War on sugar: What other countries are doing

India: 'Sin tax' does nothing to quench thirst for sugary drinks

India accounts for 49 per cent of the world's diabetes burden, with an estimated 72 million cases in 2017. The Indian Medical Association estimates that Indians consume as many as 16 to 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, far above the WHO's prescription.
India accounts for 49 per cent of the world's diabetes burden, with an estimated 72 million cases in 2017. The Indian Medical Association estimates that Indians consume as many as 16 to 20 teaspoons of sugar a day, far above the WHO's prescription.PHOTO: REUTERS

Often dubbed the "diabetes capital of the world", India announced its intent to reduce the intake of sugary drinks by placing them in the highest goods and services tax bracket of 28 per cent in July, 2017.

In addition, sweetened aerated water and flavoured water were slapped with a 12 per cent "compensation cess", or sin tax, a category reserved primarily for harmful products such as tobacco.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 20, 2019, with the headline ''Sin tax' does nothing to quench thirst for sugary drinks'. Print Edition | Subscribe