Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa to map out strat­egy for to­bacco ex­port

The Pak Banker - - National -

PESHAWAR: The pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa Tues­day con­sti­tuted a com­mit­tee to pre­pare strat­egy for the ex­port of to­bacco and bring an end to the mo­nop­oly of cig­a­rette man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies on the sub­ject.

The com­mit­tee would be com­pris­ing of mem­bers from both trea­sury and op­po­si­tion benches and would be given time-frame to fi­nal­iz­ing of the strat­egy in this re­gard.

The mat­ter was raised by the se­nior par­lia­men­tar­ian, Ab­dul Ak­bar Khan of PPP through an ad­journ­ment mo­tion. Speak­ing on his mo­tion, the se­nior par­lia­men­tar­ian, Ab­dul Ak­bar Khan said that to­bacco is a cash crop and due to favourable en­vi­ron­ment pro­duced only in Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa. How­ever, he said that the prov­ince had never made any leg­is­la­tion for it.

He said that sur­plus cot­ton and rice pro­duced in Pun­jab has been ex­ported, while not a sin­gle leaf of the best qual­ity Vir­ginia to­bacco is be­ing ex­ported to any coun­try. He said that it is very un­for­tu­nate the grow­ing com­mu­nity of the prov­ince has been left at the mercy of the multi­na­tional to­bacco com­pa­nies.

Ab­dul Ak­bar Khan said that grow­ers, who pro­duced the crop are liv­ing mis­er­able lives while com­pa­nies are earn­ing mil­lions of ru­pees and liv­ing lav­ish lives. He said that two prov­inces of In­dia pro­duced to­bacco and

earns Rs.130 bil­lion an­nu­ally from the ex­port.

He asked the govern­ment to tell why they are ex­port­ing to­bacco,

say­ing that cig­a­rette man­u­fac­tur­ing units have been es­tab­lished in Karachi and only they are al­lowed for ex­port. He said that the prov­ince could earn bil­lions of ru­pees in case it pre­pares a for­mal mech­a­nism for it.

The se­nior par­lia­men­tar­ian said that the to­bacco pro­duced in our prov­ince has big de­mand in the world mar­ket. In other coun­tries, he said the board it­self pur­chased the crop from the grow­ers. He urged the govern­ment for bring­ing re­forms in the to­bacco boards in the in­ter­est of the grow­ers and it­self. Saqibul­lah Khan Chamkani said that to­bacco is the na­tional as­set of the prov­ince, but, un­for­tu­nately multi­na­tion­als had es­tab­lished their mo­nop­oly on it. He also ac­cused Pak­istan To­bacco Board for pro­tect­ing the in­ter­est of the to­bacco com­pa­nies. He called for the abo­li­tion of the mo­nop­oly of the com­pa­nies to en­able grow­ers to stand on their own feet.

Se­nior Min­is­ter Bashir Ah­mad Bilour also agreed with the con­tentions of Ab­dul Ak­bar Khan that the pro­vin­cial govern­ment is lack­ing mech­a­nism. He said t hat though cig­a­rettes are be­ing man­u­fac­tured of the to­bacco, but t he units i n Karachi. Un­der 18th Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ment, such mat­ters would be handed over to the prov­inces.

To­bacco, he said is the cash crop of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa, but Rs.18 bil­lion col­lected in head of Cen­tral Ex­cise Duty (CED), goes to fed­eral and Sindh gov­ern­ments. He sup­ported call for the for­ma­tion of mech­a­nism to bring the ben­e­fit back to the prov­ince. The Pro­vin­cial Min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion, Mian Iftikhar Hus­sein said that the mat­ter is 30 years old and called for the con­sti­tu­tion of com­mit­tee im­me­di­ately to pre­pare pol­icy in this re­gard and set­tled the is­sue as soon as pos­si­ble. -App

IS­LAM­ABAD: Women buy­ing dec­o­ra­tion pieces of Christ­mas in the cap­i­tal. -On­line

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.