SHANGLA: The sand suppliers in Shangla district have demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister to withdraw the sales tax imposed on sand collection.

They told reporters here on Saturday that the chief minister had announced withdrawal of sales tax on sand collection during a public gathering in Bisham the other day.

“The chief minister had stated in his speech that Malakand division is a tax-free zone, so there was no justification in charging tax on sand collection,” Khaista Rehman, a sand collection site owner, said.

He said the government should withdraw the tax because the people had already been badly affected by the current inflation.

Mohammad Yaar Khan, a local elder, said people would resist if the government started implementing the decision.

He said at a meeting with elders from across the district on Friday deputy commissioner Imran Hussain Ranjha had refused to withdraw the tax till he received any order from the government in that regard.

Iqbal Khan, a contractor, told Dawn that he had won the sand collection contract amounting to Rs80 million, but had now submitted an application to the mineral department, seeking withdrawal of the tender because if the tax on sand collection was withdrawn it would cost him dearly.

“If the government does not end my contract then I have to collect the tax on sand collection from the suppliers at every cost to make up for the heavy amount I have deposited to the mineral department,” the contractor said.

SNOWFALL: The upper parts of Shangla district received first snowfall of winter on Saturday, turning the weather cold.

Speenghar mountain range received snowfall, while rain lashed the plain areas.

The people in the upper parts have started using warm clothes after rain and snowfall on mountains.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2019