SHRI S.D.N.R. WADIYAR (MYSORE): Sir, I rise to submit the following facts about the sufferings of tobacco growers of the country in general and of Karnataka in particular due to the adhocism and high attitude of tobacco buyers and the Tobacco Board. Firstly, the minimum support price for one kilogram of best grade of tobacco is Rs. 28 whereas the cost of production is over Rs. 45 per kilogram. Secondly, from the last year the Tobacco Board started levying five rupees as penalty and charging two per cent commission from unauthorised tobacco growers whereas the authorised buyers pay one per cent as commission to the Board. Thirdly, the Tobacco Board imposed a ceiling in the production of tobacco per acre as 1,400 kilogram per barn and 400 kilograms per acre.
I would like to submit that that the production of tobacco per annum varies from 400 kilograms to 600 kilograms per acre and the tobacco that is cured in barn varies from 1,400 kilograms to 2,000 kilograms per barn.
Sir, I demand an immediate increase in the minimum support price of any grade of tobacco from Rs. 45 onwards on pro-rata basis and demand the immediate reduction of levying of penalty from five rupees to one rupee per kilogram and the commission charge be reduced duly from two per cent to one per cent. I further demand the immediate distribution of identity cards for tobacco growers and abolition of the ceiling in the production.
I further demand that the Tobacco Board Raith Bhavan be provided with basic amenities such as adequate toilet, drinking water facilities and also adequate drinking water facilities for cattle and livestock at all tobacco auction platforms.
I suggest the appointment of a Special Committee to review the functioning of the and also review of the minimum support price for all grades of tobacco.
Thank you for the opportunity given.