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ISLAMABAD: Tobacco Growers Alliance Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Wednesday, approached Prime Minister Imran Khan and the National Assembly speaker for timely procurement of tobacco crop on prevailing rates to facilitate growers.

The alliance has been continuing their protest for the last five days in Swabi and other parts of the country, and has demanded that their tobacco crop should be procured in time on accurate current rate.

Tobacco Growers Alliance of KP blocked (Peshawar-Islamabad) motorway against the policies of multinational tobacco companies who used to reject tobacco crop purchase from these farmers and tobacco growers on various excuses. Beside protests, the growers have contacted parliamentarians in the federal capital and also approached the PM and the NA speaker.

The alliance leadership of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said that tobacco companies used to reject their tobacco crop and sometimes purchase on low price in violation of their quota.

These companies also refused to purchase tobacco crop in surplus and used to humiliate the tobacco farmers and growers, while purchasing the crop on due rate.

In their protest demonstrations, the Tobacco Growers Alliance demanded of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Speaker National Assembly and Parliamentarians of Swabi, Mardan, Charsadda, Buner, and Mansera, that tobacco is cash crop of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but tobacco companies want to deprive growers of their crop.

The tobacco growers said that the said companies used to make complexities for tobacco farmers and rejected tobacco crops on various unnecessary excuses, which render enormous losses to the local tobacco growers.

Learning from past experiences, the tobacco farmers and growers cultivated the tobacco crop in large quantity but now, multinational tobacco companies are not purchasing tobacco on present rate and used to humiliate and reject their tobacco product.

The tobacco growers said that these multinational companies utilising organised delaying tactics to purchase their respective tobacco crop to pressurise the government and to maintain their monopoly on tobacco production, said tobacco growers.

The tobacco growers said that in an organised way, their lands are being made infertile.

They said that tobacco growers used to deposit billions of rupees in national exchequer.

The tobacco growers said that through these tactics, the tobacco growers are being incited against the government for the low rates of tobacco.

The growers said that rates of everything are growing but tobacco rates are low under an organised conspiracy.

The growers also suggested that taxes on cost of production of tobacco should be enhanced, through which cost and prices of cigarettes packets will also be increased.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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