Growers demand fixing price of tobacco at Rs300 per kg

View of the cigarettes and tobacco stack. The tobacco plant is part of the genus nicotiana and of the solanaceae (nightshade) family.
Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan’s association of tobacco farmers has urged the government to fix the tobacco rate at Rs300 per kilogram and provide relief to growers in the face of ever-rising inflation.

Officials of the Kissan Board Pakistan and Kissan Board have made this demand at a convention of the farmers that was attended by the growers and their representatives.

They have warned the Federal Board of Revenue [FBR] against imposition of new tax on these products.

President of Kissan Board Pakistan advocate Shaukat Chadhar said the government should introduce growers’ friendly policies in the country to promote agriculture, strengthen the country’s economy and support farmers.

He demanded the government to fix the rate of tobacco at Rs300 per kilogram to support the farmers.

Speaking on the occasion, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed said that the agriculture sector of the country was weakening due to poor policies of the government.

He said Pakistan used to export wheat, but now it has imported worth Rs108 billion from Russia.

The Senator said that prices of the pesticides were getting out of the reach of the farmers, and growers were switching to other professions.

He warned that if the government failed to do the course correction, the country could face a food shortage in the coming years.

Addressing the farmers’ convention, President Kissan Board Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rizwanullah Khan said that arrears of the growers pending with the Universal Tobacco and Indus Tobacco should be immediately cleared.

He said that Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) should cancel these companies’ quota if they failed to clear their arrears, and the government should initiate legal action against them.

Khan said the farmers will be left with no choice but to protest in front of the chief minister house if their pending dues were not cleared at the earliest.