Pabna bidi workers want withdrawal of tax

Pabna Zilla Bidi Mazdoor Union on Sunday laid siege to the Rangpur to press home their Four demands, to reduce tariffs on bidis in the budget for the next 2024-25 fiscal year.

About thousands of bidi workers gathered in front Pabna Deputy Commissioner office and staged demonstrations there in the morning.

Their demands are No tax on the bidis during Bangabandhu’s time, so should be want withdrawal of tax on bidis, withdrawal of advance income tax on bidis, stopping all of lowquality cigarettes at Multinational companies and increasing the wages of bidi workers.

At the end of the human chain, they presented a memorandum containing four-point demands to the Prime Minister through the Pabna Deputy Commissioner.

Addressing the speakers said, “Millions of workers including the helpless, disadvantaged, extremely poor, physically handicapped and widows make a living by working in the bidi sector. But the country’s ancient labor-intensive industry is being destroyed by the conspiracy of foreign multinational companies.

Multinational companies were smuggling thousands of crores of rupees abroad by burning the lungs of the people of this country. Some corrupt local officials are taking advantage of foreign multinational companies and imposing excessive taxes on bidis. Bidi owners are being forced to close their factories as they cannot bear the burden of this exorbitant tax, they said

As a result, the workers are living a dehumanized life. Besides, advance income tax on cigarettes is 3 percent and advance income tax on bidis is 10 percent. We want to withdrawal of advance income tax on bidis.

“Some unscrupulous bureaucrats are conspiring to increase tariffs on bidis to give foreign cigarette companies a monopoly. Due to the increase in tariffs, unscrupulous traders are making fake bidis and marketing them to evade the tariff. The government is being deprived of huge amount of revenue.

They also urged the customs authorities to take necessary steps to halt unlawful bidi manufacturers and counterfeit bidi. They should be arrested and punished.

Bangladesh Bidi Shromik Federation President Amin Uddin BSC, General Secretary Harik Hossain, Vice President Nazim Uddin, Joint Secretary Abdul Gofur, Abul Hasnat Lavlu, Anower Hossain, Shamim Islam were present in the programme among others.

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