ISLAMABAD           -         Tobacco growers on Thursday demanded removal of Rs500 advance tax on tobacco leaves urging the government to lessen alleged influence multinational tobacco companies so that the farmers could get improved financial benefit.

Representatives of various unions of tobacco farmers and industry labours said this at a press conference held here yesterday.

The unions included Mehnat Kash Labor Federation, Kissan Board Pakistan, Sarhad Agricultural and Rural Development Organization, Pakistan Tobacco Growers Association, Anjuman Tahaffuz Huqooq Kashtkaraan, Kashtkaar Coordination Council Dealers association.

They mentioned that on the request of farmers unions, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser formed an agriculture committee to which the farmers have association has presented their demands including removal of Rs 500 advance tax on the tobacco leaves.

They said that the multinational tobacco companies should be notified that the farmers should get a better return for their tobacco production.

Further they demanded that tobacco companies should derive an easy policy for the purchase of tobacco, open new purchase centres tobacco and place technical workers in tobacco growing areas to facilitate farmers and factory workers.

They informed that Speaker NA Asad Qaiser met with a delegation of tobacco farmers and industrial workers considered their demands. Representatives of FBR, industry, and tobacco board were also present.

It was decided that no additional tax will be imposed on dry tobacco leaf and the issues related to farmers will be addressed on a priority basis. He assured the farmers that no additional tax would be imposed on the purchase of tobacco.