Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Economist from the State University of Brawijaya Ahmad Erani Yustika in Surabaya said increase in tobacco excise would not reduce cigarette consumption.

The government raised the tobacco excise tariff in 2013 by an average of 8.5 percent this year.

"So far an increase in tobacco excise rate has never resulted in a decline in cigarette consumption," Yustika on Thursday.

Demand for cigarette remained strong and production continues to increase from year to year, he said via telephone.

"Price has no significant effect on demand for cigarettes especially as the prices are raised by phases, he said.

Meanwhile, Abdillah Ahsan, a researcher from the Demography Institute of the Jakarta State University of Indonesia said the number of smokers in the country rose rose in the 1995-2010 period .

In 1995, around 27 percent of the country`s grown up people were smokers and in 2010 the percentage grew to 35 percent.

The government has repeatedly raised the tobacco tax but the policy has not caused a cut in the number of smokers as at the same time per capita income also increased, he said.

The country`s law rules the government should control the people`s cigarette consumption rate, he said.

"Therefore, higher levy should be collected for the state from cigarette ," he added.

Yudi Pramadi, a spokesman of the finance ministry, said the increase in the tobacco excise rate is to help reach the revenue target of Rp88.02 trillion from the tobacco excise sector in 2013.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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