Today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her fifth and BJP’s last Union Budget before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. She announced a 16% rise in National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) on cigarettes. Thus, smoking will now become expensive in India due to a substantial hike in the customs duty levied on tobacco items. Among all other announcements, this proposal in the Union Budget 2023-24 ‘broke’ Indian Twitter as they started flooding the micro-blogging site with funny memes and jokes.
Desis got no chill as they flocked into the social media platform like anything! Costlier cigarettes, thus, sparked a memefest on Twitter with netizens warming up the situation by putting up light-hearted jokes and ‘bitter’ puns.
दिन मैं अधिक सिगरेट पीने वालों के जेब मैं पैसे ः #Budget2023 #NirmalaSitharaman #cigarettes #buyingcontent pic.twitter.com/G0wwrQxib0— . (@Aditya48817734) February 1, 2023
Tax On Cigarette Raised By 16% ⬆️#cigarettes #Smokers - pic.twitter.com/9ZWvLoUVyt— Shailaja Shashikant Jogal (शैलजा शशिकांत जोगल) (@jogalshailaja) February 1, 2023
Indian smokers covering up the ground after watching the increased custom duty implemented on #cigarettes #Budget2023 #incometax pic.twitter.com/W4pjnLJBdX— Membooda (@memebooda) February 1, 2023
ITC after every budget #cigarettes #itc #Budget2023 pic.twitter.com/Wp4Ovh3WdQ— Political tweets (@_politicaltwits) February 1, 2023
#cigarettes #Budget2023 #BudgetNirmala Tai to smokers:- pic.twitter.com/lLqX9vuMU9
— Vishal Pandey (@balliaticvishal) February 1, 2023
Dukhad #Budget2023 #incometax #cigarettes pic.twitter.com/fndpVgITWW— Manish Gaur (@_immanishgaur) February 1, 2023
FM #NirmalaSitaraman Hero Giri Fu Fu karne me nhi hai#cigarettes price hike #Budget2023All smokers right now pic.twitter.com/N2gGwgSON2
— Manish Kumar (@ManishKumar8365) February 1, 2023
#cigarettes #Budget2023 pic.twitter.com/QZ7Y7Lscdi— चिकित्सक (@dr_Hypertension) February 1, 2023
Following the Budget announcement, stocks of cigarette companies, including Godfrey Phillips and ITC Ltd., plunged by up to 5% on the BSE. According to PTI, the shares of the former company fell as much as 4.92 percent to Rs. 1,828 on the BSE while ITC slumped by 0.78 percent at Rs. 349 on the bourse. Even Golden Tobacco was trading 3.81 percent lower at Rs 59.4.
Experts believe that an increase in taxes on tobacco-based items and stricter laws will bring out the best of the human capital by ensuring better health conditions for the citizens. It is also expected to lead India to achieve PM Narendra Modi’s vision of a five-trillion-dollar economy by 2025.
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