Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health Dr Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said that the government plans to increase the tax imposed on tobacco companies all the way up to 90 per cent.
He stated that the relevant cabinet paper will be submitted to the cabinet of minister for approval next week as a joint request from both himself and President Maithripala Sirisena, who was the former health minister.
Taxes on cigarettes currently range from 67%-72% of purchase price. An increase in tax would likely cause cigarette prices to soar.
Referring to Australia’s use of plain packets for cigarettes, the minister said he would submit a proposal for a similar legislation to the cabinet.