Bidi workers formed humanchain demanding withdrawal of tax in Pabna

Staff Reporter, Pabna 73 Time View :
Update : Sunday, April 21, 2024

Pabna district Bidi Mazdoor union on Sunday formed a humanchain ignoring the scorching sun for four demands to reduce the duty on bidi in the budget of the next financial year 2024-25.

Thousands of workers of the union participated in the humanchain in front of the Pabna deputy commissioner’s office, hoping to get their demands met, ignoring the intensity.

They claim that there was no tax on bidis during Bangabandhu’s reign;Therefore, the tax on bidi should be withdrawn, advance income tax on bidi should be withdrawn, all low-quality cigarettes should be stopped by multinational companies and the wages of bidi workers should be increased.

After the humanchain, they submitted a memorandum containing four-point demands to the Prime Minister through the Pabna district commissioner.

The speakers said that lakhs of workers, including helpless, underprivileged, extremely poor, physically challenged and widows, earn their livelihood by working in the bidi sector.But on the one hand, as the ancient labour’s intensive industry of the country is being destroyed by the conspiracy of foreign multinational companies, on the other hand, the workers are in dire straits.

The hardworking men-women workers said that the multinational companies are smuggling thousands of crores of Taka abroad by burning the lungs of the people of this country.Some corrupt officials of the local elite are levying additional taxes on bidis with the benefit of foreign multinational companies.

They said that bidi owners are being forced to close their factories as they cannot bear the burden of this additional tax.Due to which the bidi workers are living a very inhumane life.

The workers demanded withdrawal of advance income tax on bidi, saying, “Advance tax on cigarettes is 3 percent and advance income tax on beedis is 10 percent. “Some unscrupulous bureaucrats are conspiring to increase the duty on bidi to give monopoly rights to foreign cigarette companies.

Due to the rise in duty, unscrupulous traders are making and marketing fake bidis to evade duty, depriving the government of a huge amount of revenue from this industry.

The workers in the humanchain urged the customs authorities to take necessary steps to stop illegal bidi manufacturers and fake bidis and also to arrest them and give appropriate punishment.

Among others Bangladesh Bidi Workers Federation president Amin Uddin B.Sc., general secretary Harik Hossain, vice president Nazim Uddin, joint secretary Abdul Gafur, Abul Hasnat Lovlu, Anwar Hossain, Shamim Islam were present in the humanchain.

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