Finance Ministry Studies Tax on Sweetened Drinks to Prevent Diabetes

30 September 2022 12:17 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaA special staffer of the Finance Ministry for Strategic Communication, Yustinus Prastowo, has spoken up about the plan to impose an excise tax on sweetened drinks or packaged sugary beverages. He said the policy is indeed under the domain of the Finance Ministry.

However, according to Excise Law and Law No. 7 of 2021, the extensification of every proposal for a new excise object must be discussed with the House of Representatives (Commission XI).

“Previously, it’s enough to be included in the RAPBN (state budget draft). Now they must be consulted in order to obtain public opinions,” said Prastowo during a discussion on Twitter Space held by Change.org on Thursday, September 29, 2022.

He said the ministry through the Directorate General of Customs and Excise and the Fiscal Policy Agency had also conducted a fairly in-depth study on excise on packaged sugary drinks with the Health Ministry and the Industry Ministry.

The government then agreed that the excise policy is necessary in controlling sugar consumption in the community for the sake of public health. This coincides with the plan of expanding the object of excise to plastics.

However, Prastowo said the government is facing challenges in economic recovery due to the pandemic over the past two years. Another challenge is the aspect of the industrial scale. He revealed that sweet drinks are not only produced by large industries or factories but also by small industries without the control of the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency or BPOM.

“We used to have a sugar excise tax back in 1996, then it was revoked due to various considerations. Now, there are new considerations,” Prastowo added.

The other challenge, he went on, is determining where the excise tax will be imposed and how to evaluate it. He said that in 39 countries that have implemented excise taxes on sugary drinks, except for dairy products, juices, and healthy drinks because they are considered beneficial for health. The Finance Ministry in tandem with the Health Ministry is also considering this carefully.

RIANI SANUSI PUTRI 

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