EghteadOnline: Misguided policies related to the tobacco industry, restrictive regulations and lack of thoughtful plans have led to a decline in output of Iranian Tobacco Company in recent years, says a member of the company’s board of directors.
“ITC’s production last year [March 2019-20] reached around six billion cigarettes compared with nine billion in the year ending March 2019 and 12 billion in the year ending March 2018," Payam Hamedani-Mojarrad was also quoted as saying by ISNA.
The oldest Iranian tobacco company has 81 production lines and is capable of producing 40 billion cigarettes annually to meet 50% of the market demand. However, according to the official, the government has yet to decide whether it is willing to improve its performance in the tobacco industry, which is one of the top five high-yielding industries in the world.
“As we speak, ITC has nearly 5,000 people on its payroll and purchases tobacco from 15,000 farmers, suggesting that it has created 20,000 direct and indirect jobs that could increase to 100,000 if the government were to create the right climate,” Hamedani-Mojarrad said.
Noting that imports account for 60-70% of 80 of the raw materials needed in cigarette production, the official said, “Petrochemical and other domestic industries have the potential of supplying much of the raw materials, including essences, cigarette paper and packaging materials.”
Iranian Tobacco Company was established in 1937 and totally owned by the government until 2013 when part of its shares was handed over to Iran Steel Pension Fund.
The average Consumer Price Index of tobacco in the 12-month period ending May 20 grew by 18.7% compared with the corresponding period of the year before.
According to the Statistical Center of Iran, its CPI stood at 316 last month, indicating a 4% rise compared with the month before.
The tobacco index, which has minimum impact on total inflation rate with a coefficient of 0.59%, registered a year-on-year increase of 13.9%.