|14 October, 2019

Steep hike in tobacco prices in Oman

Companies trying to dodge the tax could face stiff fines

image used for illustrative purpose Tobacco leaves are seen at the H. Upmann cigar factory in Havana, February 26, 2015.

image used for illustrative purpose Tobacco leaves are seen at the H. Upmann cigar factory in Havana, February 26, 2015.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Muscat: The prices of tobacco products in Oman rose sharply in September 2019, finishing 92 per cent higher than the same month last year, the latest data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) has revealed.

Beginning on June 15, 2019, the selective tax or ‘sin tax’ was implemented in the Sultanate for tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and energy drinks, in accordance with the Royal Decree No. 23/2019.

Earlier, a new tax on products deemed harmful to health came into effect recently with many hoping that the new rule could help save lives. Economists, doctors and members of the public who took part in a Times of Oman online poll agreed there are health benefits to the 100 per cent levy on alcohol, tobacco, and tobacco products. The new excise tax is expected to bring in up to OMR100 million a year to help balance Oman’s books.

Companies trying to dodge the tax could face stiff fines.

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