“Gunnah” Tax


By Saddia Mazhar,
Faisal Vawda share on his twitter,”I’m a chain cigarette smoker myself and I appreciate all the measures taken by the government to discourage smoking and I understand it’s injurious to health but this term ‘Gunnah Tax’ is inappropriate,If this is gunnah then what would we name and term the actual gunnahs.”
Do you know why majority of men are rushing to the shops? It’s not a joke!
As government announced another new tax, introducing a new term “Sin Tax”. The smokers are now worried.
Yes!Cigarette packs are likely to get expensive because of the additional tax on tobacco.
Government have not yet decided on the exact amount for a sin tax but according to Health minister “it will certainly be a handsome amount.”
Purpose behind this tax may be that government wants to cut the number of smokers in the country.
“SIN Tax” is new term in Pakistan but globally a recognized term .It’s a form of tax with the name of “Sin Tax” imposed on products harmful to society.
Government is being criticized of using the term “Sin “for this tax. I think using this word “sin” means to motivate the people to quit smoking by feeling guilt.
According to the annual report of World Health Organization , “around 25 million people in Pakistan are addicted to smoking and most of them are young,46 percent of smokers are male while around 5 percent are female”.
Other side of the picture shows the appreciator of this tax. No doubt, addicted to smoking risks to life on a daily basis. Smoker becomes vulnerable to different kinds of diseases, even cause death.
Alarming thing now a days is that average age of smoker starts from 18 , a very young age. Unfortunately, in our society school children start taking cigarettes instead of buying books. Some 1,500 youngsters start smoking in Pakistan every day, and govt aim to reduce that number.
It is just an addiction, Once a person is addicted to smoking, it looks difficult to get rid of this habit. But nothing is impossible actually.
Some university students in Islamabad are not happy with this Tax as they believe, “If it’s a Sin government should ban it, but we do not understand that pay the Tax and do the Sin”.
Sin tax is charged in over 45 countries, including Saudia , UAE and India. It is imposed to discourage consumers from using products known to harm public health and well-being.
They are usually put in the top bracket of the tax collection regime, varying from place to place, to make the product so expensive for the user forcing him to relinquish the habit. The fund collected from these taxes goes into other welfare schemes.
Tobacco is the single largest cause of preventable illness and death. In Pakistan, it causes some 108,800 fatalities every year, ie 298 per day.
According to Bloomberg, sin taxes are used to discourage behaviour because “it is argued that certain behaviours generate negative externalities that cause a greater financial burden on society.”
When applied, this theory suggests that these negative behaviours “deserve” to be taxed more than other behaviours of the society.


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