NA Committee Wants Tobacco Indicative Price Fixed at Rs. 260/Kg

The National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products has recommended that the Minimum Indicative Price of Tobacco should be fixed at Rs. 260/kg.

The committee instructed the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) to ensure that no stock of tobacco is left unsold with the farmers and asked for urgent steps to ensure that the cigarette manufacturers purchase 1.4 million kg surplus tobacco as per the assigned quota under the PTB Marketing Rules.

The members of the committee outlined that the regulations bind tobacco companies to purchase tobacco as per the assigned quota, however, some of the companies have refused to abide by the law. The committee instructed the PTB to issue show-cause notices to such companies and initiate cases against them.

The committee urged the government agencies to take all possible steps for the legitimate profit of the farmers and timely sale of their crops.

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, who presided the meeting, stressed that exploitation of the farmer will not be tolerated. He tasked the sub-committee of the Special Committee on Agricultural Products headed by lawmaker Shandana Gulzar Khan to examine the tobacco regulatory framework and after necessary consultation with all the stakeholders, recommend amendments in the legislative and regulatory framework within 15 days.

The Speaker added that the committee desired transparency and fairness in transactions between the farmers and industry to ensure that the farmers fetch decent profitability for their toil.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Education Minister Shahram Tarakai and members of the committee.