Narendra Modi’s government has taken stunning measures to protect the health of the people. The government has increased excise duty on Cigarettes to abnormal rates. The existing 11% tax is increasing to a whopping 72%. Similarly the taxes of Gutkhas and Pan Masalas are also increased to a big 60%. As these companies have the history of transferring tax burden on to their customers, the prices of all these are going to skyrocket now.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Harsha Vardhan asked the government to increase tax of these so as to safeguard the health of the public. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said these measures are needed keeping public’s health in mind and he hopes everyone will appreciate it. Along with these, Jaitley also impose tax of 5% on aerated cold drinks and sodas.
Till now, India is the one of the cheapest places to buy cigarettes in the world. A medium-sized cigarettes packet here will cost around Rs 150. The same costs around Rs 250 in the US. In India the rates are comparable to other developing countries and are very affordable for most people. Government has hiked the prices as they hope people will reduce smoking to save money.