HC asks govt to explain why 2.5pc surcharge on tobacco products

Staff Correspondent | Published: 20:06, Sep 20,2017


The High Court on Wednesday asked the government to explain why its decision of imposing 2.5 per cent surcharge on the income from the tobacco manufacturers would not be declared illegal.

A vacation bench of Justice SM Emdadul Hoque and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Bangladesh Cigarette Manufacturers Association challenging the legality of 2.5 per cent surcharge in addition to 1 per cent health development surcharge imposed in 2014 fiscal year.

The respondents include secretaries of ministries of finance, law, the cabinet division’s secretary and the National Board of Revenue’s chairman.

The government in the current fiscal year imposed the 2.5 surcharge on tobacco products like as cigarettes, bidi and other tobacco products because they were injurious to health.

The government had also said that the government and the society need to incur additional medicare cost due to the consumption of these tobacco products.

Petitioner’s lawyers Foyej Ahmed and Shah Baktiar Elias argued that the 2.5 per cent surcharge on tobacco products was arbitrary and illegal as tobacco manufacturers were paying 1 per cent health development surcharge.

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