Illegal Tobacco Sales in Pakistan Surpass Legal Market

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Illegal Tobacco Sales in Pakistan Surpass Legal Market
Illegal cigarette sales in Pakistan have surpassed the legal market, accounting for 63% of total sales since a tax increase in 2023, according to Tribune news platform.

According to news platform Tribune on October 14th, data provided by representatives of Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) reveals that since the tobacco consumption tax was adjusted by more than 200% in early 2023, the sales volume of illegal cigarettes has accounted for 63% of total sales, indicating that the illicit tobacco market has surpassed the legal market.


The PTC representatives emphasize that the government-led national strategy to combat illicit tobacco trade, along with the strengthened actions of dedicated law enforcement units, contributes to the reduction of illegal trade and boosts national fiscal revenue.


In the fiscal year of 2024, the potential government revenue loss caused by illegal industries is projected to exceed the total income generated by legal industries for the first time.


Kasim Tarek, Senior Manager of Business Development at PTC, has stated that the potential tax losses for the government due to the illicit tobacco market are estimated to be over $1 billion (300 billion rupees).


The legal tobacco industry is projected to lose sales of over 11 billion cigarette packs as many consumers increasingly prefer tax evasion and smuggling.


The legal tobacco industry has witnessed a sales drop of over 55% from January to June 2023, raising concerns about its business sustainability.


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