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Regie raises cigarette prices by 200%

7-7-2020

With the mounting exchange rate of the dollar and the subsequent rise in the prices of goods, the prices of all kinds of tobacco increased reaching 200% for one pack of local cigarettes. On the subject, the state-run Regie administration clarified in a statement that the agreed sales rate of the US dollar to the consumer did not exceed 48% of the current market price of the dollar. The price of a pack of Cedars, set at LBP 1250 before the crisis has become LBP 3750 based on the US dollar rate set by the Regie. Otherwise, it could have increased to LBP 7750 if benchmarked according to the market price, it explained, noting that the blackmarket price of the US dollar reached yesterday between LBP 8900 – 9200, according to Lebanon 24 portal. The Regie statement pointed out that the finance ministry had, since 1987, determined the supply price of tobacco products to wholesale dealers in the US dollar, which are sold to retailers and to consumers exclusively in the Lebanese lira based on the present price of the dollar. The statement went on to say that, the Regie administration has calculated the average exchange rates of its spending in dollar and in theLebanese pound so that sales rate to consumers does not exceed 48% of the market price. In conclusion, the Regie said it is basically an investment (industrial-commercial) establishment, therefore, securing liquidity in hard currency ensures its continuity and viable production, and hence its focal function as a source of revenue of the public treasury. (Al Diyar, July 5, 2020)

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