The Centre informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that there was no proposal to raise the excise duty on cigarettes, ‘bidis’ and smokeless tobacco.
In a written reply to a question, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said that there was no recommendation by the GST Council to raise the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on these tobacco products.
“The GST rates on goods are fixed on the basis of GST Council recommendations. At present, there is no such recommendation. Also, there is no proposal to increase the excise duty on such products,” Thakur said.
Finance Ministry data showed that the overall GST collection from these products, including cess, during FY 2019-20 was ₹53,540 crore and excise collection ₹1,610 crore. From July 2017, the central excise duty collected on tobacco has been subsumed in the GST.
Thakur said in his reply that the taxes collected from tobacco, similar to taxes collected from other sources, together form a part of the overall Gross Tax Revenues (GTR) of the government of India and are used to fund various government schemes and programmes.
“In Budget 2020-21, ₹67,111.8 crore has been allocated to fund the requirements of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This will be met from both capital and revenue receipts of the government of India,” he said.