Bangladesh Bidi workers Federation leaders announce seven demand at a press conference on Tuesday. Workers’ wages, health protection and declaration of bidi as cottage industry are among them.
The organization's president Amin Uddin BSC said, 'In the proposed budget, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has increased the 26% tax on the filter bidis. But in a meeting with Bidi industrialists on May 20, he said, he will not impose any tax on the bidi.'
The President of the organization said that the National Board of Revenue has delayed a week to implement Prime Minister order of not increase the duty on bidi. In whose interest they are doing it? Is it the interest of multinational companies?
Amin Uddin said that due to the budget of the last fiscal year 2017-18, the decision of setting 18 percent more tax than India on bidi industry is irrational. It causes the disturbance among bidi workers across the country. From then on, our long continuous movement received a lot of publicity through your writing and the matter came to the attention of Honorable Prime Minister.
He complained, "The cost of multinational companies cigarettes did not increase. The Benson Cigarette of higher socity is still in the same rate. On the other hand, the finance minister has set the time to close Bidi industrial sector within 2030 and he has given time to stop cigarette industry till 2040! Despite having two similar products, the finance minister behaved biased towards the cigarette. It is very sad.
He presented the seven demand of Bangladesh Bidi Workers Federation at the press conference. The demands are- 1. Bidi workers should get 100 taka wage. 2. To protect the health of workers like India, we have to take measures. 3. Tax must be 14 taka per thousand bidi like India. 4.
The bidi industry has to declare as the cottage industry. 5. The factories which manufacture below 20 million shillings will be tax-free. 6. Before the bidi industry is closed, the government, bidi owners and workers representatives will now have to take steps to get employment plans for the workers. 7. Bidi industries like cigarettes will also be kept till 2040.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Bidi Workers Federation MK Bangali, Joint Secretary Abdur Rahman, Organizing Secretary Harik Hossain and President of Karigor Bari Sromik Union Pranab Debnath also spoke in the press conference.
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