Dhaka,  Wednesday
29 May 2024

NBR urges DCs intervention to stop illegal foreign cigarettes

Staff Correspondent

Published: 20:28, 22 April 2024

NBR urges DCs intervention to stop illegal foreign cigarettes

Photo: Courtesy

In a letter to the Cabinet Division, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) highlighted the issue of these illicit cigarettes and sought the assistance of District Commissioners (DCs) to halt their smuggling, supply, and distribution. The NBR has asked for official letters to be sent to the DCs, urging them to take decisive legal action against the distribution of these illegally imported products.

Illegally imported cigarettes are increasingly found across Bangladesh, including the capital, districts, upazilas, and even remote areas. These cigarettes, selling at prices significantly lower than those of locally produced premium brands, are causing substantial revenue losses for the government.

The letter highlighted brands such as Oris, Mond, Dunhill, Triple Five, and Esse, noting that despite no legal imports of foreign cigarettes over the past year, these brands continue to appear in markets throughout Dhaka city, as well as in other districts, upazilas, and remotest regions in the country. These cigarettes are not only cheaper but also visually appealing compared to local premium and top-tier options, making them attractive alternatives for smokers.

The letter went on to state that the importation and distribution of these cigarettes in defiance of existing national laws and regulations result in substantial revenue losses for the government.

The letter, issued by Md. Shahinur Kabir Pavel, the First Secretary of VAT implementation and IT at the NBR, further mentioned that NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem has approved the initiative requiring District Commissioners to lead police raids and take legal measures to prevent the import of illicit cigarettes.