Here’s some more bad news for smokers and tobacco users. After the central government increased tax burden on them, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation will add to it.
According to corporation officials, a draft to impose taxes on tobacco-based products is almost ready. An official said, “In order to become self dependent, the corporation has decided to create new sources of income. So get ready to pay more municipal taxes, if you want to live in a metro like Lucknow.”
Two years back, the executive committee of the LMC had decided to bring paan masala, cigarette packs, beer and liquor bottles under the tax net. But the civic body had so far not implemented this decision.
Civic bosses feel that they can generate a reasonable amount of revenue by imposing tax on these items, but by-laws to this effect have not been drafted as yet, which is holding back the decision for last two years.
According to Sections 199 and 203 of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation Act, the civic body has the right to impose taxes on these items. “We have to clean heaps of paan masala sachets, cigarette packs, liquor and beer bottles but we get nothing from it,” said PK Srivastava, additional municipal commissioner.
However, sources said the amount of tax would be nominal. It would be around 1 paisa per paan masala pouch, 2 paise on a pack of cigarettes and 2 paise per bottle of beer and wine.
This would not affect the pocket of a consumer, but will only benefit the LMC.
Mayor Dinesh Sharma said, “New sources of revenue must be created and it’s not bad to tax tobacco-based products.”
Adding , “All the municipal corporations must become self- reliant. Innovative thinking is required to generate income from new sources.”