The National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products instructed the Pakistan Tobacco Board to ensure that no stock of tobacco is left unsold with the farmers. The members stressed that the government should find a solution to ensure that the existing stock of rice is exported before the arrival of the new crop.
The Committee underlined the need to revise the lacunas in the legal and regulatory framework to permanently settle the issues in the tobacco marketing processes while balancing both the interest of the farmers and industry.
MNA Shandana Gulzar Khan, while presiding the meeting in the absence of the Speaker National Assembly, stated that the Committee was keen to facilitate a conducive environment for fair and transparent transaction between the farmers and the industry. She underlined the need for building capability of the Pakistan Tobacco Board and revision of the Tobacco Board Ordinance 1968 to become an effective regulator.
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The Committee recommended that Pakistan tobacco Board should prepare necessary amendments in the legal framework for tobacco production and marketing. The Convener urged the concerned officials to play a lead role in ending the farmers distress created by delayed commencement of purchase by a number of companies.
The representatives of the farmers and tobacco industry presented their immediate concerns to the Committee. The officials of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research and the Pakistan Tobacco Board presented a compliance report on the recommendations of the Special Committee On Agricultural Products. The Chairman, Pakistan Tobacco Board assured the Committee that no stock of tobacco crop would be left unsold.
The farmers, while thanking the Speaker National Assembly Mr. Asad Qaiser, stated that in the Parliamentary history of Pakistan, the farmers never had such a forceful representation before the Standing and Special Committees. They expressed hope that the Committee would play a lead role in accelerating Pakistan’s agricultural growth as well as protecting the interest of the small farmers.