Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said Friday the tax on tobacco products would be doubled from 30 percent to 60 percent."The Bihar government would increase tax on tobacco products to decrease their consumption that would save thousands of lives," Manjhi said at an official function here.At present there is a 30 percent tax on tobacco products, barring 'khaini' and 'bidis', in the state.
Raw tobacco was last year exempted from taxes to help thousands of farmers who grow tobacco. The then chief minister Nitish Kumar announced tax exemption on 'khaini' in view of the farmers' demand.A Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) has revealed that every second adult in Bihar is addicted to khaini. About 63 percent of the men and 35 percent of women in Bihar consume it.According to experts, an increase of 10 percent in taxes would decreases consumption by five percent.