Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Welcome back to another blog. This article will discuss the topic in detail “Tobacco Farmers Protest”. The recent decision of the government to impose an extraordinary and substantial hike in the Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes has plunged tobacco farmers into a deepening and alarming crisis. The sudden and significant increase in FED has exacerbated the already challenging circumstances faced by these farmers, posing a severe threat to their livelihoods and economic stability.
The tobacco industry faces an unexpected financial burden. It has greatly affected the farming community. Farmers are dealing with dire consequences and uncertain futures. Legal cigarette prices have doubled, leading to increased consumption of illicit cigarette brands. This has caused a significant decline in sales for the regulated cigarette industry.
Mushfiq Ali Khan, President of Anjuman-i-Kahstkaran (KP), raised serious concerns. And he also highlighted the dire situation of tobacco farmers in the region. He emphasized the challenges they face in obtaining fair prices for their tobacco crops. The main cause is the sharp decline in sales within the legal tobacco industry, severely impacting their livelihoods.
Khan disclosed that a press conference took place on March 28, 2023. He aims to discuss the growing difficulties faced by tobacco farmers. It is due to a significant rise in the federal excise duty on cigarettes. During the conference, concerned individuals urgently appealed to the government, requesting immediate support in safeguarding the welfare of tobacco farmers.
Despite the press conference taking place two months ago, it is disheartening to note that no senior government officials or authorities have reached out to tobacco farmers or undertaken any meaningful steps to alleviate this ongoing crisis. The speaker further elaborated on the dire situation, highlighting how the weighty burden of taxes and a substantial decline in sales have compelled the regulated industry to significantly curtail their tobacco purchases, exacerbating the challenges faced by farmers in this sector.
In stark contrast, the illicit cigarette manufacturing industry strategically exploits farmers by offering them unfairly low prices for their tobacco, while failing to provide any assurance of timely payment. Faced with this challenging predicament, farmers find themselves with no viable alternative but to reluctantly rely on the nefarious and unlawful cigarette industry as their only means of sustenance.
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