October 2, 2015 / 9:40 AM / 3 years ago

Czech lower house approves rise in cigarette tax

PRAGUE, Oct 2 (Reuters) - The Czech lower house on Friday approved raising the excise tax on cigarettes next year 2016 to bring it in line with European Union requirements.

The tax increase is a response to a weakened crown currency, which the central bank has kept at 27 crowns per euro or weaker since November 2013 to loosen monetary conditions and boost inflation.

The higher tax should increase the price of a pack of cigarettes by 3-4 crowns ($0.16) from January 2016 and add about 3.3 billion crowns ($135.79 million) to state revenue next year. Tax revenue should grow by 2.5 billion crowns in total in 2017 and 2018.

The bill still must go through the Senate before being signed by the president.

The main Czech cigarette producer is Philip Morris CR .

The tax rise will help the state meet a EU directive that sets the tax at 90 euros per 1,000 cigarettes.

$1 = 24.3200 Czech crowns Reporting by Robert Muller, editing by Larry King

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