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Health taxes and warning labels on food products UPSC NOTE

 Impact of imposing health taxes and warning labels

  • A health tax of between 20% to 30% in addition to GST can be considered to be imposed on sugar, sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) like colas and juices as well asfoods high in sugar, salt and fat(HFSS).

  • The recommendation is an outcome of a UNICEF-funded project, and the authors hope that this study along with others will. influence policies aimed to reduce consumption of sugar and related products.

  • Niti Aayog is interested in understanding the impact of imposing health taxes and warning labels on food products.

  • This is to encouraging healthy eating practices in Indian consumers.

  • Health economists and WHO and a co-author of the study tells, Its does not recommend taxing households on purchase of their regular ration of sugar. 

  • The study insists that bulk consumers of sugar such as confectionery and sweet manufacturers may be taxed which may reduce their demand for sugar. 

  • According to Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution data, confectionery manufacturers purchase up to 55% of annual sugar produced in India.

What is Price Elasticity

  • Price elasticity of demand refers to the responsiveness of the quantity demanded of a good or service to changes in its price

  • It essentially measures how much demand shifts when the price goes up or down

  • It's expressed as a coefficient, a number that tells you how much the percentage change in quantity demanded is in relation to a one percent change in price.

  • Perfectly elastic: This means a small change in price leads to a dramatic change in demand. 

  • Elastic: Here, a moderate change in price leads to a significant change in demand

  • Unit elastic: In this case, the percentage change in quantity demanded is exactly equal to the percentage change in price. 

  • Inelastic: Here, a change in price doesn't significantly impact demand. Insulin or life-saving medication are examples; 

  • Perfectly inelastic: This implies demand does not change at all, no matter how much the price goes up.  Elasticity coefficient equals 0.

  • Understanding price elasticity helps businesses set optimal prices, forecast demand, and make informed decisions about marketing. 


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Health taxes and warning labels on food products UPSC NOTE
Health taxes and warning labels on food products UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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