EghtesadOnline: About 45 billion cigarettes were produced in Iran over the last fiscal year (March 2016-17), registering a 50% rise compared with the year before, the head of the Center for Tobacco Planning and Supervision said.
“The output met close to 82% of domestic demand for cigarettes. Plans are to increase this figure to 90% by the end of the current year (March 20, 2018),” Ali Asghar Ramzi was also quoted as saying by the Persian daily Abrar-e-Eqtesadi.
The official added that 4 billion cigarettes were imported last year, down from 16.4 billion in the previous year, indicating a 76% drop.
Smuggled cigarettes, says Ramzi, saw a 30% decrease from 8.6 billion cigarettes two years ago to 6 billion last year, Financial Tribune reported.
According to the Health Ministry, Iranians smoke about 55 billion cigarettes annually.
The government aims to call a complete halt to cigarette imports.
Members of the Iranian Parliament approved in mid-January cigarette and tobacco tax rates, as part of the sixth five-year development plan (2017-22).
Based on the new law, the tax rate on locally-produced tobacco and cigarettes is set at 10%. The rate stands at 20% for local brands jointly produced by domestic and foreign manufacturers, 25% for domestically produced cigarettes with foreign brand names and 40% for imported cigarettes and tobacco, IRNA reported.
The MPs also mandated the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade to announce the retail prices of cigarettes and all tobacco products to relevant authorities for taxation purposes and for printing on cigarette packs.