Mamata hikes tobacco tax, tells people to 'smoke'

Mamata hikes tobacco tax, tells people to 'smoke'

Mamata hikes tobacco tax, tells people to 'smoke'

The West Bengal government has announced a hike in the tax on tobacco products and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requested people “to smoke more frequently” to raise part of the Rs 500-crore relief fund announced for compensating the people who lost their money in Saradha Group scam.

“A 10 per cent tax will be imposed on cigarettes and tobacco products to raise Rs 150 crore and the rest of the money will be gathered from other sources without putting pressure on the people,” Mamata said at a press meet at Writers’ Building on Wednesday.

Stating that her government was playing “watchman to the common people’s interests,” Mamata said: “We are sorry about the tax, but we must collect the money from somewhere. So, please smoke more frequently.”

However, it is not yet clear whether the 10% tax will be over and above the 25% sales tax already in place or a surcharge.

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