TBILISI(BPI)- The Parliament of Georgia will soon start discussing a draft law on higher taxation on loose tobacco.
The business representatives say that the constant increase in excise taxes and prices for tobacco products, has already caused 600 million damage to the budget and boosts smuggling. As the statistics show, the consumption of legal cigarettes has decreased, but the number of smokers has not reduced and high prices did not promote healthy lifestyle, as the ruling party hoped.
“Today we can say that the smoking epidemic in Georgia has already been suspended that is a great achievement along with other measures to minimize the health damage of cigarette smoking such as a ban on smoking in public places,” the MP notes.
“Of course, insignificant smuggling is observed but this is a question of administration. So far smuggling has not taken a scale to threaten fiscal administration and budget execution. The Ministry of Finance takes measures to keep contraband to a minimum, ” Akaki Zoidze stresses.