রবিবার, ২৫ ফেব্রুয়ারী ২০২৪, ১২:৫৯ পূর্বাহ্ন
Bangladesh Bidi Shromik Federation has formed a press conference at the National Press Club on Monday demanding the safeguard of the bidi industry from the aggression of foreign multinational tobacco companies and a reduction in the tariff imposed on bidi in the upcoming fiscal.
Hundreds of bidi workers gathered in zahur hossain chowdhury hall at the National Press Club for a press conference there at around 11:00am.
Addressing the press conference their demands are , Taking legal action against those involved in illegal organisations, reduction of tariff from Tk 18 to Tk 16 on bidis, increasing the price of low quality cigarettes from Tk 40 to Tk 50 and stopping the aggression of British American Tobacco.
Speakers said, “Millions of workers including the helpless, disadvantaged, extremely poor, physically handicapped and widows make a living by working in the bidi sector. But the country’s ancient labor-intensive industry is being destroyed by the conspiracy of foreign multinational companies.
Multinational companies were smuggling thousands of crores of rupees abroad by burning the lungs of the people of this country. Some corrupt local officials are taking advantage of foreign multinational companies and imposing excessive taxes on bidis. Bidi owners are being forced to close their factories as they cannot bear the burden of this exorbitant tax, they said
As a result, the workers are living a dehumanized life. Besides, advance income tax on cigarettes is 3 percent and advance income tax on bidis is 10 percent. We want to repeal this discriminatory advance income tax.
“Some unscrupulous bureaucrats are conspiring to increase tariffs on bidis to give foreign cigarette companies a monopoly. Due to the increase in tariffs, unscrupulous traders are making fake bidis and marketing them to evade the tariff. The government is being deprived of a huge amount of revenue.
They also urged the customs authorities to take necessary steps to halt unlawful bidi manufacturers and counterfeit bidi. They should be arrested and punished.
Bangladesh Bidi Workers Federation Acting President M.K Bangali, General Secretary Abdur Rahman, Joint Secretary Harik Hossain, Anowar Hossain were present in the programme among others.