There had been no sign of an increase in the sale of smuggled cigarettes since the tobacco duty was raised in this year's budget, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung told the Legislative Council yesterday. Professor Chan defended the government against criticism from lawmakers that it had failed to fight the sale of smuggled cigarettes effectively after increasing the tax on tobacco products by 50 per cent. 'The Customs and Excise Department has closely monitored the selling of smuggled cigarettes after the introduction of the tobacco-duty increase in the budget,' Professor Chan said. 'There is temporarily no sign of deteriorating sales of smuggled cigarettes in the market,' he said. 'If necessary, the department will increase its manpower to fight against illegal activities.' But lawmakers disagreed with the government and urged it to step up enforcement against the illegal cigarette trade, which they said had got worse since the duty increase. Legislator Leung Yiu-chung, of the Neighbourhood and Workers' Service Centre, said he had received complaints that residents of public-housing estates had recently received leaflets promoting the sale of smuggled cigarettes. League of Social Democrats lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip said the illegal trade was 'totally out of control'. A motion to repeal the cigarette-tax increase, moved by Mr Chan, was voted down by the legislature yesterday. In his second budget, unveiled in late February, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah increased the tobacco duty by 50 per cent with immediate effect. Meanwhile, League chairman Wong Yuk-man yesterday blasted Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the finance secretary and the government as 'bu gai' - 'you are wrong' in Putonghua. The pronunciation of the words is similar to puk kai in Cantonese - meaning 'drop dead in the street' - but puk kai was ruled by the Legco president on Wednesday to be unparliamentary language that could no longer be used in the chamber. Mr Wong delivered his speech in Putonghua and argued that he did not use foul language, despite the similar pronunciation of the two expressions.