The government has significantly raised the prices of tobacco products to curb consumption.
In the proposed budget, the price of a 10-stick pack of premium cigarette was raised to Tk 123 from Tk 105.
If the budget gets approved, the retail price of a 20-stick premium pack will be about Tk 246 from Tk 210.
In the high segment, a 10-stick pack is set at Tk 93, up Tk 18 from the previous price.
“Considering the health-risk and harmful effects of tobacco products and to maintain compliance with global anti-smoking policy, we are committed to reduce the use of tobacco,” reads the budget proposal.
Ten cigarettes in the next segment would now rise to Tk 63, from Tk 48.
Of the retail price of the top three segments, the government will get 65 percent supplementary duty (SD), 15 percent VAT and 1 percent surcharge.
Price of 10 sticks of low segment cigarettes was increased from Tk 35 to Tk 37, of which 55 percent would be SD.
Compared to expensive ones, prices of cheaper cigarettes will not change much.
For bidi, the price of 25 non-filter sticks is proposed at Tk 14 with 35 percent in SD and 20 filtered ones at Tk 17 with 40 percent in SD.
To curb the consumption of zarda and gul, the finance minister proposed setting the prices of 10gm of zarda at Tk 30 and gul at Tk 15, with 50 percent in SD.
Anti-tobacco campaigners said the tobacco companies would benefit as tax rates remained unchanged.
Prices of a stick of low-segment cigarette have been increased by 20 paisa or 5.7 percent. However, the per capita income increased by 11.32 in the last one year, anti-tobacco campaigner Progga said in a statement.
An industry insider, seeking anonymity, said the government move would increase tax evasion by some companies.