New Delhi: Smokers will have to shell out more for the puff as finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech proposed a steep hike in duty on cigarettes, and also made pan masala, gutkha, chewing tobacco and aerated drinks containing sugar costlier.

While presenting the budget for 2014-15, Jaitley proposed to increase the specific excise duty on cigarettes in the range of 11-72%.

Excise duty has been increased to 72% on cigarettes of length not exceeding 65 mm and to 11-21% for cigarettes of other lengths.

Similar increases has also been proposed on cigars, cheroots and cigarillos.

Likewise, excise duty on pan masala has been increased to 16% from 12%, unmanufactured tobacco to 55% from 50%; and gutkha and chewing tobacco to 70% from 60%.

The finance minister also proposed to levy an additional excise duty of 5% on aerated waters containing added sugar.

“These are healthy measures and I hope everyone would welcome them from the point of view of human and fiscal health," Jaitley said.

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