Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 28

The Budget has imposed an additional five per cent excise duty on cigarettes. Reacting to the move, cigarette manufacturers have raised the flag calling the move a "discriminatory" one.

"It's quite upsetting to see that the discrimination between cigarettes and other forms of tobacco continues and cigarettes have been singled out and levied with additional 5 per cent excise while bidis and other forms of tobacco have been spared. This discrimination will defeat the objective of tobacco control," Mr S. Seru, CEO-Domestic of Godfrey Phillips India said. Echoing the sentiments, the Chairman of ITC, Mr Y.C. Deveshwar, said: "Why should cigarettes be singled out for an excise duty increase? All forms of tobacco products should be brought under excise duty."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 1, 2006)
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