Indonesia drafts new health bill, tobacco industry will face tighter controls

Indonesia drafts new health bill, tobacco industry will face tighter controls

According to Indonesian media Kompas.com reported on December 28, the Indonesian government is drafting a Health Government Regulation (RPP) with the Ministry of Health as a derivative regulation of Health Law (UU) No. 17.

The main issues in health law and regulations include the management of health workers, the integration of primary health services, health care for non-communicable diseases, the protection of addictive substances in tobacco and e-cigarette products, first aid in abnormal situations and epidemics, health financing, Governance with community involvement, and guidance and oversight.

One of the main areas covered is the regulation of addictive substances, including tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Although the regulation is intended to improve public health, its draft has sparked controversy.

The tobacco products industry is a labor-intensive industry that provides many benefits to the Indonesian economy. Critics believe that the measures covered by this regulation are discriminatory against the tobacco products industry (IHT) and its products.

Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and Industry (Kemenperin) show that the tobacco products industry employed 5.98 million workers in 2018, including 4.28 million people in the manufacturing and distribution sector and 1.7 million people in the cultivation sector. The industry also contributes significantly to state revenue. Through exports, the tobacco processing industry contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Indonesia.

In addition, the Indonesian tobacco products industry (IHT) contributed Rp 21.8 trillion and Rp 18.88 trillion in wealth to the country through tobacco tax (CHT) in 2022 and 2021 respectively.

Research results released by the Indonesian Institute of Economic and Financial Development (Indef) in Jakarta on December 20 showed that if the health draft is approved, it may cause the country to lose up to 10.3 trillion rupiah (approximately RMB 877.7 billion).
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