thiruvananthapuram • A section of traders in Kerala have decided not to sell Cigarettes from Monday over a new tobacco tax imposed by the state government. The decision has been taken by traders’ body Kerala Vyapari Vyvasayi Ekopana Samithi, which said the traders would not sell Cigarettes because of the newly introduced 12.5 per cent value added tax on tobacco products.
The additional tax has come into force from the new fiscal (2007-08). Speaking to reporters, president of the traders’ body T Nasirudin said the tax has to be borne by tobacco companies and it cannot be passed on to the traders.
“If the new tax is not borne by the tobacco companies, any trader who sells Cigarettes for Rs800 will get just Rs2 or Rs3 and this is not acceptable. So, we have decided not to sell Cigarettes from Monday,” said Nasirudin.
Speaking to reporters, the office of Finance Minister Thomas isaac said: “The decision was very clear that the fresh duty has to be borne by the distributors of the Cigarettes and we do not know why there is confusion now.”