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20-30% health tax on food high in sugar

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH 

Context: A study commissioned by Niti Aayog recommends imposing a health tax of 20-30% in addition to GST on foods high in sugar, salt, and fat, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).

  • The study, funded by UNICEF, aims to influence policies that promote healthy eating practices.
  • The research suggests that such taxes could lead to a 13-18% decrease in demand for sugar in bulk purchases.
  • India, being the largest consumer of sugar globally, faces health challenges, and the study suggests that taxing unhealthy foods may help reduce obesity and related health issues.


The study draws parallels with other countries that have successfully implemented health taxes on similar products, such as Mexico, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and South Africa.