When the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf came into power, they promised an economic restructuring of the country. From the containers to the parliament, Imran Khan and his fellow members made huge claims of how Pakistan would ‘bring back money’ into the country.
However, the tall claims soon blew into smithereens when the PTI took charge. As difficult as it would be for anyone, the PTI started facing problems that were severely unprecedented to them. The claims of ‘200 billion’ coming back to Pakistan the day PTI formed a government have still not been fulfilled.
The increasing prices, the immense hike in products, has left the general public almost dumbfound. Yesterday, the government announced that they were going to levy another specific tax, this time on smokers. A Sin Tax or ‘Gunnah Tax’ would be imposed on smokers in Pakistan, to boost revenue, decrease cigarette sales and well, torment the smokers while they are at it.
‘High-level’ meetings are underway to impose this tax as soon as possible and this has left all the smokers in the country on the verge of warm tears. According to a correspondent who works for Pakistani media hub ARY, “the earning from this tax would be expended on the welfare of masses under Prime Minister National Health Programme.”
As expected, cigarette prices in the country would increase from Rs 5 to Rs 15 per pack. With the current price hike, as compared to before the PTI government, cigarette packs are already being sold for an extra Rs 10 to Rs 20, depending on the brand.
Just as always, the government plans on generating revenue worth ‘millions’ with this new levied tax, as more than 4 billion cigarette packs are sold across the country every year.
This is not the first time somebody in the world has decided to do this. Previously, the European Union and the Philippines have tried this format of tax and it has worked out nicely for them. According to a World Health Organisation report, “within the first year of passing the bill, Philippines raised more than USD$1.2 billion and allowed the Philippines to provide health care to an additional 14 million families or roughly 45 million Filipinos.”
People on social media reacted to the news differently
Some were concerned about how the religious population of Pakistan would take this news
Imposing ‘sin tax’ on cigarettes is ridiculous, turning a health hazard issue into a religious wrongdoing. #Pakistan
— Muhammad Hani (@muhd_hani) December 5, 2018
Some were extremely angry about the taxes on fizzy drinks as well
Government is imposing ‘sin tax’ on cigarettes and cold drinks.
So you gotta pay a little more when you commit the sin of drinking Pepsi.
— Passive Aggressive ? (@Kayyy_Hussain) December 5, 2018
Others were really considering why they voted for the PTI
Ok I didn’t vote for this gov just so they impose sin tax on cigarettes.
— Safiya (@KhandallJenner) December 4, 2018
We think the Gunnah Tax might be a bigger achievement though!
Space X launched 64 satellites all at once and Pakistan launched a #gunahtax (sin tax) on cigarettes!
— IftI (@drloggerhead) December 4, 2018
Some didn’t like the name at all, they could have called it anything, but they decided to make us feel guilty… Ouch!
Joke of the day: Pak government imposed tax on cigarettes and they named it "gunnah/sin tax"???
— . (@Zatekhta) December 4, 2018