Challenges and Calls for Regulation in Indonesia's Tobacco Industry

Regulations by 2FIRSTS.ai
May.10
Challenges and Calls for Regulation in Indonesia's Tobacco Industry
AMTI Chairman Budhyman expressed concerns at a Jakarta meeting about Indonesia's tobacco ecosystem being threatened by restrictive regulations.

According to a report from DetikFinance on May 9th, Budhyman, the chairman of the Indonesian Tobacco Community Alliance (AMTI), spoke at a meeting in Jakarta, stating that although the tobacco products industry continues to contribute to the country's development despite facing challenges, many regulations severely limit the tobacco ecosystem and could potentially lead to a total ban. He called on the government to consider the voices of the tobacco ecosystem stakeholders when addressing regulatory issues.

 

All elements of the tobacco ecosystem, from upstream to downstream, including tobacco farmers, clove farmers, workers, manufacturers, and consumers, are committed to maintaining the sustainability of this commodity. Budhyman, the chairman of the Indonesian Tobacco Communities Alliance (AMTI), stated that on the other hand, there are still many policies that could completely ban the tobacco ecosystem. Therefore, all elements are in consensus in calling for participation in the formulation of regulations to manage the tobacco ecosystem.

 

However, it is important to remember that six million people's livelihoods directly depend on the tobacco ecosystem. If any element of it is disrupted, it is certain that everyone will feel the impact. Therefore, we hope the government can acknowledge the willingness of the upstream and downstream tobacco industry to comply with regulations surrounding this system," emphasized Budiman.

 

In addition, Suyana, the chairman of the West Java branch of the Indonesian Tobacco Farmers Association (APTI), expressed that tobacco is a commodity that people both hate and long for. As the most upstream element, tobacco farmers fear that they will lose their identity and land due to the endless oppression of Indonesian tobacco regulations.

 

We farmers always comply with the regulations. However, we feel like the government is absent and not protecting farmers. Indonesia is an agricultural country, but farmers are prohibited from growing tobacco. So, where exactly is the government's role?" he said.

 

In downstream, the Chairman of the Indonesian Tobacco Producers Association (Gaprindo), Benny Wajudi, stated that the situation of the tobacco products industry (IHT) is not good at the moment. Being a complex industry, IHT is always surrounded by regulations gradually treating tobacco as a legal product.

 

However, the country's income still depends on tobacco taxes (CHT). Excessive regulations, including constantly increasing fiscal policies (raising CHT), do not necessarily mean that the prevalence of smoking will decrease. Instead, illicit tobacco becomes more rampant, ultimately affecting the country's income," Benny emphasized.

 

Sulaimi Bahar, chairman of the Tobacco Companies Alliance (Gapero), also shares the same concerns. He mentioned that the current situation is particularly challenging for the tobacco product industry, especially for small-scale hand-rolled cigarette manufacturers. Despite some growth, existing regulations continue to weigh heavily on small businesses.

 

We are very scared. Slowly but surely, the small SKT company that is struggling to survive will have nothing left. We hope the government can look at the current situation fairly," Sulami said.

 

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