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FED increase on cigarette a must to check rising consumption

The country, according to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) yearbooks, has lost Rs 567 billion revenue during the last seven years.

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Islamabad:  Snowballing economic burden in terms of public health and economic costs due to rising cigarette consumption has prompted health experts to demand implementation of World Bank’s recommendation for increase in Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes.

“Increasing FED on cigarettes will check the steady rise in consumption and ensure a healthier future for Pakistan’s youth,” said Amjad Qamar, Director Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD).

 Qamar said that Pakistan is one of the largest tobacco-consuming countries and low prices of cigarettes was the major contributor in the respect. “Cigarettes are more affordable in Pakistan than the rest of the region,” he said.

Taxation policies of the successive governments have failed to generate revenue as well as to curb the alarmingly high smoking rate due to policies that are often manipulated by industry giants, particularly the multinational companies.

The country, according to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) yearbooks, has lost Rs 567 billion revenue during the last seven years.

On the other hand, a study conducted by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) pointed out that the cost of smoking-related diseases and deaths was Rs 615.07 billion ($3.85 billion) in 2019, amounting to 1.6% of the GDP.

Malik Imran Ahmed, Country Director, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) referred to World Banks report titled 'Pakistan Development Update,' and said that a significant revenue gain of 0.4 percent of GDP (PKR 505.26 Billion) could be achieved by applying the current rate on premium cigarettes (Rs. 16.50 per cigarette) to standard cigarettes as well.

The report underscores the potential for economic and health benefits through this measure.

Imran added that aligning cigarette taxation with the World Bank's recommendation is a crucial step toward safeguarding the health and well-being of Pakistan's children.

Higher excise duty on cigarettes not only deters smoking but also generates much-needed revenue for essential public services, he said.

Earlier, International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also recommended Pakistan to overhaul tax machinery and to tax non-essential items including cigarettes to boost revenue and improve public health.

The global lender has recommended the government to introduce single tier tax structure alongside a significant increase in taxes on tobacco products.

According to the IMF's Technical Assistance Report titled "Pakistan Tax Policy Diagnostic and Reform Options," released in February, the consumption of cigarettes in Pakistan has witnessed a notable decline of 20-25 percent following substantial hikes in taxes on tobacco products.

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Third T20I: Pakistan set 179-run target for New Zealand

Despite losing four wickets, Pakistan managed to accumulate 178 runs after New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first at Rawalpindi cricket Stadium.

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Rawalpindi: In the third T20I match held at Rawalpindi Stadium on Sunday, Pakistan set a target of 179 runs for New Zealand to chase. Shadab Khan showcased an impressive performance, contributing 41 runs from 20 balls, steering his team to a formidable position. Skipper Babar Azam, scoring 37 runs off 29 balls, departed early in the innings.

Although the situation became tense for Pakistan, Shadab Khan and later Saim Ayub stabilized the innings, ensuring their team's progress.

Despite losing four wickets, Pakistan managed to accumulate 178 runs after New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first, strategically aiming for a victory.

With Pakistan leading the five-match series 1-0.

Squads:

Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Irfan Niazi, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed

New Zealand: Tim Robinson, Tim Seifert (wk), Mark Chapman, Dean Foxcroft, Cole McConchie, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell (capt), Jacob Duffy, Ish Sodhi, Zak Foulkes, Will O'Rourke

 

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Nida reaches 100-wicket milestone but West Indies snatch dramatic last-ball victory

West Indies women team successfully chased the target of 224 runs set by the host team at the National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

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Karachi:  Nida Dar became the second Pakistan women’s bowler and 27th overall to reach the 100-wicket landmark, but the West Indies Women took a 2-0 lead in the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 fixture by pulling off a dramatic last-ball victory with two wickets to spare at the National Bank Stadium on Sunday.

The visitors, after being 213 for five in 48 overs while chasing 224 for victory, had needed six runs off the last over, and three runs off the final ball before a boundary off an outside edge of Karishma Ramharack’s bat broke the hearts of the local girls.

The West Indies Women were in total control of the proceedings when they reached 180 for three in 41 overs, before Nida Dar triggered a middle-order collapse. Nida, who had joined Sana Mir as only the second Pakistan bowler to take 100 wickets by dismissing opener Rashada Williams, accounted for Chedean Nation, Aaliyah Alleyne and Chinelle Henry to leave the West Indies in disarray at 219 for seven after 49 overs.

Fatima Sana conceded two runs off the first five balls and also picked up the wicket of Afy Fletcher, but was left dejected and disappointed after watching the ball cross the boundary after finding the outside edge of Ramharack’s bat.

Nida finished with impressive figures of 9-0-52-4, while Umm-e-Hani bagged two for 38. Sadia Iqbal and Fatima Sana picked up a wicket each.

Stefanie Taylor was the architect of the West Indies’ win with a well-constructed 73 off 90 balls with nine fours before she became the fifth batter to be dismissed, falling to Sadia. This was her 41st career half-century in 156 matches.

Taylor, a former top-ranked batter, stitched an 88-run partnership for the third wicket off 106 balls with Shemaine Campbelle who contributed a fine 73-ball 52 with four fours. Campbelle had earlier added 39 runs for the second wicket skipper with Hayley Matthews who fell to a stunning catch by substitute Diana Baig after scoring 44 off 63 balls with three fours.

Earlier, in front of A Sports cameras, half-centuries by Bismah Maroof and Sidra Ameen lifted Pakistan to 223 all out in 48.5 overs.

Bismah scored a 105-ball 65, her 21st half-century in 135th match, with three fours and Sidra struck four fours in a 70-ball 50 (eighth half-century in 65 matches) as the two batters added 80 runs for the second wicket from 115 balls.

The next best partnership was for the seventh wicket when Bismah and Najiha Alvi (25, 28 b, 1x4) added 31 runs for the seventh wicket off 27 balls. Sadia Iqbal and Najiha added 22 runs from 28 balls for the last wicket.

For the West Indies, Chinelle Henry bagged three for 37, Karishma Ramharack snapped up three for 48 and Afy Fletcher scooped two wickets for 46 runs.

Scores in brief:

West Indies Women beat Pakistan Women by two wickets

Pakistan Women 223 all-out, 48.5 overs (Bismah Maroof 65, Sidra Ameen 50, Najiha Alvi 25; Chinelle Henry 3-37, Karishma Ramharack 3-48, Afy Fletcher 2-46)

West Indies 225-8, 50 overs (Stafanie Taylor 73, Shemaine Campbelle 52, Hayley Matthews 44, Chinelle Henry 23; Nida Dar 4-52, Umm-e-Hani 2-38)

Player of the match – Stafanie Taylor (West Indies Women)

Third ODI – Tuesday, 23 April, National Bank Stadium (3.30pm start)

First ODI – West Indies Women won by 113 runs

 

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