The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) has criticized the government for withdrawing the cigarette industry from the negative investment list (DNI), which was part of the economic stimulus package announced by the government on Monday.
YLKI chairman Tulus Abadi expressed concern that foreign investors would invest large amounts of money into the country’s cigarette industry to maximize profits at the expense of people’s health.
“It is a counterproductive policy,” Tulus said in Jakarta on Tuesday as reported by tribunenews.com.
On Monday, the government announced its 16th economic stimulus package, which among others, revises Presidential Regulation No. 44/2016 on the DNI. The cigarette industry is one of the 54 sectors that will be liberalized to boost foreign capital inflows.
Tulus said the acquisition of several Indonesian cigarette companies by foreign companies had meant foreign companies already enjoyed large profits.
Meanwhile, Industry Ministry beverage, tobacco and refreshment industry director Abdul Rochim said the withdrawal of the cigarette industry from the negative investment list would help Indonesia export more cigarettes.
He claimed the new policy would not fully open the cigarette industry to foreign investment, but he did not elaborate further.
Tulus, however, believed more acquisitions of cigarette factories by foreign investors would take place after the introduction of the new policy. “Don’t sacrifice the people because of the [government’s] failure in managing the country’s economy,” Tulus said as quoted by tempo.co. (bbn)