Cigarettes, liquid nicotine, vape devices get pricier

A saleswoman holds an e-cigarette as she demonstrates vaping at the Vape Shop that sells e-cigarette products in Beijing, China on 30 January, 2019.

The finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday proposed to increase the price slabs of all types of cigarettes in the proposed budget for the fiscal 2023-2024.

The finance minister made the proposal while unveiling the budget for the fiscal 2023-24 in the parliament.

He recommended increasing the price level of low slab 10-sticks/pack cigarettes to Tk 45 and higher and supplementary duty to 58 per cent.

Apart from this, he proposed to increase the price level of medium slab 10-sticks/pack cigarettes to Tk 67 and higher, high slab to Tk 113 and higher and premium slab to Tk 150 and higher and the rate of supplementary duty for these three slabs to remain unchanged.

However, the minister proposed to keep unchanged the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of non-filtered 25-172 stick or pack bidi at Tk 18, 12-stick or pack bidi at Tk 9 and 8-stick or pack bidi at Tk 6 and 30 per cent supplementary duty for all.

Terming the tobacco products like liquid nicotine are harmful to health, the finance minister recommended imposing 150 per cent supplementary duty on those products at import stage.

The finance minister said electronic cigarettes and similar personal electric vaporising (vape) devices are also harmful to health. The duty rates of the complete goods and its parts are not the same. Therefore, to equalise the total tax incidence at import stage, the government proposed to increase the total tax incidence of parts to 212.20 per cent.

The budget speech this year is titled "Unnayner Agrayatra Periye Smart Bangladesher Abhimukhe" (Towards a Smart Bangladesh after the march of development).

The size of the budget this time is Tk 7.6 trillion which was approved in a cabinet meeting presided over by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the parliament.

The target of income in the budget would be Tk 5 trillion (500,000 crore). Of the amount, the target of income of National Board of Revenue (NBR) will be Tk 4.3 trillion.

The deficit in the budget will be more than Tk 2.5 trillion. The GDP growth target in the upcoming budget would be 7.5 per cent while the inflation rate would be 6.5 per cent.