Workers, traders demand reducing bidi tax

Staff Reporter

18 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Hundreds of farmers and workers have formed a human chain in Lama Upazila of Bandarban on Wednesday to protest the ‘conspiracy oriented’ tax hike on bidi from the Fiscal Year 2020-21 which already has affected the livelihood of several lakh ultra-poor workers, traders and cultivators amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has hiked the tax on bidi, influenced by a vested quarters to loss the country’s long traditional tobacco farming and trading.

Speakers said this in a protest rally chaired by Abul Bashar, president of Bangladesh Tobacco Farmers, Traders and Sramik Oikko Parishad and Jatiya Sramik League Lama Municipality unit president in Bandarban district.

They have placed six-point demands, including certainty of tobacco leaves sale, price fixing for tobacco leaves, withdrawal of recently hiked of tax Tk 4 in each packet of bidi, removal of 10 percent advanced income tax on bidi, declare the bidi as the cottage industry and hiking the wages of labours, creating three price level classification like cigarette.

Bangladesh Bidi Workers Federation’s (BBWF) Joint Secretary Herik Hossain, Organising Secretary Abdul Gafur, Executive Member Anwar Hossain, among others, spoke in the programme.