From: The Independent
Illegally produced local cigarettes pose a potential threat to the success the government has made in last few years by increasing the price of cigarettes with an aim to controlling the consumption of tobacco products. A market investigation revealed three types of illegal cigarettes – smuggled cigarettes from abroad, products faking local popular brands and locally produced cigarettes evading taxation. Thanks to the promptness of tax department and administration, the issue of smuggled cigarettes often made headlines. But remote and underdeveloped regions are home to the biggest market of locally produced and tax evading cigarettes. That’s why they hardly come under the surveillance of the law enforcers and government monitoring systems. These cigarettes are marked with fake or reused bandroll or tax stamp. This type is gaining popularity in every corner of the country due to its cheap price and lack of surveillance.
Cigarette is one of the biggest source of the country’s internal revenue generation. In the last fiscal year 2017-18, this sector earned the government nearly Tk 22,000 crore. At the same time, the government has incurred a loss worth 1000 crore owing to the illegal cigarette selling. If this unbounded illegal market keeps going on, it will take a toll not just on the revenue but on people’s health as well, according to experts.