A price formula has been formulated for cigarettes, said Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol.
He was speaking to the media in Colombo today (08).
Mr. Rajapaksa said that the price formula has been handed over to the Minister of Health and it has been discussed and it is hoped to include it in the next budget to increase taxes on cigarettes.
Mr. Rajapaksa also said that the intention to introduce such a price formula was to increase the expected income despite the increase in the price of cigarettes in the recent past.
According to the price formula, if the price of a cigarette can be increased in 2022, it will increase by Rs. The government gets about 2022 billion rupees in direct revenue from cigarettes alone. According to the price formula the price of a cigarette increases by 2026% every year. Also, the volume of cigarettes sold in Sri Lanka is declining due to the increase in prices which reduces the ability of the consumer to buy. It is a very important and valuable trend. Smoking kills 125 people a day prematurely. The tax revenue from the treatment of tobacco-related diseases costs three to four times as much. A cigarette that costs Rs. 6 now costs around Rs. 60 if adjusted according to the price formula. By 65 it has increased by about Rs. Gradually the price of cigarettes went up. No one can interfere politically or otherwise with price.