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Meeting to refix tobacco prices remains inconclusive

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A meeting of the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) held on Monday to re-fix the tobacco price remained inconclusive as the minister decided to separately hold meeting with the stakeholders, a participant of the meeting told The News.

Abbas Khan Afiridi, the state minister for commerce, who has recently assumed the charge of ministry of commerce, will hold separate parleys with stakeholders particularly cigarette manufacturers, the same participant said.

According to another participant from Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, some of the members of the PTB wanted to blackmail cigarette manufacturers either by increasing tobacco indicative price.

The meeting discussed the fixation of tobacco prices and its related matters, said an official statement of the ministry, adding that the meeting was aimed to protect the interest of local tobacco growers regarding fixation of prices and to solve issues of local growers.

The PTB in its meeting has already fixed tobacco price of Rs117 per kg from the existing price of Rs103 per kg but some of representative organisation of the growers have refused to accept the indicative price of the tobacco and demanded the federal government to re-fix the tobacco indicative price.

The state minister for commerce ensured all stakeholders especially the growers that ministry of commerce will do every measure for assistance and promotion of local growers and it is first time that state commerce minister has taken step on the issues of tobacco growers.

The meeting was attended by representatives from tobacco companies, tobacco growers, dealers and official from ministry of commerce.

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