NA deputies agree to raise tax on tobacco

The National Assembly (NA) yesterday discussed the amendments of special consumption tax (SCT); most of deputies agreed to raise SCT on tobacco products and wanted the government to have measures to curb smuggled products also.

As the government is planning to increase SCT imposed on tobacco to raise income for the state budget and reduce the number of smokers, NA deputies discussed over the matter. Deputy Huynh Minh Thien from Ho Chi Minh City said that Vietnam currently has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, but tax on tobacco seemed much lower than other countries in the Southeast Asia.

Accordingly deputy Thien proposed to increase SCT on tobacco, saying that the government needs to increase by 75 percent on SCT on tobacco instead 70 percent as per a proposal drafted by the Ministry of Finance to be taken effect on July 1 next year.

The tax on tobacco will increase to 100 percent in January, 2018. Neighboring countries have succeeded in reducing the number of smokers after surging the consumption taxes on tobacco namely Thailand and the Philippines.

Deputy Nguyen Quoc Binh from Hanoi said that along with the leap of special consumption taxes on tobacco, the government should improve its efforts to prevent people from using smuggled products. Deputy Doan Nguyen Thuy Trang from Ho Chi Minh City emphasized that along with increasing SCT on tobacco, the government should strengthen anti-smuggling activities.

Deputy Tran Du Lich from HCMC also agreed that the government should increase SCT on tobacco to protect people’s health, not for increasing State's budget.

NA deputies also suggested imposing taxes on sugary drinks which increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions

By staff writer - Translated by Anh Quan

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