ISLAMABAD: Farmers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday urged the federal government to withdraw the Rs380 per kg advance tax on tobacco.
At a press conference held at the National Press Club in Islamabad, the tobacco farmers’ representatives said that they would stage a protest in front of the Federal Board of Revenue in the capital and block motorways if their demand was not met.
Speaking to the media, Mehnatkash Labour Federation President Ibrar Ullah said that the price of tobacco per kg in the open market is Rs256 per kg while the advance tax on it is Rs380 per kg.
“The advance tax on tobacco leaf is hurting the sale of the crop in the market. This would render over 15,000 labourers and 20,000 families of farmers jobless,” he added.
Kissan Board President Rizwan Ullah also rejected the imposition of the advance tax on the crop, saying the government is destroying the ripe crop of the farmers through such tactics instead of providing them relief.
“All tobacco farmers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province would stage a sit-in in Islamabad if the advance tax on the crop was not withdrawn,” he added.
Liaqat Yousafzai of Kashtkar Coordination Council Khyber Pakhtunkhwa termed the imposition of the advance tax on the tobacco crop “public enmity”. He said that rates of tobacco use were increasing the world over, while they were decreasing in Pakistan. The farmers in Swabi, Mardan, Charsadda, Boner, and Mansehra grow the tobacco crop, and they have urged the government to facilitate them by withdrawing the advance tax on it.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2022