Cigarette imports to reduce by 2bn sticks by year end: Official

TEHRAN, Jan. 02 (MNA) – Iran will cut down on cigarette imports volume by two billion sticks before the end of the current Iranian calendar year.

Head of Iranian Tobacco Planning and Supervision Center Ali-Asghar Ramzi made the remark, adding “with the coordination made in this regard, cigarette import volume will drop from about four billion to approximatly two billion by the year end, showing a considerable slump.”

Speaking in the 28th Working Group session of Taskforce against Smuggling Goods and Foreign Exchange, he put the current annual cigarette consumption rate in the country at about 55 billion.

He also put the cigarette production volume in 2014 at 29 billion and said, “this amount was produced in seven tobacco production plants but domestic importers were forced to produce cigarette inside the country.”

Turning to the cigarette smuggling volume in the country, he said, “effective steps have been taken in line with reducing the smuggling volume of cigarette, in which, cigarette smuggling in the country experienced a considerable 23 percent growth in the current year as compared to the same period last year.”

An online system will be commissioned in the country to monitor all relevant activities, ranging from producing, distributing, warehousing, stocking to transporting cigarettes, he said, adding, “this equipped system would be made available to the Iranian National Tax Administration (INTA) according to the 6th Five-Year Socioeconomic and Cultural Development Plan of the country."

Statistics show that 1,300 direct and more than 4,000 indirect employment opportunities have thus far been created in 10 cigarette production plants in the country, Ramzi concluded.

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News Code 130852

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