NA panel recommends fixing tobacco price at Rs260 a kilo

Published November 24, 2021
Farmers work in a Swabi tobacco field. — Dawn/File
Farmers work in a Swabi tobacco field. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee on agriculture products on Tuesday recommended that the minimum price of tobacco should be fixed at Rs260 per kilogramme.

The National Assembly’s Special Committee on Agricultural Products instructed the Pakistan Tobacco Board to ensure that no stock of tobacco is left unsold with farmers, and urgent steps are taken to ensure that cigarette manufacturers purchase 1.4 million kilogrammes of surplus tobacco as per assigned quota under the PTB marketing rules.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser chaired the meeting attended by Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, KP Education Minister Shahram Khan Taraki and members of the special committee.

The speaker tasked the sub-committee of the Special Committee on Agricultural Products headed by Shandana Gulzar Khan to examine the tobacco regulatory framework and, after necessary consultation with all the stakeholders, recommend amendments to the legislative and regulatory framework within 15 days.

The members of the committee said that the regulations bound tobacco companies to purchasing tobacco as per the assigned quota, but some of the companies had refused to abide by the law.

The committee instructed the PTB to issue show cause notices to such companies and initiate cases against them.

Speaker Qaiser said that exploitation of farmers would not be tolerated.

The members of the committee underlined the need to move a resolution in the National Assembly against cigarette manufacturers who despite quota allocations did not purchase tobacco from the farmers.

The members stressed that stringent action should be taken against companies who did not ensure purchase of surplus tobacco leading to unsold stock of 1.4 million kilogrammes.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2021

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