The Finance Minister has proposed to fix the price of cigarette considering the health-risk and harmful effects of tobacco products.
The lowest slab of cigarette has been fixed at Tk. 23 from existing Tk. 18 and the supplementary duty rate increased to 50 percent from existing 48 percent.
Bangladesh is a signatory to WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), said the minister in his budget speech on Thursday.
"For a long time, it has been a tradition on the part of the Government to fix the price limit of cigarette for the sake of revenue collection though it does not go with the spirit of the market economy," he said.
The price for the medium and high segment cigarettes which are currently at Tk. 45 and above would not be increased. But, he proposed to increase the supplementary duty rate of these two segments from existing 61 percent and 63 percent to 62 percent and 64 percent respectively.
Currently, the price of 25 sticks of non-filter and 20 sticks of filter bidi stands at Tk. 7.06 and Tk. 7.98 respectively.
"Due to its easy availability, large number of people smoke this product and become vulnerable to health risk, he mentioned.
He proposed to rationalize the existing tariff value and supplementary duty of this two kinds of bidi by raising the SD rate from 25 percent and 30 percent to 30 percent and 35 percent respectively.
As a result, the price of 25 sticks of non-filter and 20 sticks of filter bidi will stand at Tk. 10.61 and Tk. 12.03 respectively.
Muhith also proposed to enhance the supplementary duty on the tobacco products like Jarda and Gul from 60 percent to 100 percent as these are equally injurious to health like bidi and cigarette.