Your say: Taxing harmful products
Public opinion on the streets of Muscat
Will increased taxes on tobacco, energy and soft drinks and alcohol curb the use of these products?
R S Sumant, Chartered accountant
While the taxes aim to promote healthy living on one hand, it certainly also looks at boosting revenue. The revenue thus collected is supposed to be spent on public service. Although some consumers may stop their consumption because of the taxes, others may not be willing to change their behaviour as bad habits die hard.
Janani Venkat, Student
This tax is also known as sin tax. Increasing the tax on such products pushes the user to be more wary of their spending and dietary habits. The move also seeks to encourage healthy lifestyle choices among individuals and mindful living whilst not completely taking away one’s freedom to eat and drink of one’s choice.
Sajid Hooti, Businessman
I welcome the increase as it is good not only for the country’s economy but also for the overall health of the people. However, at the same time I do not think that even the increase will curb or reduce the use of these products because those who are into the habit will find it really difficult to totally forgo such products.
Anwar Abdullah, Engineer
The increase of taxes is a great move and will push people to reduce the consumption of these items but will not deter them completely. People will think twice because of the increased prices before buying and may hence buy in small quantities only. Apart from taxes, more awareness on the danger of consuming such items among the public is required.
Munira Masoud, Nurse
Taxing such items is a good way to improve public health. Many young people will now find it difficult to buy such items. However, for those who are already addicted to such goods they may not think too much before buying. There is a need for tougher measures if the authorities really want to make an impact.
Do you think use of plastic bags should also be taxed? Do you think it is the way forward to control pollution?
Muneer Thazhe Purayil, Teacher
Imposing high tax on plastic bags would be the best possible solution to control pollution. As I have been in several campaigns against plastic bags with my students, I have noticed that many people are reluctant as they don’t have any cheaper alternative. Therefore, taxing plastic bags will force them to go for reusing cloth or paper bags.
Hesham Talaat, Teacher
Pollution is increasing rapidly nowadays, so I think taxes on plastic bags is an effective step that can contribute to eliminate pollution and encourage people to search for environment-friendly bags.
Moulika Patel, Homemaker
Plastic bags are a nuisance now and taxing the use has only been talked about. Supermarkets and even big brand shops give stuff in plastic bags in a manner which gives a feeling that they are promoting the use. Ten things that can be loaded in two plastic bags are being given, say, in eight plastic bags.
Anupma Nagvanshi, Homemaker
Yes, plastic bags should be taxed as this can be a way to reduce air and water pollution. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable and are present everywhere in landfills and ocean. By recycling and reusing it, we can reduce pollution.
Dilip Correa, General manager
Plastic bags should be taxed as it is the way forward to control pollution in a massive way. Oceans have tonnes of plastics floating on its bed. That’s too dangerous for marine life. The gases emitting from burning of plastics and plastic industries could be dangerous to human life.