In a press conference held at National Press Club, the farmers and industrial labour organizations of KP thanked the federal government for reverting tobacco tax of Rs 300 per kg proposed to be implemented over tobacco growers in the federal budget 2019/20.
The conference was attended by Abrarullah – President, Mehnat Kash Labour Federation KP, Rizwanullah – President Kissan Board Pakistan, Haji Abdul Nabi Mohmand – President Sarhad Agricultural and Rural Development Organization, Liaqat Yusufzai and Muhammad Ali Dhagio of Kashtkaar Coordination Council, Iqbal Khan – President Tobacco Dealers Association and Haji Nematullah Shah of Anjuman Tahaffuz-e-Kashtkaraan.
They thanked Speaker National Assembly Asad Kaiser, Senior Provincial Minister Atif Khan, MNA Ali Muhammad Khan, Provincial Minister Shehram Khan Tarakai, Usman Khan Tarakai, MNA Shandana Gulzar and especially State Minister Muhammad Imaad Azhar for taking notice of their concerns.
They said that this reversal will directly benefit the farmer of the KP who’s wholly dependent over this cash crop. Now their tobacco will be sold at reasonable rates in the market. The representatives further said that the government of PTI should also take notice of suspension of poor labour from the two multinational tobacco companies Philip Morris Pakistan and Pakistan Tobacco Company. The two companies have unlawfully suspended thousands of their permanent workers. Most of the workers were working for the company for more than 20 years. The workers are protesting against the management of PMP for more than three years. The PMP and PTC managements have not only put most of the active workers in jail, but also have sent letters to Working Focus Schools to expel kids of such workers.
They blamed that the multinational companies have also abolished treatment through Social Security and marriage grants. They urged the government to take strict action against these multinational companies and to take measures so that the suspended workers should be reinstated.
The labour representatives revealed that these multinational companies have hired some non-state actors that are representing themselves farmers registered with some fake farmers associations. They are running false propaganda against the farmers and their tobacco crop and are also running campaigns in favor of imposition of Rs 300/- per kg tobacco tax thus to create a mess.
Labour representatives also thanked media for their support without which their voices could not have reached the concerned authorities.