Less than half of smokeless tobacco (SLT) factories in Bangladesh pay taxes, reports the Dhaka Tribune, citing a recent study by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK). Of the 483 factories in the country, only 218 are paying taxes.
Some of these manufacturers do not have valid trade licenses: Of the 88 manufacturers surveyed over 29 districts of the country’s eight administrative divisions, who are out of the tax net, 33 percent did not have valid licenses.
The study also showed that 91 percent of manufacturers produce smokeless tobacco products manually and that they are primarily manufactured in small, unmarked factories or houses.
“SLT use should be reined in for the sake of revenues and public health,” said Zakia Sultana, National Board of Revenue member. “Reducing SLT use would also reduce health sector expenditure.”
The study identified the informal nature of smokeless tobacco production as the main impediment in ensuring tax compliance in this sector.