Narendra Modi government considering ‘fat tax’ on junk food and sugary drinks

New Delhi, Jan 16: The Modi government is considering raising taxes on junk food and sugary drinks and this tax could be included in the 2017-2018 Budget, slated to be presented on 1 February.

A report states that a 11-member group including secretaries of the health, sanitation and urban development had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and advocated for a “fat tax,” which could play a role in countering diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

“In our presentation to the PM, we suggested higher taxes on junk food and sugary beverages because consumption of such products is growing fast and fueling several lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disorders. We have also suggested that revenue earned from such tax be invested in health schemes,” a member of the group was quoted as saying.

A study published in the Lancet Journal last year found India to be among the top five countries with an obesity problem. India is home to over 40 percent of the global underweight population, but it also the third most obese country in the world, with 41 million obese people.

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