Understanding the Barriers to Raising Alcohol Taxes in NepalPosted October 10 2023
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are on the rise in Nepal. Consumption of alcohol and tobacco products remains high. Taxes on these products are significantly below the rate recommended by the WHO. In an effort to understand the reasons behind the slow progress towards the adoption of higher health taxes to curb NCDs, the researchers documented the perceptions of key stakeholders on health taxes, including perceived barriers and facilitators to adopting higher health taxes.
Several challenges exist in Nepal’s adoption of higher health taxes to curb NCDs. Chief among these challenges are lobbying by the industries against raising taxes and the government’s generally weak capacity on tax administration. Efforts to dispel misconceptions about the effect of higher taxes on the economy are needed. To increase public support for higher taxes, health taxes earmarked for NCDs need to reflect the amount of revenue raised, reoriented towards NCD prevention efforts and communicated clearly to the public.