SWABI: Ittehad-i-Kashtkaran Pakhtunkhwa (AKP) leaders on Monday demanded increase in the price of per kilogramme tobacco in proportion to the prevailing inflation.

Addressing a press conference here, AKP’s provincial president Arif Ali Khan, vice-president Daud Jan and general secretary Asfandyar Khan said the federal commerce ministry had fixed Rs25 per kilogramme price of tobacco for the current year, which they said, was not enough keeping in view the high input costs like pesticides and fertilisers.

They unanimously demanded provision of pesticides to farmers at concessional rates, announcement of a farmer-friendly agriculture policy, increase in tobacco price, shifting the pricing mechanism of tobacco to provinces, making the export process easy, determining cost of production of all crops, making use of the arid land and insuring all crops.

“If our demands are not met then we will stage protests in front of the purchasing companies’ offices,” threatened Daud Jan.

Arif Ali Khan said: “The federal government collects Rs130 billion through sales tax and excise duty on tobacco every year, and demanded that 10 per cent of the total collections should be spent on growers’ welfare.”

The growers’ leaders said the purchasing firms had yet to pay millions of rupees of outstanding dues to farmers. They said the government should help growers get rid of tobacco mafia.

They regretted that Pakistan Tobacco Board had failed to work for welfare of growers.

POWER OUTAGES: The students appearing in FSc and FA examinations have complained prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding have badly affected their preparations for exams for last one month.

They told Dawn that due to power outages they were only studying during the daytime. They demanded smooth power supply so they could properly prepare for examinations.

KILLED: A man allegedly killed his father and injured his sister over a petty dispute in Seenkhel village of Maneri Bala on Monday, Rescue 1122 and police said.

The injured woman told the police that her brother was angry that why they did not attend his phone call when he was outside.

The police identified the deceased as Sirtaj Khan.

Meanwhile, a man and a youngster were shot dead in Nabi and Sheikh Jana villages by unknown attackers.

The deceased were identified as Zafar Iqbal and Hanif Khan.

The police registered FIRs into the incidents.

Published in Dawn,June 14th, 2022

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