Jakarta: PKB politician Dita Indah Sari has questioned the Government’s plan to increase cigarette taxes by 23 percent and retail prices by 35 percent this year.
According to the PKB Central Executive Board official, the increase is too high. As a result, the policy can threaten the tobacco Industry and its workers.
“The increase should be based on the current inflation rate and the economic growth rate as references. The increase should be not more than 15 percent,” Dita said here on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.
Dita also warned that the policy can negatively affect the workers working at cigarette factories and the tobacco farmers across Indonesia. She revealed that high number of workers can be laid off as a result of the policy.
There are 150,000 factory workers; 60,000 employees; 2.3 million tobacco farmers; 1.6 million clove farmers, and 2.9 million retailers in the cigarette industrial sector.
“Cigarette factories will consider laying off their workers and reducing the purchase of tobacco from farmers.,” said Dita.
She added that in 2012, there were 1,000 operational cigarette factories. However, as a result of tax increase and anti-smoking campaign, the amount of the factories has reduced to only 456 in 2018. (Translator: Muhammad Gestinev)