Vijayawada, Dec 4: Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu asked the Tobacco Board to come up with a comprehensive policy with inputs from all its stakeholders and CTRIs to make a road map for tobacco sector by the end of the January 2019.
Tobacco Board Stake holders meeting was held here on Tuesday.
Mr Prabhu interacted with the tobacco growers, trade members and tobacco board officials.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister said that the Ministry of Commerce is concerned with the supply of tobacco only and as long as there is demand and the usage of tobacco, the tobacco cultivation would continue to be there and the farmer would be supported.
He said that the interests of the farmers are the foremost and the Board would do all that is possible for the well-being of the farmers. He said that the Ministry would take appropriate action on the issues represented by the farmers and the trade.
About the ways and means for increasing the productivity, cost of production, alternative crops, providing storage facilities with public private partnership and strategies for export promotions, he promised the stake holders to take it forward and see that the tobacco farmers are helped by the Government in a big way.
Tobacco Board Secretary A Sridhar Babu was present.
From the growers side, Tobacco Board Vice-Chairman G Satyanarayana, P. Badri Reddy, Ex- Board Member, explained the grower problems including allowing shifting of barns, reducing the penalties on sale of excess tobacco, payment of Barn buyout compensation, creation of price stabilisation fund and expanding grower welfare activities.
Former MP Y. Shivaji requested the Minister to come up with a comprehensive policy on tobacco and a road map for reducing the cultivation without effecting the interests of the farmers. (UNI)