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Tobacco body urges Centre to use GST to curb illegal cigarette trade

The Institute, A Body Representing Interests Of Legal Cigarette Makers Such As ITC, Godfrey Philips And VST, Also Said The Government Must Also Consider The Plight Of Mdistressed Tobacco Farmers.

PTI | Updated on: 30 Mar 2017, 05:47:08 PM
International sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a man and woman smoking cigarette and becoming a skeleton with a message

New Delhi :

The Tobacco Institute of India (TII) on Thursday said that the GST is a unique step and urged the Centre to address the growing illegal cigarettes trade in the country through it.

The institute, a body representing interests of legal cigarette makers such as ITC, Godfrey Philips and VST, also said the government must also consider the plight of mdistressed tobacco farmers.

"GST presents a unique opportunity to government to address the growing illegal cigarette trade in the country," said TII Director Syed Mahmood Ahmad.

This would also help "distressed tobacco farmers, the legal cigarette industry and also inject buoyancy in revenue collection from this sector," it added.

TII represents leading cigarette manufacturers accounting for more than 98 per cent of the country's domestic sales of duty paid cigarettes.

Also Read | GST: Why it took 17 long years for idea of 'One Nation One Tax' to become 'reality' in India

Yesterday, the Lok Sabha approved four legislations for GST. The Centre has set the target of July 1 to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"Indeed in recent months and as credit to the enforcement agencies, the incidence of seizures of smuggled cigarettes, as reported in the media, has seen a sharp spurt in different parts of the country," it said.

According to a recently released FICCI Report, cigarettes are among the top five smuggled goods in the country with far reaching impact on various stakeholders including the government, domestic industry and society at large, TII added.

Also Read: PM Modi congratulates people on passage of GST Bill in Lok Sabha

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First Published : 30 Mar 2017, 05:21:00 PM