News Desk |
The Federal Government of Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf is planning to impose Gunah (Sin) Tax on the sale and purchase of cigarettes and tobacco. The Federal Health Minister Aamir Kiyani on Tuesday said that the new tax would help the government to collect billions that would be injected into the health sector to uplift the development. The government will levy a tax in between Rs.5-Rs.10.
As per the reports, the ambit of ‘Gunah Tax’ will be extended to the carbonated drinks as well. In order to encourage a healthy lifestyle, the imposition of new tax on carbonated drink is anticipated to reduce its consumption. The sources have stated the government is planning to levy Rs.2 PER 100 ml bottle of carbonated beverage.
While the new taxes are levied with the intention to beef up the Federal government‘s national exchequer, the title of Gunah Tax, however, evoked various reactions from the people of Pakistan on social media. From serious to hilarious comments, an outpour of a wide array of reactions was observed on social mediascape of Pakistan.
Read more: Smoking: a rundown on lighting up
Some commentators have raised serious questions on the government’s understanding of Gunah( Sin) including their own minister, Federal Minister for Water Resources, Faisal Vawda who failed to decipher the meaning of Gunah Tax on the purchase of tobacco and cigarette asked if smoking cigarette is a sin, since he himself is a ‘chain smoker’. He said if the smoking cigarette is a sin then what about the actual sins?
I’m a chain cigarette smoker myself and I appreciate all the measures taken by the government to discourage smoking and I understand it’s injurious to health but this term “Gunnah Tax” is inappropriate. If this is gunnah then what would we name and term the actual gunnahs.
— Faisal Vawda (@FaisalVawdaPTI) December 4, 2018
They believe products like alcohol and weed that stimulate negative social behavior requires taxation instead of carbonated beverages and tobacco. While others gave a nod to the imposition of a new tax but requested the government to change the title of tax.
Is it necessary to show proud on British legacy instead of own. It could have a formal title like luxury tax or health tax or social responsibility corporate tax (SRCT) or any other title but gunah gives total different perception. https://t.co/rV0lKg4FtX
— M.L .Yusufzai (@MuhdLaiq) December 5, 2018
“ Gunah Tax “ the most pathetic thing I have ever heard . Grow up #pti
— M S Rao (@msrphotographer) December 5, 2018
During this hullabaloo, trolls took a jibe at Pakistani actress Mahira Khan as her pictures smoking with Indian actor Ranbir Kapoor once went viral on social media.
A group of commentators unable to decipher the government’s understanding of Sin Tax on tobacco and cigarettes said that soon the government would impose Gunah-e-Kabeera tax on dating and girl’s wearing jeans.
Gunah and Tax on cigarettes? WTF, Khan sb ka dimagh in k gitton se bhi nechay hai. What's next? Haram Tax on Alcohol and Zina Tax on Adultery? Teri paen di siri
— Ihsan Gill (@saani33) December 5, 2018
Government is planning to impose 'Gunah Tax' on tobacco products.
Then there should be a 'Gunah-e-Kabeera' tax on makeup products too.#SinTax
— Zohaib Hafeez (@ZoHenx0) December 4, 2018
It seems, that either government should proceed the policy of new taxation with a new title or should offer a coherent statement elaborating the concept of Sin Tax.