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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly’s Special Committee on Agricultural Products recommended that the minimum indicative price of tobacco should be fixed at Rs260/kg.

The committee instructed the Pakistan Tobacco Board to ensure that no stock is left unsold with the farmers. It also said that urgent steps were needed to ensure that cigarette manufacturers purchase 1.4 million kg of surplus tobacco as per the quota assigned under PTB Marketing Rules.

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser presided the meeting attended by Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Education Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai and other members.
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The members outlined that the regulations bind tobacco companies to purchase the product as per their assigned quota, but noted that some companies have refused to follow the law. The committee instructed the Pakistan Tobacco Board to issue show-cause notices to such companies and initiate cases against them.

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser stressed that exploitation of the farmers will not be tolerated. He also tasked a sub-committee, headed by MNA Shandana Gulzar Khan, to examine the tobacco regulatory framework. It has been directed to recommend amendments after the necessary consultation with all the stakeholders within 15 days.

The members of the committee underlined the need to move a resolution in the National Assembly against cigarette manufacturers who despite quota allocation did not purchase tobacco from the farmers.

Read more: Ghee, cooking oil prices saw monthly increase during PTI govt, NA told

The members stressed stringent action against companies who did not ensure the purchase of surplus tobacco that resulted in 1.4 million kg of unsold stock.

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