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ISLAMABAD: Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan taking notice on complaints of tobacco growers regarding outstanding dues against the Universal Tobacco Company has directed the concerned revenue officer to stop purchasing process of Index Tobacco Company till the issues of the growers are fully resolved.

A delegation of tobacco growers from KPK including representatives of growers and office bearers of Industrial Labours Organizations, which includes Kissan Board Pakistan, Mehnatkush Labour Federation, Sarhad Agricultural and Rural Development Organization and Organisation for Growers Rights Protection held a meeting with Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan at his office in presence of the representatives of Labour Department.

Provincial President of Kissan Board Pakistan Rizwanullah, General Secretary Abdul Samad Safi and Information Secretary Farhad Ali on behalf of tobacco growers briefed Commissioner Mardan on their complaints.

They informed that the said Tobacco Company’s Management has sought time relaxation till January 2021 from the Kissan Board for clearing outstanding payments to tobacco growers.

On the complaints of Tobacco Growers Organizations, Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan has instructed Revenue Officer to halt purchasing process from the said company till they make clearance with outstanding dues of tobacco growers.

Meanwhile President Mehnatkush Labour Federation and General Secretary Sherzada also informed Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan that a cigarette manufacturing company has removed workers from jobs. The company without any prior notice removed 141 workers from employment by displaying list in morning at their main gate and workers were instructed to collect cheques from tent installed outside factory gate.

On these complaints Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan also instructed Labor Inspector to submit reports on illegal removal of labourers in the next 15 days.

General Secretary Sarhad Agricultural and Rural Development Organization Hussein Ahmed also informed Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan regarding usage of banned pesticides on the crops of sugarcane and tobacco in the area.

Meanwhile, President for Organization of Growers Rights Protection Naimat Shah Roghani thanked Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan for taking notice on the issues of tobacco growers and industrial labourers of KPK.

Commissioner Mardan Muntazir Khan assured the visiting delegates of tobacco growers and industrial workers that their rights will be ensured and action will be taken to ensure payments of tobacco growers and for reinstatement of removed workers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021