Chitral: The government has decided to increase tax on cigarettes, paan etc and has named the increase in such tax as ‘sin tax’.
Whereas increase of tax on cigarettes is justifiable as Pakistan has the lowest rate of tax on tobacco products, however naming the new tax as ‘sin tax’ is not in moral good standing. It is a good example of dragging religion in our worldly affairs for all the wrong reasons.
If smoking is a sin it should be discouraged in other ways. By imposing a tax on it is like legitimizing this ‘sin’ and is like saying that anybody who can afford to pay tax can go ahead with committing the sin.
This latest announcement by the government reflects the mindset which says that no matter how many sins you have committed if you recite durood sharif or certain ayats of the Holy Quran at certain particular times your 2000 or 20000 sins will be forgiven and if you perform Haj all the sins committed in your lifetime will be washed away.
We got to wake up and stop fooling ourselves. By paying tax for sin we cannot legalize the sin. If smoking is a sin stop it. If it is not stoppable then at least do not morally legitimize it by imposing a certain tax on it. Name the tax as ‘health tax’ or ‘luxury tax’ or whatever, but please do not drag religion into it. ... CN report, 06 Dec 2018