Bidi industry demands withdrawal of ‘extra tax’

4TBT Economics: Leaders of Bidi workers have urged the government to protect the country’s Bidi industry and demanding announcement it as cottage industry. They also urged to withdraw ‘extra tax’ on the home-grown bidi industry to save the sector, which employs people mostly from the extremely poor community.

The speakers came up with the demands at a press conference organised by Bangladesh Bidi Sramik Federation at National Press Club in the city on Sunday. The Research and Development Collective (RDC) President and Professor of History of Dhaka University, Mejba Kamal Speaking as the chief guest.

MK Bangali, General Secretary of the federation gave a written statement at the press briefing saying that “India declared the Bidi as cottage industry, so we also urged government to announce it as cottage industry and ensure rights of the 20 lakh workers of the sector. He said some vested groups always wanted to destroy the Bidi industry and alleging that the foreign cigarette companies are laundering money in the name of profit.

Bidi federation leaders also expressed concern over the future of the industry as ‘heavy tax has been imposed on the sector for its destruction’.

The federation’s Joint Secretary A Rahman, Harik Hossain, President of Pabna Zila Bidi Mojdur Union, Kashem Ali, President of Netrakona Zila Bidi Sramik Union, and Sree Pranab Chandra Debanath, President of Karigar Bidi Sramik Union in Barisal also spoke.