The cabinet today approved the draft of “The Health Development Surcharge Management Policy-2017” with a view to control the use of tobacco products and to turn Bangladesh into a smoking free country by 2040.
The fund earned imposing one percent surcharge on tobacco products remains unused due to absence of policy. The fund will be used in 14 sectors to control the use of tobacco and to create mass awareness against the adverse impacts of tobacco on human health, said Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam.
The cabinet secretary was briefing reporters at his Secretariat office in Dhaka after the weekly cabinet meeting held at Prime Minister Office with PM Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
According to the policy, some specific suggestions have been incorporated in the policy to control the tobacco products and its use to turn Bangladesh into a tobacco free country by 2040, the cabinet secretary said.
Shafiul Alam said the surcharge has already been imposed and Tk 300 crore per year is being deposited into the health ministry.
But the fund is being used in various purposes including the health sector in preventing tobacco uses and non-communicable diseases, Alam said.
The surcharge will be used to create awareness among common people against tobacco use, prevent farmers from cultivating tobacco and create alternative employment opportunities for them, he added.
The cabinet also approved the draft of “The National Academy for Planning and Development Law, 2017” translating the original law of 1979 into Bangla.
Besides, the cabinet congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she was apprised by many quarters from home and abroad for her humanities to the Rohingya people and active participation in the recently ended General Assembly of the United Nations.