Pakistan News

Cigarettes being sold in black

Cigarettes being sold in black

KARACHI: Local cigarettes are being sold in black ahead of the budget 2015-16.

Many brands, such as Gold Leaf and Marlboro, are being sold at higher rates.

A Rs100 packet of Gold Leaf is being sold at Rs110 while Rs180 Marlboro pack is fetching Rs240; Rs120 pack of Benson and Hedges is available at Rs150 while Rs110 Dunhill at Rs145.

Capstan and Morven are dearer by Rs5.

Dealers said the supply of local cigarettes has slowed down drastically over the past months by the manufacturers. According to market observers, no federal and provincial authority has intervened so far.

According to figures of large scale manufacturing (LSM) issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), cigarette production in the country stood at 46.7 billion in July-March 2014-15 as compared to 47bn in the same period last fiscal year.

In July-June 2013-14, production stood at 64.4bn as compared to 67.3bn in 2012-13.

Taking an average price of Rs5 per cigarette and average yearly production of 64bn cigarettes means the people burn over Rs250 billion to ash in a year.

A dealer in F.B. Area said the suppliers have piled up stocks and they would release it after the budget when new taxes and duties would be imposed.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2015

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