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House Approves Gov’t Plan to Raise Tobacco Excise

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Chief of Commission IX of the House of Representatives Dede Yusuf said that his Commission will support the government’s plan to increase tobacco excise tariff. However, Dede underlined that revenues from tobacco excise must be channeled to provide medical services.

“If the government increases tobacco excise tariffs, we will agree, but revenues from the excise must be used for medical funds, building hospitals,” Dede said on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.

In addition, Dede also stated that the government must provide protection for tobacco farmers. “Not the cigarette industry,” Dede said. Dede said that even today, many laborers in the cigarette industry are being paid low wages.

Dede asserted that tobacco excise has large contribution in generating state revenue, with a total contribution of Rp 120 o 140 million. Based on available records, the number of active smokers in Indonesia had reached 90 million people, 10 percent of which are children. “This is very concerning,” Dede said.

Dede said that Commission IX is focusing on discussing tobacco control effort, which is considered to be an addictive substance. Moreover, Dede stated that the government needs to protect Indonesian tobacco farmer and Indonesian tobaccos. “In the cigarette industry, they only use 40 percent local tobacco,” Dede said.

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