Huge tax evasion due to smuggling of foreign-made cigarettes

AIZAWL: Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla today said huge tax evasion was suspected due to the smuggling of foreign-made cigarettes to Mizoram and immediate action was required to put an end to it.

Addressing a function here on World No Tobacco Day, Thanhawla was quoted by an official statement as saying the smuggling of cigarettes from neighbouring countries are carried out in a “hawala-like racket”, the statement said.

The government, he said, has been contemplating hiking of taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

He hailed the role of the churches in the fight against tobacco and said more needed to be done by the churches for creating awareness in the state where tobacco use was still extremely high.

Massive operations have been launched in the state to prevent and combat illegal import of foreign-made cigarettes from Myanmar and Bangladesh, the official statement added.