Over 0.47M sticks of cigarettes, worth more than Nu 1.04M, were legally imported last year.
From that, 26 percent were imported from India, and the rest from countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Japan and China.
Police seized 89,335 sticks of cigarettes, which were imported illegally into the country.
Following cigarettes, the highest value paid for was chewing tobacco imported from Thailand and India. More than 1,285kg of chewing tobacco worth more than Nu 49,779 was imported.
About 709 sticks of cigar worth Nu 51,470.85 were imported from India, Cuba and China, and 9,286 sticks of bidis worth Nu 2,746 were imported from India alone.
Other tobacco products totalling up to 2.23kg worth Nu 5,293.50 were also imported from Thailand, Germany, UK, Japan and India.
The total tax collected from tobacco was Nu 2.1M.
Of the total, about Nu 1.7M was collected from Paro region alone. This was because all the taxes for the third country imports were collected at the Paro airport.
More than Nu 1.5M of tax was collected from the import of tobacco products from third countries.
Revenue and custom’s regional director at Paro, Yonten Namgyel, said 100 percent tax and 100 percent customs duty have to be paid to import tobacco products from third countries, unlike only 100 percent tax to import from India. “This is the reason why the amount of tax collected from Paro is higher,” he said.
The tobacco control amendment act, 2012, states that the maximum permissible quantity for import of tobacco or tobacco products for personal consumption is 300 sticks of cigarettes or 400 sticks of bidis or 50 pieces of cigar or 250 grams of other tobacco or tobacco products.
The amended act also stated that, if a person was found possessing or transporting any tobacco or tobacco products within the permissible quantity, but without declaring or paying taxes, he or she would be fined Nu 10,000.
In 2011, more than Nu 1.9M tax was paid by importers to the department of revenue and customs.
By Sonam Choden