Tobacco Board accused of going against guidelines

Farmers to stage protest on May 23

Condemning the harassment by Tobacco Board, farmers will stage a protest at Ramanathapura on May 23, said Congress leader Sheshegowda.

Addressing media persons, here, on Friday, he said, the board had directed tobacco growers without licence to pay a fine of Rs 9,000. It has come as a blow to farmers, who are already under financial crisis, due to drought and related issues, he said.

Sheshegowda alleged that the board had failed to abide by the guidelines of the government. He said, only a few tobacco growers possess licence and they too have not taken up tobacco cultivation.

“The number of unauthorised tobacco growers is more, compared to license holders. They can sell their produce only with the cooperation of licence holders. If they have to sell their produce directly, it is inevitable for them to pay a fine to the board. The Tobacco Board has set such regulations, causing inconvenience to the growers,” he alleged.

Compensation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had directed the manufacturers of tobacco products to display large visual warnings that cover 85 per cent of the pack surface. But, the Centre has rejected it and decided to use warnings that cover 40 per cent. With the government mulling to control tobacco cultivation, it would affect the farmers, he added.

Agents meeting

Criticising the meeting held at the Deputy Commissioner’s office to discuss about seed potatoes on May 12, he said, not a single farmer was invited for the meeting. It was purely a meeting of middlemen, he alleged.

“The potato growers have been facing loss for the past nine years. Instead of supporting farmers, the district administration is giving importance to traders. There is no proper information on the quantity of certified seed potatoes dispatched from Jalandhar and the expenses incurred. The district adminstration is extorting innocent farmers,” he alleged.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry