Illustration – Farm workers tend to tobacco plants in Pamekasan, Madura, East Java. Photo: Antara/Abd Aziz
jatim.jpnn.com, SURABAYA – The government’s plan to increase cigarette excise rates in 2022 is considered to weaken the economic movement of small communities in the field.
This was expressed by two elements of society that focus on smoking and tobacco issues, namely the Tobacco Consumer Society (Mascot) and the National Committee for Preservation of Kretek (KNPK).
Representative of the Tobacco Consumers Society (Maskot) Endro Guntoro said that the government’s plan to increase cigarette excise prices would affect the retail selling price of cigarettes to buyers and this would ‘kill’ small traders.
“If retail prices go up, consumers will find it difficult to buy, it’s the same as killing small traders, MSMEs,” explained Endro.
In fact, according to Endro, small traders and the wider community are the strength of tobacco.
Therefore, Endro asked the government to take into account the community’s decisions and suggestions from various parties.
“The government must listen to inputs from various parties equally, including in this case consumers of tobacco products, farmers, laborers, micro, macro and industrial traders,” he said.
Coordinator of the National Kretek Preservation Committee (KNPK) Mohammad Nur Azami said almost the same thing. Azmi sees that the planned increase in excise rates does not take into account the purchasing power of consumers and the economy of traders.