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The Sitting of the National Assembly has been adjourned to meet again on Monday, the 20th September, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

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The Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaiser called for close scrutiny of the existing policy framework
Monday, 19th July, 2021

Islamabad, the July 19th: The Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaiser , called for close scrutiny of the existing policy framework and urged all the stakeholders to eliminate hurdles to  tobacco farmers' enduring quest for decent profitability. He stated that the problems of cotton and tobacco growers would be tackled on priority basis in the next meetings of the special committee on agricultural products. An all-out effort would be made to ensure that the farmers of Pakistan receive decent profit for their toil. He made these remarks while presiding a meeting of the National Assembly Special Committee on agricultural products on Monday at Parliament House, Islamabad.

The tobacco farmers form Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wrote letters to the Speaker National Assembly regarding their most pressing concerns and requested Mr. Asad Qaiser to end their sufferings.

The farmers complained that tobacco companies, under a contract, sell agricultural and allied inputs at prices higher than the current market prices, thus denting their profitability. They stated that Pakistan Tobacco Board, in collusion with the cigarette manufacturers, understates the cost of production of tobacco farmers leading to suppressed Minimum Indicative Prices. They demanded an independent third party evaluation to ascertain the true cost of production.

They stated that tobacco companies have introduced cumbersome and complex documentary mechanisms to encash the vouchers. They stated that they face lengthy procedures and humiliation to encash the vouchers for their hard earned labor.
The tobacco companies stated that there was no malpractice in provision of high quality inputs to the farmers. On necessary protection equipment’s for the farmers, the Committee urged the companies to undertake it corporate social responsibility. On the issue of the vouchers, the representatives of multinational tobacco companies stated that
the new regulations were undertaken in compliance with FATF and the Company's international obligations.

The Committee principally endorsed the proposal to conduct a third party audit to ascertain the cost of production of tobacco. The Committee instructed the Sub-Committee to comprehensively examine the issues and present a report to the Committee.