Tobacco Board gets pat for e-auctions in Karnataka

Ongole MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy stressed the need for ensuring remunerative price to tobacco farmers and clearing the insurance proposal which are desperately essential to overcome the crisis that is plaguing the sector.

Besides, the Central and the State Governments have to work out a strategy for extending financial support to the farmers who are asked to switch over to alternative crops in tune with goals laid down under the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Participating as the chief guest in the Tobacco Board Formation Day celebrations at the Indian Tobacco Association Hall here on Friday, Mr. Sreenivasulu Reddy said the Price Stabilization Fund which helps farmers in fetching remunerative prices, has to be put to use across the markets in view of the volatility in markets. The issue of penalties imposed by the Tobacco Board on farmers growing more than the authorized crop size has to be sorted out as it imposed a huge burden on them. As regards auctions, Mr. Sreenivasulu Reddy said the Tobacco Board deserved appreciation for successfully implementing e-auctions in 11 platforms in Karnataka and making preparations for replicating the same in Andhra Pradesh from February.

Virginia Tobacco Growers’ Association Honorary President and former MP Yalamanchili Sivaji demanded that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) should be allowed in tobacco sector for breaking the monopoly of a few big companies.

Currently, foreign direct investment (FDI) is completely prohibited in the manufacturing of tobacco and its substitutes while such investments are allowed up to 100 per cent in wholesale trading of cigarettes through the approval route. Mr. Sivaji deplored the Central Government’s attitude in not extending financial support to the Tobacco Board while propping up every other commodity board in the country. Later, Mr. Sreenivasulu Reddy and other dignitaries presented awards to Best Growers on All India basis to Yaganti Lakshmi Kumari (Koyyalagudem auction platform), Mullapudi Ganga Rao (Koyyalagudem platform) and Nandamuri Satyanarayana Murthy (Gopalapuram), Innovative Grower Award to Karatam Uma Maheswara Rao (Jangareddygudem) and Best Trader Awards in cigarette manufacturing, merchant, manufacturer and exporter categories.

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