Bulgaria Formally Closes Down Tobacco Agency
The Tobacco Fund, Bulgaria's state unit in charge of subsidies for tobacco growers, was officially disbanded at a cabinet sitting Wednesday.
The entity had been rendered obsolete by EU requirements, which mandated that tobacco funds be integrated in the state's overall policy for subsidizing agriculture.
In line with that, starting 2011 tobacco money passed under the authority of the Agriculture Fund entity at Bulgaria's Ministry of Agriculture and Foods.
"The Tobacco Fund is being closed down, for it is no longer serving its purpose," commented Bulgarian Minister of Agriculture.
Bulgaria's liberal party Movement for Rights of Freedoms, strongly linked with the country's sizable ethnic Turkish minority, who form the better part of tobacco growers in Bulgaria, has traditionally been opposing plans to shut down the Fund.
With Wednesday's closing down of the agency, all rules referring to quotas, price regulations, etc. in tobacco growing are also suspended.
In the future, Bulgarian tobacco growers will be subsidized according to the general regime for agricultural producers.
Bulgaria's state budget for 2012 foresees BGN 73 M for the support of the tobacco growing industry.
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