Bidi workers form human chain in Dhaka


Business Desk :
Bangladesh Bidi Sramik Federation on Monday formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club to press home their five demands, to reduce tariffs on bidis in the budget for the next 2024-25 fiscal year.
About thousands of bidi workers gathered in front of the National Press Club and staged demonstrations there in the morning. Their demands are reduction of existing tariffs on bidis in the forthcoming 2023-24 budget, reduction from 18 taka 2 taka to 16 taka per packet of bidis, withdrawal of income tax on bidis, Ensuring monthly at least one carton (5 packets) of bandrolls to on-line licensed bidi factory and to take strict legal action against production and marketing of fake bidis The labor leaders, later, handed over a memorandum to the Chairman of National Board of Revenue.
Bangladesh Bidi Sramik Federation President Amin Uddin BSc, Vice-President Nazim Uddin, Lutfor Rahman, Anower Hossain, General Secretary Harik Hossain, Joint Secretary Abdul Gofur, Shamim Hossain were present in the programme among others.
Addressing the demonstration, speakers said, “Millions of workers including the helpless, disadvantaged, extremely poor, and physically handicapped and widows make a living by working in the bidi sector. But the country’s ancient labor-intensive industry is being destroyed by the conspiracy of foreign multinational companies. Multinational companies were smuggling thousands of crores of rupees abroad by burning the lungs of the people of this country. Some corrupt local officials are taking advantage of foreign multinational companies and imposing excessive taxes on bidis. Bidi owners are being forced to close their factories as they cannot bear the burden of this exorbitant tax, they said.