By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
The truth behind former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s acts relating to receiving several international awards for what he had done to the country from 2015 to 2020 has now been exposed, Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge alleged.
“Cigarette companies had been a threat when conducting campaigns to minimise cigarette smoking in the country during the past few years. During such campaigns, there was a drop in smoking among people,” he said.
“Though cigarette production dropped during the past five years, the net profit of those companies had increased. However, the tax increase over cigarettes was also increased,” the doctor said.
It had been revealed now that the actions taken by the previous government to increase the tax improvement on cigarettes was a myth.
“Previous governments collected the majority of tax revenue from cigarettes but during the past regime, cigarette companies had increased their profit. The former Health Minister had taken measures to increase company profits nine-fold than government profit. Now the time has come to end this trend,” Dr Aluthge said. He said several survey reports had revealed that individuals in Samurdhi recipient families were spending three times for cigarettes more than the Samurdhi Subsidiary they received monthly.