.This includes all forms of tobacco like ciggrete, bidis and chewing tobacco, they recommend that higest per capita consumption is that of Beedis, in developing country like India occupying almost fifty five percent of the smoking space and chewing tobacco occupying almost thirty five percent of the tobacco use it is important to maximize revenues from these two product groups.
They opined that ciggrete taxation should be on a single tier basis and not on length size,they also added that single tier ciggrete taxation should be introduced to correct the anomaly of adjustments by companies.
Another suggestion came from the group that all fiscal benefits to harmful tobacco producers enjoyed by tobacco companies up to forty lakhs annually should be abolished.
Besides this there were several other suggestion and honorable Chief Secretary in his berifing with media clarified that a clear document will be issued as Goa state recommendations to strengthen the polices of the government to not only engage with the fitment committee but also with the GoM constituted for which the recommendations are being worked out.
It was concluded by Chief Secretary and Tax Commissioner that Goa will send a recommendation paper to the GoM withing the coming week on specific areas of consideration so as to convey the message that state of Goa despite enjoying a high ranking of tobacco control as per the GATS survey wants stringent implications to curb tobacco consumption across the country
The meeting concluded with a decision to a larger stakeholders group meeting shortly where view points of all experts will be documented.
Dr Shekhar Salkar