Sunday 06 June 2021
I wrote – Dina Khaled:
Ibrahim Imbabi, Head of the Tobacco Division of the Federation of Industries, said that with the automatic increase in the prices of all types of cigarettes at the beginning of next July by about 25 piasters, according to the health insurance law, companies may raise prices by more than the prescribed value.
Imbabi added, to Masrawy, that the increase planned according to the health insurance law is 25 piasters, but companies can raise prices with a greater value.
Hani Aman, managing director of Al Sharqiya Tobacco, said in a telephone interview with the “Hekaya” program on “MBC MASR” that the increase in the prices of all types of cigarettes will be 50 piasters.
Aman explained that the increase was divided into 25 piasters in favor of the Health Insurance Law, and offset by an additional 25 piasters for value-added tax, on all types of cigarettes, whether local or imported.
Imbabi explained that the stall owners and merchants take advantage of any increase to raise prices at a value higher than the value of the increase.
The increase in cigarette prices comes in accordance with the comprehensive health insurance law applied in a number of governorates, and will be circulated later.
The comprehensive health insurance law, which has been implemented since 2018, stipulates that 75 piasters will be collected from the value of each pack of cigarettes sold in the local market, whether the product is local or foreign, and that this value will increase every 3 years by 25 piasters until it reaches 150 piasters.
The Comprehensive Health Insurance Law identified specific sources as funding for the authority’s treasury so that it can fulfill good medical services that include all segments of society, and grant health protection to all citizens, in addition to bearing the contributions of those who are unable to pay annual contributions.
The state’s revenue from taxes on tobacco, cigarettes and smoke has increased during the past five years, by nearly 100%. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the proceeds of these taxes amounted to about 35 billion pounds, and rose by about 15 billion pounds in the following year, to 50 billion pounds in Fiscal year 2017-2018.
The government raised its yield in 2018-2019 to record 56 billion pounds, then increased the proceeds in the following year to 65 billion pounds in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, while the state is awaiting taxes on molasses and income at the end of the fiscal year, about 75 billion pounds.