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Farmers rejoice over bringing down GHW to 50 percent

On Friday the federal government has agreed with the tobacco industry that the size of pictorial warning on cigarette packets should be increased to 50% from the current 40% and after two years a survey will be conducted to assess if increasing the size of the warning indeed made smokers quit smoking cigarettes, or they have started smoking smuggled cigarettes.

This decision is highly welcomed by the farmers association. “We are grateful to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Health Minister Saira Afzal Tarar and the Members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for withdrawing the 85% GHW SRO which had raised concerns in the farmers community because of its negative impact on the local tobacco industry including 75000 tobacco farmers whose livelihoods were at stake,” said Rustam Khan Swati- President Anjuman Kashtkara and Tobacco Hazara Division.

He specially thanked Ishaq Dar for sharing the concerns of the poor tobacco farmers by timely intervening in the matter and forming an Inter-Ministerial Committee to assess the impact of the 85% GHW on cigarette packs. He further stated, “It is of great satisfaction that policymakers have considered and acknowledged legitimate request of the tobacco farmers to secure their future due to the excessive regulatory order which was bound to hit the local industry while paving way for illicit smuggled cigarettes with no health warnings”.

Swati also thanked Chairman PTB Faridullah Khan for providing support to tobacco farmers in difficult times. He expressed hope that in the future government will consult farmers before issuing any excessive regulatory order aimed at harming thousands of tobacco farmers in that process.-PR

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