Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman has asserted that the Central Government was trying its best to alleviate the plight of the tobacco farmers in the State.
Ms. Sitharaman recalled her recent interaction with tobacco farmers in Andhra Pradesh and the subsequent announcement of joint package to bail them out. Accordingly, farmers whose tobacco was rejected at the tobacco auction platforms were being provided Rs. 20 a kilo with the Centre contributing 75 per cent of the quantum (Rs.15 a kg) and the State bearing the balance 25 per cent (Rs.5 a kg).
“The Tobacco Board has been asked to monitor the procurement on a daily basis,” she said. Ms. Sitharaman was interacting with media at New Delhi after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had called on her on Thursday. The Chief Minister briefed the Union Minister about the situation in the State and wanted the Centre to come to the rescue of the tobacco farmers at the earliest.
The Union Minister expressed the Government’s willingness to set up premier institutions like the Indian Institute of Packaging, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and a Leather Hub under the jurisdiction of her Ministry in the State. Modalities in this regard were being worked out. The State Government, on its part, had allocated land for some institutions while it was yet to be allocated in case of some others.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)