Several thousand leaders and workers of the bidi industry across the country on Sunday protested the proposal of tax hike on the sector in the budget for fiscal year 2020-2021.
They arranged human chains in many districts as part of the pre-scheduled central programme of Bangladesh Bidi Sramik Federation (BBSF).
The protesters termed the decision of price hiking of bidi instead of cigarettes as conspiracy against the livelihood of millions of workers and traders in connection with the industry.
In the protest programmes, they expressed rage as the government proposed a 28.57% hike in tax on bidi while 5.41% on low-quality cigarettes.
They termed it as injustice to bidi trading.
The leaders also claimed that they assumed the killing of the bidi industry and it is reflected in the proposed budget.
In Pabna, the Bidi Majdur Union President Harik Hossain, General Secretary Shamim Islam, Organising Secretary Md Dulal Sheikh among others, spoke in human chain programme in the district.
In Rangpur, Bangladesh Bidi Sramik Union Executive President Amin Uddin BSc, its two others leaders Abul Hasnat Lavlu and Jamil Akter spoke in the programme.
In Sylhet, district federation President Imran Ahmed and GS Maruf Rabbi, among others, were present in the event.
In Gazipur, district federation President Rezaul Karim and general secretary Sujon Kumar Banik, among others, were present in the protest programme.
Besides, the bidi worker leaders raised their voices against the tax hike proposal in the budget in Jashore, Mymensingh, Sunamganj, Noakhali, Brahmanbaria, Kishoreganj, Sharitatpur and Bagherhat districts.