The government has announced to shut down bidi industry by 2020 and cigarette industry by 2038. But the farmers and the traders of tobacco have mentioned it as a discrimination.
So, they urged to set same time limitation for both the industries. Otherwise, they will form a country-wide movement protesting the decision.
The speakers came up with the demands at a grand rally organised by the tobacco farmers and the traders of tobacco-made products from Rangpur region at National Press Club in the capital on Monday.
Tobacco farmers and leaders of trade federations in greater Rangpur area said, “Bidi industry needs to be declared as a cottage industry in Bangladesh like India.”
They also demanded to fix Tk 14 as a tax for 1000 bidis and making alternative jobs before shutting down tobacco cultivation.
They also alleged that the finance minister is taking a move to destroy the bidi industry in the name of checking smoking.
British American Tobacco (BAT) is siphoning off hundreds of crores of taka from Bangladesh but the departments concerned are not taking any action against the company, they added.
The speakers also placed a 4-point demand displaying a comparative figures of discrimination between Bangladesh and India in taxing of tobacco.
The 4-point demands are: 1. The bidi industry will remain as many days as cigarette industry exists. 2. Announcing cottage industry status for bidi industry like India. 3. Fixing Tk 14 as a tax for every thousand bidi like India. 4. Keeping out of taxation of those factories produced less than 20 lakh pieces a day.