Budget 2019

Smokers resigned to duty hike

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 01, 2016

Parimal Basu, an executive in a multinational, learnt from the cigarette shop owners in his office area in downtown Kolkata that his king-size pack would cost him ₹20 more.

A confirmed smoker for over a decade, Parimal is used to these March blues. “I have pegged my intake to 10 sticks a day. The price rise is unlikely to change my habit,” he responded bluntly to the hike in excise and additional excise duty on cigarettes in this year’s Budget proposals.

Budhan, owner of a popular pan-and-cigarette shop in central Kolkata got news of likely price hikes on his smartphone within half-an-hour of the Finance Minister ending his speech. “We have our ‘network’ that gives us more or less accurate likely price hikes for different brands and sizes,” he said.

Cigarette-makers would not say a word on the possible changes in the prices.

Apart from excise duty on cigarettes going up by ₹380 to ₹3,755 for 1,000 sticks, the additional duty of excise on cigarettes moved over three to five times across the categories and stick length – non-filter, filter-tipped, below and above 65 as well as 70 millimetres.

Published on March 01, 2016
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