Muscat: Oman’s Ministry of Health has proposed tax on sugar and fast food, a top ministry official has said.
Dr Ali bin Talib Al Hinai, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Planning Affairs said: “The Ministry of Health has requested taxes on sugar and fast food, with the proposal to establish a medical city there will be an independent “Health Fund” - an investment arm that that will aid the Medical City to be funded first and then the health sector in general.”
He added, “This will be funded multiple ways, including taxes on substances that are harmful to a persons health - such as tobacco and alcohol, fast food, in addition to fees for health services.”
Al Hinai expected that levying taxes on sugar and fast food is expected to generate OMR80 million to OMR100 million annually with an expected return of 8 per cent, the figure is expected to be between OMR10.2 billion in 10 years.
In June, Oman revised the imposed excise tax on alcohol to a total of 50 per cent instead of 100 per cent for a period of six months, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The General Secretariat of Taxes started applying the selective tax for goods covered by the tax on 15 June, as stipulated in Royal Decree (23/2019) granting 90 days of the law to apply the tax.
The selective tax on tobacco and its derivatives, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages and pork was 100 per cent, while taxes on carbonated beverages were applied to the tune of 50 per cent, based on the retail price.
Al Hinai stressed that the Sultanate is one of the best countries in providing primary healthcare, pointing out that the Ministry aims to be administratively and financially independent after the establishment of the medical city.
He also explained that donations from good samaritans to the health sector amounted between OMR20 million to OMR25 million