SWABI: The national and multinational companies have increased their tobacco purchasing quota by 8.555 million kilogrammes for the year 2020, sources in the companies told Dawn here on Saturday.

However, the sources said the buyers could increase or decrease their quota depending on the scenario arising out of bumper production of the crop.

They said the total demand for all varieties of tobacco for 2020 was 45.628 million kg as against the 37.070 million kg in the current year.

They said the flue-cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco formed the major chunk of the purchasing quota of the companies and small cigarette manufactures. They added that in the current year the total demand of FCV was 35.800 million kg, which had jumped to 44.067 million kg for the upcoming year, registering an increase of 8.267 million kg.

Likewise, the purchasing quota for Dark Air-cured tobacco has been hiked from 1.20 million kg to 1.80 million kg.

Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) and Phillip Morris Pakistan are the major buyers.

The PTC’s demand of FCV is 27.500 million kg and Phillip Morris 4.500 million kg.

The purchasing quota of White Patta (WP) tobacco has been increased from 140,000 kg from last year to 391,000 kg for the upcoming year, said the sources, adding the increase was made after many years.

It is to be recalled here that the Pakistan Tobacco Board had warned the growers that they should strike written agreements with the companies of their choice before cultivation of the crop to avoid growing the none-recommended verities, said the sources.

The PTB and purchasing firms’ officials said the growers who failed to uphold the prescribed principles would be responsible for consequences during the purchasing season, which usually commences in June and concludes in September.

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS: MPAs Rangaiz Khan and Aqibullah said on Saturday that the chief minister’s announcement of development projects for the district on Friday was a great achievement of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Rangaiz said the district would no longer remain deprived of development projects and all the required health and other facilities would be provided to the people.

Mr Aqibullah said more mega projects would be initiated by the government in the upcoming years.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2019