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Earned media campaign to push the HDS Policy Passage

Earned media campaign to push the HDS Policy Passage. As part of the ongoing earned media campaign to push the Health Development Surcharge (HDS) Policy passage, three media stories have been published by three ATMA members during 3 to 16 August 2017 in their respective newspapers. Brief summaries of the stories are as follows:

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Tk 900cr unused due to policy

Abu Ali, 3 August, The Daily Amader Somoy

Over Tk 900 crores cannot be used due to delay in finalizing the Health Development Surcharge (HDS) Management Policy for past three years, reads a report on The Daily Amader Somoy by Abu Ali, an ATMA Member on August 9, 2017. Quoting the NTCC Program Officer, the report says that the draft HDS policy describes the specific areas of tobacco control where the money will be utilized, immediate after passage of the policy. The detail of the report is available on the following link:

http://dainikamadershomoy.com/ todays-paper/more-news/93425/ নীতিমালার-অভাবে-অলস-পড়ে-আছে- ৯০০-কোটি-টাকা

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Tk 900cr requires HDS policy to be spent

Golam Mostafa Jibon, 9 August, The Daily Asian Age

Over Tk 900 crores have been lying unused owing an effective Health Development Surcharge (HDS) Management Policy for past three years and the fund gathered so far will be usable once the policy is done, reads a report on The Daily Asian Age by Golam Mostafa Jibon, an ATMA Member on August 9, 2017. The report also reads that the draft of the policy is at its final stage and necessary preparations and procedures, like comments from the other ministries etc., have been followed earlier while planning to use the fund in future is underway. According to the report, HDS is a kind of tariff imposed on tobacco and other products considered harmful for public health. The detail of the report is available on the following link: http://dailyasianage.com/news/ 78917/over-tk-900cr-lying-idle -for-want-of-policy

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Tk 900crs unused for HDS Policy

Zahangir Alam, 16 August, The Daily Manabkantha

The Health Development Surcharge (HDS) introduced to protect people from detrimental impacts of tobacco use and meet expenses of tobacco-related diseases based on the demands from anti-tobacco activists, and accordingly a 1% HDS was introduced which is accumulated to Tk 900 crores now, reads a report on the Daily Manobkantha on August 16, 2017 by Zahangir Alam, an ATMA member. But the HDS is unused due to want of a policy to use the fund and no final decisions have been made so far about the usage policy despite direct indication from the Prime Minister on South Asian Speakers’ Summit held on 30 January, 2016. Though a draft of the surcharge usage policy was formulated, it is now covered with bureaucratic curtains. The Coordinator of National Tobacco Control Cell (NTCC) told that the government is strict against tobacco use and the HDS policy will be legalized shortly. Tobacco control is important for a sustainable development, believes Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, a prominent economist and Chairman of PKSF. The detail of the report is available on the following link:

https://www.manobkantha.com/নী তিমালার-অভাবে-পড়ে-আছে-স/

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In addition to this, an investigative story has been published on 16 August by another ATMA member in his respective media exposing the fact of BATB tricks regarding low-tier cigarette price. A brief summary of the story is as follows:

 

Tobacco Cos’ interference on price fixing

Hamid Uz Zaman, 16 August, The Daily Jugantor

Policymakers from the government are negotiating to reduce the price and tax of tobacco products manufactured by the multinational tobacco companies in Bangladesh and also placing excuses that foreign investment may get hampered for this reason as this specific multinational tobacco company has postponed its investment, reads a report on the Daily Jugantor by Hamid Uz Zaman Mamun, an ATMA member on August 16, 2017. The report also reads that the tobacco company is using the financial adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr. Moshiur Rahman for this purpose as he is recommending for the company. The anti-tobacco activist told that the Premier declared to make the country tobacco-free but the tobacco companies are impeding the process. The detail of the report is available on the following link: http://www.jugantor.com/indust ry-trade/2017/08/16/148446/দাম -নির্ধারণে-তামাক-কোম্পানির-হস্ তক্ষেপ

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