ISLAMABAD, (Parliament Times) : Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) General Secretary and Director Operations Sana Ullah Ghumman termed the loss in tobacco revenue and non-implementation of health levy as non-seriousness of the institutions.He saud that We have been working for the health of the people of Pakistan for 37 years. So that the lives of the people lost at the hands of tobacco can be savedBut it is unfortunate that the non-implementation of health levy in Budget also 2021-22 has reduced the struggle for the health of all our people to zero in the face of vested interests.But public health is our priority, so our struggle will continue.
Yesterday, He was speaking to health experts, civil society, lawyers, political representatives and technocrats
Sanaullah Ghman said that the research of international organizations including WHO has made it clear that tobacco is the cause of many dangerous diseases including heart disease and cancer. And the killer of half of its users, according to the Pakistan Medical Association, 22 million people in Pakistan use tobacco, 60% of them are teenagers.As a result, more than 170,000 lives are lost each year, while more than 450 lives are lost daily to tobacco use alone.
Sana Ullah Ghumman said that According to the report of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), the annual consumption of cigarettes in Pakistan was 86.6 billion. On the other hand, we see that according to a report published in the English Newspaper The Nation on May 26, 2021, the government of Pakistan had to incur a loss of revenue of Rs. 209 billion during the last five years. It is unfortunate that the government still faces a burden of Rs 615 billion annually on tobacco related diseases.Despite this, in the Budget 2021-22, all the hopes of the people and health institutions were dashed when it was found that the implementation of health levy was completely ignored.
He said that According to a report published in The News Newspaper on May 30, 2021, more than 80% of tobacco is used in low- and middle-income countries. Including Pakistan,According to Prof. Dr. Shehzad Ali Khan, Vice Chancellor, Health Services Academy, Islamabad, WHO says that tobacco use is a major public health problem.
Khalil Ahmed of child rights organization SPARC said that The biggest targets of the tobacco industry are women and youth. A 10 percent increase in tobacco taxes would reduce tobacco consumption in low-income countries by about 8 percent. Despite this, the interests of different companies are being served ignoring every fact.
Punjab Advisory Committee Chairperson Iram Mumtaz, PML-N PP-16 President Samina Shoaib, General Secretary Nureen Gilani, Khalil Ahmed of children’s rights organization SPARC, Sharq Khan of Chromatica and representatives and other organizations said that The waters have not yet receded. We heartily appeal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to take notice of those who are obstructing the immediate implementation of the Health Levy Bill by making public health one of his priorities.At the end of the press conference, civil society and health professionals came together to present a resolution in favor of the implementation of the Health Levy Bill, which was passed by a large number of people.