Cigarettes to cost more as budget proposes 16 per cent duty increase

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NEW DELHI: Cigarettes will cost more as Union Budget for 2023-24 proposed to revise it upwards by about 16 per cent.

“The National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) on specified cigarettes was last revised three years ago. This is proposed to be revised upwards by about 16 per cent”, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.

She said the Budget hopes to build on the foundation laid in the previous Budget, and the blueprint drawn for India@100, which envisions a prosperous and inclusive India, where the fruits of development reach all regions and citizens, especially youth, women, farmers, OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

The Finance Minister said that India’s rising global profile is due to several accomplishments like “world-class digital public infrastructure” — Aadhaar, CoWin and UPI, unparalleled scale and speed of Covid-19 vaccination drive and proactive role in frontier areas such as achieving the climate-related goals, mission LiFE, and National Hydrogen Mission.

She said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the government ensured that no one went to bed hungry, with a scheme to supply free foodgrains to over 80 crore persons for 28 months.

The minister added that continuing with the Centre’s commitment to ensure food and nutritional security, a scheme to supply free foodgrains to all Antyodaya and priority households for the next one year under PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is being implemented from January 1, 2023. The entire expenditure of about Rs 2 lakh crore will be borne by the central government.

The Finance Minister noted that amid global challenges, G20 Presidency gives India a unique opportunity to strengthen its role in the world economic order. With the theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, India is steering an ambitious, people-centric agenda to address global challenges and to facilitate sustainable economic development, she said. (ANI)

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