Tobacco industry contributes Rs 100 bn annually in country’s revenues; Commerce Committee told

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP): The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce was informed here on Friday that the tobacco industry of the Pakistan contributed Rs 100 billion annually in term of revenues.

Chairman Pakistan Tobacco Board Peshawar, Farid Ullah Khan informed the committee that currently tobacco was being cultivated over the area of 50,373 hectares land which comprises of 0.27 percent of total cultivated area of the country.

“The average yield per hectare of tobacco in Pakistan is also the highest in the world”, he said adding the yield of tobacco in the country was 13 percent higher than the world average yield per hectare.

Similarly he said the maize production per hectare in the country was 31 percent lower than the average production of maize per hectare whereas rice production was 24 percent lower and wheat production was 12 percent lower as compared to the average world production per hectare.

He said the total annual economic activity of the tobacco industry was Rs 300 billion and about 1.5 million people were associated with this industry.

The committee was further informed that 80,000 farmer families were also linked with tobacco farming and 53000 people were employed in the 28 tobacco factories.

The Chairman PTB also informed that the Board was exploring areas to cultivate cigar which was a very profitable crop and gives 3096 kilogram per hectare.

He said trains of the crop in Mansehra, Gujrat and Rasool Abad (Sindh) had been conducted so far.

The committee which was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Shibli Faraz also discussed the matter of devolving of Tribal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in to a new body Mohmand Chamber of Commerce Industry.

Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour on the occasion said lot of illegalities were being in practice in the matter of issuing licenses of chambers of commerce.

Senator Shibli Faraz Directed the ministry of Commerce to look in to the matter and ensure that there was no irregularities in the matter.

Secretary Commerce Muhammad Shezad Arbab stated that it had been ensured that no irregularities had been done deliberately in this regard.

Senators, Naseem Ehsan, Hilal ur Rehman, Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem, Saleem Mandviwala and Haji Saifullah Khan Bangash attended the meeting.