‘Govt must impose health levy to help fight Coronavirus pandemic’

Muhammad Asad

ISLAMABAD: The government must Impose the health levy Tax to help fight coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The Speakers were of view that government can collect Rs. 40 billion per year which would be a great relief for ongoing fight against the pandemic.

The inspiring thoughts were shared by the representatives of NGOs working to end the use of tobacco from the society. It was shared by Society for the protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) and Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) in an interactive session held in Islamabad today. The Program Manager SPARC, Mr. Khalil Ahmed said that today Pakistan is facing scarcity of resources in combatting coronavirus pandemic, whereas government can easily manage this shortage by imposition of health levy bill, which was passed by the government in 2019. Mr. Khalil further said that Federal Cabinet approved to include the health levy in the budget 2019-2020, but it has not made by the government so for.

General Secretary PANAH, Mr. Sanaullah Ghuman, said that the use of Tobacco is rapidly increasing in our children even below the age of 10 years and more than 1200 children are being prey to tobacco addiction every single day. Currently, the health levy bill is moving back and forth in corridors of different ministries and Federal Departments.
Mr. Sanaullah Ghuman said that in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic, the health facilities of the country proved to be very insufficient for such disastrous situation, these unusual situation couldn’t be met with routine health resources, he stressed that government must step up its lengthy process and impose Health Levy bill to meet the urgent health requirements.

Mr. Ghuman said that the coronavirus vaccine drive is continue by the government on a low pace and the deadly third wave of the pandemic has reached at our doors. Government can maximize its vaccination drive through the funds which can be available after enforcement of health levy bill. He was in view that the battle against tobacco use would help us by providing extra financial resources for country’s battle against coronavirus pandemic.

The NGO’s representatives requested to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Health and Financial Ministers to look into matter and take personal interest to implement the Health Levy Bill to help protect our children and to boost country’s efforts against coronavirus pandemic by collection of extra financial resources through implementation of heath levy bill.