Kerala ranks second in the country in terms of obesity, behind Punjab. To tackle the problem of growing obesity, Kerala’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has decided to impose 14.5 pc ‘fat tax’ on the fast food chains like Mcdonald’s, KFC, Dominos etc.
The Minister took the cue from other countries such as Denmark which have experimented with such taxes. However, Denmark, realising that this tax actually damages more than it does good, scrapped the tax after just an year. People were going for even more cheaper food after the tax was imposed and the Danish government realised that the tax put Danish jobs in jeopardy.
There are many loopholes in this. The tax only applies to prominent and regulated cafes but it ignores local food stalls and restaurants. This could attract protests from the cafe owners citing discrimination.
Isaac put forward another benefit of the tax as the Rs 10 crore revenue it will generate. This amount is insignificant for a state such as Kerala and unlikely to be of any use.
The only question perhaps now is, will the state go on to implement measures like this for the longer run or strike at the base of obesity by encouraging healthy foods and lifestyles. It also remains to see exactly why was the tax was thought of in the first place as it has not worked anywhere in the world. Following few weeks will make the picture clear after the tax is fully implemented.
We will keep you updated as soon as new information is released. Let us know your opinions in the comments below!
Title image: Absolutewealth