The government is wrapping up a study that will back its plan to impose a tax on plastic bags as part of efforts to curb their use, while at the same time boost state revenue. (Antara Photo/Zabur Karuru)

Gov't Resurrects Plan to Tax Plastic Bags

BY :TABITA DIELA & YOSI WINOSA

MAY 04, 2017

Jakarta. The government is wrapping up a study that will back its plan to impose a tax on plastic bags as part of efforts to curb their use, while at the same time boost state revenue, a senior official said on Wednesday (03/05).

The government has been planning to impose a tax on various types of plastic containers for several years, but shelved the tax on plastic bags last year after negative feedback from the House of Representatives and the public.

Heru Pambudi, director general of customs and excise at the Ministry of Finance, said they expect to complete a feasibility study on the matter, which will be presented to the House within the next two months to seek lawmakers' approval.

"We hope that when [the new tax] is agreed upon, it can be applied immediately," Heru said.

Indonesia has pledged to rid its seas of plastic debris and other waste over the next eight years through measures such as a reduction in the use of plastic bags.

The country can also make use of the additional revenue this tax would generate. The Finance Ministry said the tax, if imposed at the start of the year, can add an additional Rp 1 trillion ($75 million) to the state coffers.

"However, the collection potential [this year] will depend on when it will be imposed," Heru said.

As of last month, the country only managed to collect Rp 29 trillion in customs and excise on tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and ethyl alcohol. This comprised only 15 percent of the Rp 191 trillion target set in the 2017 state budget.

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