Value-added tax on cigarettes will increase 144 per cent on 1 April to help close the deficit in the proposed state budget for 2013-14, in the northwestern state of Punjab, The Hindu reported.
VAT on a pack of cigarettes would increase to 55 per cent from 22.55 per cent, according to a story posted on the newspaper’s website. The VAT hike includes a 10 per cent surcharge. Higher VAT on cigarettes and soft drinks are part of a programme to reduce the deficit in the budget presented the State Assembly by Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa. (ci)