June 13, 2012
UNITAID Urges India to Tax Air Tickets to Fund HIV Meds
UNITAID, a U.N. agency, is lobbying
countries to tax air tickets as a way to raise funds for HIV and AIDS
medications, reports Reuters. Under the program, countries add a small levy on
airfare tickets, which then funds UNITAID to buy HIV drugs for people in the
developing world. Ten countries have so far imposed the levy and have generated
$200 million for low-cost meds. UNITAID is now asking India to join the group.
Though India’s airlines are struggling under $20 billion of debt, the country
has the fastest growing air passenger market of any major economy, with 61
million people traveling last year. Officials say that charging a tax of 18
cents on domestic tickets and $1 on international flights would be enough to
fund low-cost drug programs.
To read the Reuters article, click here.
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