Protection of Growers’ Interests: National Assembly Agriculture Panel takes PTB to Task

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Special Committee on Agriculture Wednesday grilled the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB), a subsidiary of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, for failing to play its due role to safeguard the interests of growers.

The representatives of tobacco growers informed the committee that this year 64 million tons of tobacco had to be purchased from growers but the government announced the purchase of only 55 million tons, of which 51 million tons have been purchased so far. The officials of PTB informed the committee that the organization has proposed a third-party survey of the cost of production of tobacco. The representatives of tobacco growers argued that laws relating to tobacco have not been changed since 1968, suggesting that laws should be revamped in accordance with the current situation. Tobacco growers argued that their cost of production is higher but the officials are not ready to accept it.

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