Tobacco taken off inflation data
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TOBACCO has been taken off Brunei’s ‘shopping basket’ that is used to compute consumer price changes or inflation.
In a press conference, the Department of Economic Planning and Development said most stores are no longer selling tobacco products.
“It is no longer readily available in shops in Brunei,” said the Director-General of Department of Economic Planning and Development or JPKE, Dr Hjh May Fa’ezah Hj Ahmad Ariffin.
The lack of retailer data as well as pricing from distributors led to the decision to exclude it from the CPI. Previously, it was given a weight of 44 out of 10,000 in the 2005 CPI baseline.
She stated that this was not an indication that Bruneians are reducing cigarette consumption while also acknowledging that most cigarettes obtained nowadays are probably from a ‘black-market’ source.
She cited new rules and regulations as well as an increase in the cigarette tax as the prime reason that many stores are no longer selling cigarettes and why there is no longer a distributor in Brunei for cigarettes. She said retailers find it no longer profitable to sell cigarettes. “Since tobacco is a price-control item in Brunei, distributors will have to come through us to get prices approved,” she said, adding also that none has recently done so. The Price Control Order 2012 enforces a ‘minimum’ price for cigarettes and tobacco.
The Brunei Times