April 23, 2024, 11:13 am

Human chain to protect tobacco and Bidi industry in Lalmonirhat

Reporter Name 10 Time View
Update : Monday, May 8, 2023

Staff reporter, Dhaka : Tobacco farmers, traders, and Bidi workers formed a human chain in Lalmonirhat demanding four points to protect the domestic tobacco and Bidi industry. The human chain was held in front of the Lalmonirhat District Commissioner’s office at 11:00 am on Sunday.

At the end of the human chain, they presented a memorandum containing four-point demands to the Prime Minister through the Lalmonirhat District Commissioner. The demands are- the protection of domestic tobacco farmers and industry, stopping the sale of tobacco to foreign multinational companies without a fair price of tobacco, reduction of Bidi tariff from 18 takas to 16 takas for the benefit of tobacco farmers, and stopping the hostility of multinational companies on tobacco farmers.

The speakers said to the human chain that the soil and climate of the greater Rangpur region are compatible with tobacco cultivation. We have to earn one’s livelihood with our family by cultivating tobacco and this tobacco is used in the Bidi industry. Greater Rangpur has about 200 Bidi factories but due to the conspiracies of the British American Tobacco Company, the domestic labor-intensive Bidi industry is facing destruction today. Due to their intrigue, the factories are closing for excessive taxation in the Bidi industry. Farmers are not able to sell their produced tobacco because the Bidi factories are closed and the tobacco farmers are facing serious financial loss. Therefore, I strongly demand to supply fortification to the domestic tobacco farmers and industry. At the same time, in order to protect tobacco farmers and the cigarette industry, the tariff on Bidis should be reduced from 18 takas to 16 takas in the budget for the next fiscal year 2023-24.

The speakers also said that the British-American Tobacco Company was holding the tobacco farmers hostage like the indigo farmers. They are forcing tobacco farmers to sell tobacco to them at a low price. Farmers are being held hostage by foreign tobacco companies, depriving them of fair value for the tobacco they produce. The demand of the moment is to stop selling tobacco to multinational companies without a fair price. In such a situation, it is absolutely necessary to seek the intervention of the Prime Minister to stop the aggression of multinational companies on the fair price of tobacco and farmers.

Bangladesh Bidi Workers Federation Acting President Amin Uddin BSc, Vice President Nazim Uddin, Bidi Workers Leader Abul Hasnat Lavlu, Lutfor Rahman were present in the programme among others.


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