Tobacco Products Would be More Expensive in Pune
As per the steps initiated by the Pune Municipal Corporation, it has been stated that the overall octroi charges on tobacco products would be hiked, so as to gather more revenue for the same, from the sale of tobacco products. This in turn ensures that pipes, tobacco cigars as well as regular cigarettes, would be included in the price hike. The octroi on tobacco products was 8% up till now but with the new proposal, the octroi would be increased to 15%. Nonetheless, the Pune Municipal Corporation would need to seek the permission of the state before charging the increased octroi rates on the existing tobacco cigarettes companies. An increase in octroi can only be applicable when this special permission has been granted from the state authorities.
The year before, the state of Pune earned revenue of Rs 17.84 crore from octroi sales and this year, they have collected Rs 19.52 crore, which in turn is an increment in terms of the total revenue earned by the state in a financial year. While the total state revenue owing to the increased octroi rates is bound to rake in 15 crores more annually, the fact remains that a higher rate of octroi on tobacco products would put a leash on the rising number of smoking enthusiasts the world over. As per several research studies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been on the rise ever since the total number of smokers have increased in the city.
The general body meeting in Pune, considered the increment in the prices of tobacco products in the state after witnessing the rise in cigarette smokers and the increasing health hazards, which cigarette smoking is directly causing, amongst smokers the world over. The Pune Municipal Corporation corporator, Babu Wagaskar was of the opinion that rather than increasing the octroi on essential items such as food grains and medications, it is in the best interest of the state to levy higher rates of taxes on tobacco products. Most women representatives, who have been newly appointed in the Pune Municipal Corporation, also supported Babu Wagaskar’s proposal.
Even Subhash Jagtap, who happens to be the NCP corporator, seemed to be in agreement with the proposed hike and he categorically stated that an increase in octroi with regards to tobacco products in the state is eminent. He also went on to state that an increase in the octroi for liquor products is also on the cards. The pulmonary health of the citizens of Pune, has often been considered a direct resultant to the rise in environmental pollution, which in turn is caused owing to the increased smoking activities amongst the masses. While smoking regular cigarettes is on the rise, it has been noticed that even a hike in the price of tobacco cigars would not deter new smoking enthusiasts to join the brigade of regular smokers.
While smoking cigarettes is on the rise on Pune, the launch of alternative smoking devices such as electronic cigarettes has been considered as a positive step towards ensuring that more and more individuals are shown a healthier way to smoke cigarettes. As e cigarettes are devoid of tobacco, they are considered safer than traditional cigars. In fact, e cigs are even cheaper and hence, even the smokers residing in Puna are considering electric cigarettes as a suitable alternative to their regular smoking habits.