staff reporter dhaka : Mymensingh District Bidi Owners Somiti band Bidi Workers Union formed a human chain and encirclement programme in front of the district’s Customs, Excise, and VAT office to express their Six-point demand, including the prohibition of counterfeit bidi on Tuesday.
The demands include banning fake bidi and brand rolls, taking action against illegal bidi factories that evade duty, rescinding the 10% advance tax on bidi, collecting taxes from the owners with online licence, only dealers/distributors except marginal and low-income traders and shopkeepers should be licensed to sell tobacco products, and not forcing workers to work for more than six days a week.
Speakers at the human chain stated that the significance of the bidi industry to the nation’s economy is enormous. However, some unscrupulous bidi businessmen have dodged billions of dollars by selling counterfeit bidi, which is ruining the bidi business.
They also urged the customs authorities to take necessary steps to halt unlawful bidi manufacturers and counterfeit bidi. They should be arrested and punished. Bidi industry is favourable to domestic labor. Consequently, the 10 percent advance income tax levied on bidi must be retracted. Moreover, workers at bidi industries are required to work six days every week.
Bangladesh Bidi Workers Federation General Secretary Abdur Rahman, Vice President Nazim Uddin, Workers Leader Abdul Gofur, Harik Hossain, Anower Hossain were present in the programme among others.