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Indonesia refuses to sign tobaco control convention

19th June 2014 | 3.740 Views
Indonesia refuses to sign tobaco control convention
Illustration. Working atmosphere in one of the traditional cigarette industry in East Java. (FOTO ANTARA/Arief Priyono).
Kudus, Cenral Java (ANTARA News) - The government has decided not to sign Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to protect the countrys tobacco industry, an official said.

The decision is not temporary but it is effective as long as there is still agency wanting to protect the industry, director of beverage and tobacco industries at the industry ministry Faiz Ahmad said.

Faiz said support for the policy to maintain tobacco industry has diminished leaving only the industry ministry and the trade ministry are for maintaining the existence of the industry.

The president also refused to sign FCTC as there is still no unanimity among the government agencies on the FCTC, he said on the sideline of his visit to the Barito cigarette factory in the village of Gondosari, sub-district of Gebog, Kudus, together with a group of legislators from the Commission VI of the House of Representatives

In addition, there was a letter from the House asking the government to postpone signing or not to ratify the FCTC, he said.

As the FCTC is not signed, the existing regulation on tobacco industry will remain effective, he added.

If the government ratified the FCTC, Indonesia has to be abide by the references as set by it which means raising the tobacco excise as high as possible, he said.

Even now many cigarette factories are already out of business because of high production cost as a result of high excise duty.

"Clove flavored cigarette industry is a heritage that has to be protected," he said. (*)