Muscat: Cigarettes, alcohol, energy and soft drinks are going to be more expensive from June, when a new national tax is applied in Oman.
The ‘selective tax’ — or sin tax, will be enforced in 90 days time after His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said issued a Royal Decree that approves the new levy.
The Royal Decree stated: “By the first Royal Decree, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said approves the Selective Tax Law. The Tax Law will come into effect after 90 days.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Government Communication Centre said, “The Selective Goods Tax Law comes as a result of the GCC Standard Agreement on Selective Tax, issued in 2016 by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Qatar. This tax shall be levied on goods that have damage to public health or the environment in varying proportions.”
It added, “Selective taxation seeks to achieve a set of objectives, the most important of which is the promotion of healthy lifestyles, the treatment of negative phenomena and practices through the amending of the consumption pattern of individuals and an additional resource for public finances through the possibility of the tax revenues collected to promote health and social services.” The tax will increase the price of certain ‘unhealthy’ items by 100 per cent, such as tobacco products, energy drinks and alcohol. >A4
The National Health Data / Survey of Non-Communicable Diseases and Risk Factors, carried out by the Ministry of Health and covered more than 9,000 people, revealed a number of indicators that are considered a risk factor affecting human health and society.
The number of people with diabetes has exceeded 66 per cent. In addition, the percentage of people with diabetes in 10 years (2008-2018) has increased to more than 3 per cent, with more than 7,500 diabetics in the Sultanate of Oman annually, the data reveals.