English | Dzongkha Wednesday, October 27, 2021

NC adopts Tobacco and Tax Bills 2021

Jun 28, 2021

The National Council adopted the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Bill 2021 today. The bill will now enable selling, buying and distributing tobacco and tobacco products legally in the country. The National Assembly declared the bill as an Urgent Bill following continuous smuggling of tobacco products through the country’s porous southern border and associated threats of importing coronavirus into the country. 

“We agree with the suggestions of the National Assembly. Now, it’s time for the people to take full responsibility. I hope that when tobacco products are allowed to be imported, sold, and distributed, people should not think that it’s for everyone’s consumption,” said Sangay Dorji, the Chairperson of the Good Governance Committee.

The National Council recommended repealing ten other provisions of the Bill in addition to the eleven sections removed by the National Assembly. The house recommended removing sections that promote public awareness on import limitation, especially at border areas, enforce quantity limitation on import of tobacco and tobacco products across borders at the entry points and examine any container or package that he/she believes contains tobacco and any tobacco products among others.

The house also agreed to remove a 100 per cent sales tax on tobacco and tobacco products as a temporary measure. This according to the finance minister will lower the risk of virus importation and the country’s underground market.

The Bills will now be sent back to the National Assembly for re-deliberation.

 Pema Seldon Tshering/Sonam Tenzin

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