ISLAMABAD: New tobacco reforms would reduce cigarette consumption ratio in the country by 42 percent, a representative of Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) said today.
Speaking at a media conference titled ‘Tobacco-free kids’, Legal Advisor PANAH Malik Imran said the tobacco tax reforms model would also cut down smoking prevalence in adult from the current 10.4 percent to about 8.3 percent in three years. Malik Imran said the measure would also help reduce the number of smoking-related deaths among current and future smokers by about 11 percent, making up to about 1.1 million persons.
The conference, organized by Society for the Protection of the Child (SPARC) in collaboration with the Human Development Foundation and PANAH model of tobacco tax reforms, discussed tobacco taxation with a concrete proposal for tobacco tax reforms and recommend solutions to the federal government on short term (Fiscal Years 2019/20), medium term (FY 2020/21) and long term basis (FY 2021/22).
The participants urged the government to implement measures to further strengthen the tax system by increasing the excise tax to reduce cigarette affordability. They also called for harmonizing all taxes across tobacco products and full implementation of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Tobacco Trade, particularly the measures for supply and chain control, such as license, tracking and tracing, and record keeping, besides aligning the protocol with the legislation on prosecutions and sanctions for tax evasion.
According to estimates by SPARC, it is predicted that the tax reform will generate significant additional total tax revenue of about Rs 205.9 billion over three years, equivalent to an average annual increase in total tax revenue of about 51 percent (or about Rs 32.3 billion per year). The experts anticipated an increase in the excise tax share in the price from about 45.9 percent currently to 57.6 percent, somewhat closer to the 70 percent level recommended by the World Health Organization.
Pakistan’s economic condition has improved: Dr Reza Baqir
ISLAMABAD: State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir, while addressing a press conference here, has said that Pakistan’s economic condition was improving due to the positive policies taken by the government.
“Our external deficit and fiscal deficit are being addressed according to our economic plan,” he said, adding the government was striving hard to bring economic stability in the country.
He said that the government was taking measures to restore people’s confidence in the economy and added that Pakistan’s economic future was bright. In the past, government had been interfering in the exchange rate system, he added.
The SBP governor said that the burden of external debt payments reduced due to the devaluation of rupee. He said that exchange rate policy was the part of reform process. Baqir said that the government was not taking loan from SBP during the current fiscal year.
Earlier on June 14, good economic policies ensured a strong national economy, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had said.
The adviser was addressing a gathering of the Council of Foreign Relations in Karachi. The governments in the past failed to devise the policies for lasting economic development, the finance adviser had said.
Nahakki Tunnel opened for traffic
ISLAMABAD: The 745-meter-long Nahakki Tunnel has been completed in Mohmand Agency.
The tunnel has been opened for all kinds of traffic as well. Locals talking to a private news channel said after the construction of the tunnel, traveling of five hours has been reduced to merely 2.5 hours.
People said they were happy with this infrastructure as it would facilitate them in traveling and save time.
Turkey hits out at Moody’s after credit rating cut
ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday lambasted Moody’s ratings agency after it cut Ankara’s credit rating further into junk territory, saying the downgrade raised concerns over the institution’s “objectivity and impartiality”.
The agency downgraded the long-term debt rating to B1 from Ba3 and said it maintained the negative outlook for Turkey, in a statement late Friday.
Although the country had a “large, diverse economy” and government debt was low, Moody’s said this was outweighed increasingly by “continued erosion in institutional strength and policy effectiveness on investor confidence”.
But the Turkish treasury and finance ministry said the move was “incompatible with the Turkish economy’s fundamental indicators”.
“As a result, this raises questions over the objectivity and impartiality of the body’s analyses,” the ministry added in a statement.
It pointed to rising tourism revenues, falling inflation, and a new judicial reform package as examples of “very positive developments that we sadly see are being ignored”.
The Turkish economy entered into recession for the first time in a decade last year following a currency crisis in the summer amid tensions with the United States.
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