NEW DELHI: The Union health ministry has set up an expert group to review the taxation policy for tobacco products, taking into account its implications on public health. The panel has been tasked with developing a proposal for comprehensive tax policy for tobacco products that will be crucial for the pricing policy of these products ahead of the 2022-23 Union budget.
Apart from senior bureaucrats in the health ministry, representatives from Niti Aayog, GST Council, WHO India National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and a health economist are also members of the group.
The panel will analyse the existing tax structure for all forms of tobacco and develop a roadmap for tobacco tax policy and recommend immediate steps to make India MPOWER compliant. MPOWER is an acronym of six measurable and proven tobacco-demand reduction measures and includes bans on smoking in public places and tobacco advertising as well as taxes that amount to 70% of the retail price of cigarettes.