Tobacco issue will be taken up with Centre, assures MP

Decrease in price due to limitation of sales in international market

Chamarajanagar MP R Dhruvanarayan said, he would take up the issues faced by tobacco growers with the Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and also raise questions — along with Mysore MP Prathap Simha and Hassan MP H D Deve Gowda — during the Parliament Session, scheduled to begin on November 24.

He was addressing the farmers at the tobacco yard at Shanthipura, near here, on Thursday, after convincing them to withdraw the bandh of the market. The tobacco growers were staging a protest demonstration in front of the yard, after declaring a bandh for the market, against the fall in price of tobacco.

“Like all other products, the price of necessary items used for cultivating tobacco is increasing. Even the cost of labour is increasing. So, it is natural that the farmers get enraged when the price for their produce slumps. Hence, I will take up the issue in the Parliament with the support of other MPs from the region,” he said.

Stating that he had already spoken about the issue with chairman of the Tobacco Board, the MP said, small traders and companies found it difficult to take part in the auction to buy tobacco in the yards as big companies enjoyed monopoly over the market. “This issue has to be addressed by the Centre and there is a need for a change in the tobacco policy. Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda is already visiting all tobacco yards in the State to study the problems of the farmers. His guidance will be taken while talking to the Union Commerce Minister,” he said.

Tobacco Board regional manager Shivarudraiah said, usually the price of tobacco decreased during this period as the limitation for the sales of tobacco products in the international market was set in the month of November. “The farmers should wait for some more days to get a reasonable rate for their produce,” he added.

However, the farmers said, eight million kg of tobacco could be auctioned at the Shanthipura yard, but till now only three million kg of the produce had been sold.

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