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Additional tax should be levied on saturated food items, suggests group of secretaries

Additional tax should be levied on saturated food items, suggests group of secretaries

New Delhi: A group of secretaries have recommended putting an additional tax on saturated food items, a top Health Ministry official said on Monday.

Health secretary CK Mishra said his ministry too has been making such recommendations from time to time while some amount of work on the issue is also being done by the country’s food regulator.

“We have been making these recommendations. There is some amount of work also going on in Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). “A group of secretaries also made a recommendation to tax all saturated food. These things are going on,” Mishra said.

He was asked whether the government, as a serious policy measure, contemplating to put tax on some food items and drinks.

According to reports, the group of secretaries had earlier recommended imposition of additional taxes on foods with added sugar and saturated fats.

Higher taxes on junk food and sugary beverages were suggested because consumption of such products is growing fast and fuelling several lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disorders.

Taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, a new World Health Organisation report had earlier said.

PTI