Tobacco farmers suffered Rs 3, 300 cr loss in past 4 yrs: FAIFA


New Delhi, Dec 7 (UNI) The Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), a non-profit organisation representing the farmers of commercial crops across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat among other states has appealed to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to roll back increase in Compensation Cess Rates on cigarettes to revenue neutral rates, thereby bringing stability in farm prices and earnings.

According to a statement on Thursday, tobacco were under extreme duress due to heavy taxation and adverse regulatory environment on the legal cigarette industry. The excessive taxation on cigarettes has given boost to smuggled cigarettes, the organisation said.

The entire legal cigarette value chain is reeling under the pressure of the punitive taxation on account of year on year increase in taxes on Cigarettes, which have cumulatively gone up by 202 per cent during the past six years. This has hurt the tobacco farmer, their families and 22 of them have committed suicide.

The FAIFA said there was negative propaganda and misinformation by some vested interests, backed by foreign funds. They appealed to the government to take appropriate measures to protect the livelihood and earnings of farmers in the country.