The Finance Ministry should increase the taxes on imported food containing excessive sugar, salt and oil to control rapid spread of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) in Sri Lanka, Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said.
Addressing the gathering during the World Heart Day celebration at the BMICH, Colombo yesterday, he said that 30 percent of Sri Lankan deaths are due to heart diseases and annually, 6,000 Sri Lankans die from heart disease.
“All those diseases are caused because of the taste. Smoking, alcohol etc are still very tasty for some people,” the minister said.
According to Minister Senaratne, it is the duty of the Ministry’s NCD Unit to formulate a plan to reduce the NCDs to 65 percent within the next five years and the required funds will be allocated for this purpose by the Minister. “The Education Ministry should educate the people on the negative impacts of smoking, alcohol and unhealthy food trends, while the Sports Ministry should promote physical activities,” he said. Minister Senaratne pointed out that the Agricultural Ministry should cultivate green leaves and offer the products to the public at a concessionary prices. The physical fitness of public servants’ should be taken in to consideration when granting them promotions.