Indonesia: House speaker agrees to cigarette price hike

20 August 2016

House of Representative speaker Ade Komarudin has agreed to a plan to hike cigarette prices to Rp 50,000 (US$3.79) per pack, more than 50 percent higher than the current cost.

He said he believed the policy would discourage people from buying the unhealthy product.

“I agree to increasing the price. Cigarettes are a common enemy for the nation,” he told reporters on Friday at the legislative complex in Senayan, South Jakarta.

He added that he expected the policy would gradually reduce cigarette consumption and increase the country’s income from tobacco taxation.

The government is currently considering input from the public to significantly increase cigarette prices because an ongoing campaign has been considered ineffective, especially in preventing underage smoking.

Members of the public who oppose cigarettes consider the relatively low prices and easy access as encouraging high consumption.

“We have yet to discuss the excise for cigarettes. It is revised annually,” Suahasil Nazara of the Finance Ministry’s fiscal policy office said Wednesday.