TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the government has two concerns before issuing a regulation on cigarette excise; its health impact and the industry.
Minister Sri said that excessive use of tobacco, especially by children, would badly affect their health in the future. So the government imposed excise tariff on tobacco in a bid to lessen its consumption.
Meanwhile, the tobacco industry absorbed a large number of workers, including tobacco and clove farmers as producers.
“If the health adverse impact of smoking cigarette, especially children, is compared with the farmer’s cost and work as tobacco workers, which one we should be prioritized,” said Sri Mulyani today, March 21, before millennials in the National Town Hall on Youth Engagement event at Balai Sarbini, Jakarta.
Therefore, according to Sri Mulyani, the government planned to gradually increase the tariff based on the roadmap of tobacco excise. “By giving a signal to the tobacco industry and regional administrations,” she added.
Additionally, Sri Mulyani continued, the Finance Ministry through Customs and Excise Directorate General continuously strived to reduce the distribution of illegal cigarettes for the past two years. In 2017, its distribution rate amounted to 10.9 percent, decreased to 7.03 percent last year.