Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

Ramadoss for 200% tax on tobacco items

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh with BJP’s Kirti Azad at Parliament House on Thursday. (Source: IE photo by Anil Sharma) Congress MP Jairam Ramesh with BJP’s Kirti Azad at Parliament House on Thursday. (Source: IE photo by Anil Sharma)
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: July 18, 2014 5:02 am

Former Health Minister and PMK leader Ambumani Ramadoss on Thursday demanded 200 per cent tax on tobacco products and complete prohibition in the country on the lines of Gujarat.

Participating in the debate on the union Budget in the Lok Sabha, Ramadoss said as Gujarat has imposed total prohibition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should implement the same in the country. The PMK is an NDA ally.

Ramadoss said tax should be imposed not only on cigarette but also bidi and other tobacco products. He said a uniform tax of 200 per cent should be imposed on tobacco products. He said government should also provide more funds for education and toilets in schools as poor sanitation facilities in schools was one of the reasons of high dropout rate of girls.

Participating in the debate, BJD’s Tathagata Satpathy said the Narendra Modi government has upped the expectations of the people. He said now was the time for the government to “shake, rattle and roll” the magic wand. “We are with you. Not for you, but for the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saugata Roy (TMC) raised a point of order that not many union ministers were present during the debate. “Is it only Arun Jaitley’s budget? See the treasury benches are empty,” he said.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot pointed that ministers and BJP members were present in the House, leading to a war of words between BJP and opposition benches.

BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, in her maiden speech, attacked the previous UPA government over the state of the economy.

“UPA would say that it has no magic wand to correct the situation. Our government also does not have any magic wand.

But what is needed is a whip to ensure fiscal discipline and bring the economy back on track,” said the first-time MP and daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.

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