Prof Zaman for heeding IMF proposal for tobacco tax reforms

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended implementing a uniform tax structure on the tobacco industry to increase revenue. The report titled ‘Pakistan – Tax Policy Diagnostic and Reform Option’ emphasizes the need for single tier taxation on both foreign and domestic cigarette manufacturers in Pakistan. Furthermore, the report suggests that recent tax increases on cigarettes have resulted in a decrease in smoking rate by 20 to 25%. Professor Muhammad Zaman, the founding chairman of the School of Sociology at Quaid-i-Azam University and the head of Zaman Research Center, supports the IMF’s recommendations and highlights the importance of aligning cigarette taxes with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO). It is estimated that approximately 8% of Pakistan’s population are smokers, making Pakistan one of the countries most susceptible to the negative effects of cigarette consumption. Professor Zaman emphasizes that protecting public health should be a priority for policymakers and implementing the IMF’s proposed tax measures on tobacco products can help reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with smoking. He also calls for increased research and advocacy efforts to address the social implications of smoking. He appreciates Capital Calling, an Islamabad based think tank, whose report IMF has referred to laying down it’s recommendations for tax reforms.