Bill seeks to protect leaf growers

| April 27, 2016

A proposed tobacco bill would provide price protection for Indonesian tobacco farmers, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

The House of Representatives’ legislative body, Baleg, is said to have been working toward finalizing the bill, which in its original form was rejected by the Health Ministry in December and dismissed by a consumer organization as a product of the cigarette industry.

Baleg’s deputy chairman, Firman Subagyo, said in Jakarta on Monday that the bill was expected to be ready for deliberation next month.

If the tobacco bill were approved, it would offer price protection for tobacco farmers, especially in respect of unique varieties, said Firman, a Golkar Party politician, who chairs the working committee tasked with drafting the bill.

The bill would also regulate relations between tobacco farmers and tobacco-product manufacturers.

In December, the Health Ministry opposed the bill, reportedly in part at least because it lacked a sense of urgency; and the relevant ministries agreed to halt discussions on it.

Since then, the Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI) has called for the removal of the tobacco bill from the 2015-2019 national legislation program.

The YLKI chairman, Tulus Abadi, said the bill was promoted by Indonesia’s cigarette industry, especially by the major cigarette manufacturers, with the primary purpose of boosting production, which currently amounted to 365 billion cigarettes per year.

He said also that the tobacco bill was created by the cigarette industry to annul tobacco control articles stipulated in laws, regulations and bylaws.

Category: Breaking News

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