The proper tobacco policy creates opportunity to mobilize funds along with reduction of smoking
The first Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia, Dimitri Kumsishvili has participated in the special high level session dedicated to the issues of tobacco taxes with the topic “State Health Care and Mobilization of Internal Resources“. The Georgian Minister introduced Georgian experience and the major achievements in tobacco taxing sector to the participants of the session – the Ministry of Finance of Georgia has reported.
The session was held in Washington, in the frames of the annual meetings of International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
The main speakers of the session were World Bank President Jim Kim and former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg.
In his speech, Georgia’s First vice PM Dimitri Kumsashvili introduced the visions of the Georgian government regarding smoking reduction in all social segments, particularly among the minors; he emphasized that effective actions against tobacco smoking focused on specific result and corresponding tax policy were important instruments for reduction of those risks.
According to the Vice PM, the excise tax rates on tobacco product were eventually growing since 2013 and it was increased five times during these past four years; as a result of this approach, the statistics showed reduction of tobacco smoking with 35% in Georgia, while the budget revenues through excise tax were increased with 150%.
The First Vice PM of Georgia has also made focus on the role of the parliament of Georgia in this process and the law adopted by the legislators, which, according to him, created an opportunity for better and more complex solution of the problem. These measures include not only the rise of excise tax rates and other fiscal methods, which should help smoking reduction in the country, but also the activities like restriction of all kinds of advertising, issues related to packaging of the product, also the restriction of the places where smoking is allowed.
Dimitri Kumsishvili hailed the engagement of Georgian parliament in the discussion of the tobacco issues and thanked its members for the worked performed.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the report of the Minister on the example of Georgia caused serious interest of the participants of the session.