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Tag: hungary

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New tender for tobacconists in Hungary

| May 14, 2013

Hungary’s national tobacco company has put out a new tender for tobacconists who were not granted a concession in a recent bid, a government official said on Tuesday.

Thanks to the new tender, tobacconists who would otherwise be obliged to give up their business as of June 30 will be given an opportunity to try again, state secretary at the Development Ministry Janos Fonagy said in parliament on Tuesday in reply to a question by the radical nationalist Jobbik party, according to a story published on the politics.hu website.

Parties of the opposition have sharply criticised the government for the earlier tobacco tender, insisting that members of the ruling Fidesz party influenced the tender process.

Legislation approved last September established a state monopoly on the retail sale of tobacco products from July 1, 2013.

Ousted retailers could be compensated

| May 10, 2013

The Hungarian government is considering what it should do to compensate tobacco-product retailers who missed out when tobacco retail licenses were recently put out to tender, according to an All Hungary Media Group story (AHMG).

Legislation passed in September last year provided for the establishment of a state monopoly of the retail sale of tobacco products from July 1, 2013. The process, overseen by the National Tobacco Trade Non-profit (NTTN) organization, has involved putting out for tender a limited number of tobacco retail concessions.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban apparently told public radio Kossuth the government was working to ensure that people whose livelihoods depended on selling tobacco products, but who had failed in their bids for licenses, stayed in business.

And ruling Fidesz party group leader Antal Rogan said he supported the idea of compensation.

But asked whether plans were afoot to ban family members of local council officials from getting licenses, Rogan said such a move would create more problems than it would solve.

Meanwhile, NTTN has refused a socialist MP’s request for access to documents containing bids submitted for the recent tenders.

The company rejected Csaba Toth’s request to view the bids, arguing that even though NTTN was publicly owned, it was not a state agency and so it did not have to disclose such information.

Toth said he would appeal to the National Development Ministry.

Opposition parties have sharply criticized the government for the tobacco tender, alleging that Fidesz party members had influenced the process.

Earlier this year, the NTTN was forced to announce a second tender in 1,417 communities from which no applications had been received during the initial tender.

Hungary moves from open market to monopoly to zeropoly

| April 15, 2013

Smokers in some Hungarian villages will not have local access to cigarettes after a new law allowing only state-licensed tobacconists to sell cigarettes comes into effect in May, according to an MTI-EcoNews story quoting the opposition Socialist lawmaker, Csaba Toth.

As was reported here on April 3, the country’s parliament adopted legislation in September last year for the establishment of a state monopoly of the retail sale of tobacco products on July 1, 2013.

The National Tobacco Trade Non-profit, which is overseeing the establishment of the monopoly, said that 15,633 applications for the retail sale of tobacco had been submitted by the February 22 deadline stipulated in the initial tender.

No applications were submitted in the case of 1,417 villages, however; so new tenders have been invited.

But since the winners of the new round of tenders would be announced only on April 23, said Toth, there would not be enough time for the shops to open on May 1, the deadline after which only licensed tobacconists may sell cigarettes.

This would encourage black market trading and result in a drop in excise tax revenues, he added.