National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh

A delegation of Bangladesh Network for NCD Control & Prevention and United Forum Against Tobacco met with NBR Chairman

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A delegation of Bangladesh Network for NCD Control & Prevention and United Forum Against Tobacco met with Mr. Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Chairman, National Board of Revenue (NBR) on 09 May 2018 at his office. The delegation led by National Professor Brigadier (Rtd.) Abdul Malik, Founder & President, National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh.

National Professor Brigadier (Rtd.) Abdul Malik submitted a letter to the chairman with a fact sheet on tobacco taxation as a recommendation. He expressed substantive suggestions to emphasize on raising tax on tobacco products effectively as the consumption of tobacco products can be reduced, which will be a realistic effort for tobacco control. Tobacco is harmful for health, so considering the public health issues and to protect people, measures should be taken intensively and raising tobacco tax is one of the effective strategies for that, he said.

Professor A K Azad Khan, President, Bangladesh Diabetic Samity shared that noncommunicable diseases are now increasing in an epidemic form and tobacco is one of the common and major causes for such situation. Need control and prevention of non-communicable diseases. So higher tax on tobacco products will help to reduce its consumption. Professor Mollah Obayedullah Baki, President, Bangladesh Cancer Society said that tobacco is one of the major risk factors for cancer and its treatment is costly. Tobacco is causing cancers and creating huge economic burden to the victims as well as to the nation. Professor Golam Mohiuddin Faruk, Joint Secretary General, Bangladesh Cancer Society explained the recommendations to the chairman to make a better understanding about desired tobacco taxation.

Other participants also raised strong demands in a unified voice to the chairman for simplifying the existing tobacco tax structure and imposing higher tax on tobacco products as the price of those products can be increased effectively. They mentioned about the Prime Minister’s commitment on tobacco tax and urged to consider this issue in the upcoming budget of FY 2018-19.

Mr. Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Chairman, National Board of Revenue (NBR) given patience hearing to everyone’s comments with due importance. He said that tobacco control is undoubtedly a very important issue for protecting public health. He has given a keen attention on the submitted recommendations and assured to take necessary step in this regard.

Furthermore, Mr. Sharf Uddin Ahmed Choudhury, consultant, Anti-tobacco Program, National Heart Foundation Hospital & Research Institute; Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman Bhuiyan, Grants Manager and Mr. Riasat Razi Ullah, Digital Media Manager, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK), Bangladesh; Lylun Naher, Advocacy Officer, Anti-tobacco Program, National Heart Foundation Hospital & Research Institute participated in this meeting.