ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products has instructed Pakistan Tobacco Board to ensure that no stock of tobacco is left unsold with farmers.

Chairman of Pakistan Tobacco Board assured committee members that no stock of the tobacco crop would be left unsold.

In the absence of the NA speaker, Shandana Gulzar Khan presided over the meeting on Wednesday and said the committee was keen on facilitating a conducive environment for fair and transparent transactions between farmers and the industry.

She underlined the need for building capability of the Pakistan Tobacco Board and revision of the Tobacco Board Ordinance 1968, for it to become an effective regulator.

The committee recommended that the board should prepare necessary amendments in the legal framework for tobacco production and marketing; they pointed out the need to revise loopholes in the legal and regulatory framework to permanently settle issues in tobacco marketing processes while balancing interests of both farmers and the industry.

Furthermore, representatives of farmers’ associations and the tobacco industry presented their immediate concerns to the committee.

The meeting was part of a series of meetings on tobacco, the export of fruits and vegetables, rice, fish and meat. The government should find a solution to ensure that the existing stock of rice is exported before the arrival of the new crop, committee members pointed out.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2021

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