Despite written assurance given by the Ministry of Finance to the Federal Ombudsman, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is continuously delaying to implement Health Levy Bill which may enhance the economic crisis caused by COVID 19 pandemic. General Secretary Pakistan National Heart association (PANAH) Sanaullah Ghman said this at a press conference on Tuesday along with other representatives of the association. He said that it was an effective strategy as under this it could be generated revenues from multiple sources under this for the government. “Apart from some other benefits, one of such sources is the health levy on cigarettes and sugary drinks,” he claimed. The speakers highlighted some basic reasons for non-implementations of the bill in true sprite. They said that besides the law and justice department it was also approved by the federal cabinet in 2019. “Despite this, no implantation shows some hidden interests of the authorities concerned in this,” the general secretary alleged. Ghumman stated that health is a fundamental right of the people, the provision of which is the responsibility of the government, adding that that smoking and sugary drinks are a major cause of various diseases including heart disease. “All international bodies including the World Health Organization (WHO) categorically declared that if any country wants to reduce consumption of such deadly products then to increase taxes on all these products is the sole solution for this,” he recalled. Malik Imran, Country Representative, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, said that the FBR is deliberately delaying the implementation of the Health levy on tobacco products which was approved by Cabinet with special directions from the Prime Minister Imran Khan. He added that due to this delay, the country lost more than Rs 50 billion, adding that it is continuously losing large revenues which could have been utilized for various schemes of public welfare by the government, including Ahsas Program or Universal Health Insurance Card. According to the details, the federal Cabinet in its meeting held on 28 May approved to include in Finance bill 2019-20 regarding imposition of Health levy on cigarettes at the rate of Rs 10 per Pack of 20 cigarettes and Rs 1 on 250 ml of carbonated drinks. The revenue generated through the Health Tax was proposed to earmark for the health sector development over and above its routine budgetary allocation. However, the speakers alleged, the practical compliance on this decision of the cabinet is still in limbo, adding that apart from some other authorities concerned the FBR is the major culprit behind this big failure.