Vijayawada (AP): Senior BJP leader Kavuri Sambasiva Rao today urged the Central Government to allow FDI in tobacco industry and also allow foreign companies to purchase tobacco from the Indian market. The former MP told reporters after attending a party meeting here that tobacco farmers were paid Rs 140 per kg in 2014 crop season but in the current season, they are being paid only Rs 100 per kg by the traders.
“Most of the farmers in AP registered poor sales and a large quantity of tobacco is lying unsold. The government should allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector and can also allow foreign companies to buy tobacco from the domestic market,” he said.
Though Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman has intervened and has asked ITC, a tobacco major, to purchase tobacco as per its intent but ITC has not bought as per its purchase intent, he said.
He informed that tobacco growers of the state will take out a protest rally in Delhi tomorrow, demanding the Government to take measures to purchase unsold tobacco from them. Rao said BJP supports the demand and the party will take up the matter again with Sitharaman.
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