24 February 2024
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New Delhi: The Indian government has increased custom duty on cigarettes by 16 per cent, the decision was made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget 2023 on Wednesday.

Budget 2023 tabled in the Indian parliament announced a 16 per cent hike in National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) on cigarettes, which will make smoking more expensive.

The rise comes after a gap of two years, before which there had been no change in the cigarette taxation for the last couple of years. Smokers in India were hoping it would continue, but their hopes were dashed after today’s announcement.

Cigarette smokers in India

A July 2022 report by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW), a foundation that aims to end smoking, said that there are 267 million tobacco users in India.

It also said India is the second largest tobacco users in the world after China.

The report further stated that approximately 100 million people aged 15 and older currently smoke tobacco (cigarettes and bidis), while around 200 million people aged 15 and older use smokeless tobacco.

Tobacco use is significantly higher among men (42.4 per cent) versus women (14.2 per cent), the report added.

When new cigarette price will come into effect?

If you are a chain smoker or addicted to cigarette, make sure you have a good bank balance or can quickly develop habit to cut on smoking.

Smoking cigarette will now just not affect your lungs but also will burn hole in your pocket.

The cost of cigarettes or the new increased price is expected to go up as early as Thursday (2 February).

Smokers abuzz social media

Soon after the decision was announced by Sitharaman, social media was inundated with jokes and memes, people expressing their reaction to the government’s decision.

A user called the decision “one of the best proposals” in the Budget 2023.

Apart from cigarettes, basic custom duties on gold bars and kitchen electric chimneys have also been increased.

Imitation jewellery, imported toys, and electric vehicle imports are going to get expensive after Budget 2023 announcement.

Mobile phones and TV sets manufactured in India will get cheaper.

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Abdul Gh Lone

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