SWABI: The Peshawar High Court has stopped the government from collecting Rs390 per kilogramme federal excise duty (FED) on green leaf threshing (GLT) of tobacco and directed that the duty should be collected at the previous rate of Rs10 per kg till further orders.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, president of Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan (TGAP) Liaqat Yousafzai said that they had filed a petition in the high court on behalf of the Model Farm Services Centre, Swabi, challenging the multifold increase in the FED.
He stated that a bench consisting of Justice Kamran Hayat Miankhel and Justice Fazal Subhan had issued notice to the respondents, including the federal secretary finance and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) asking them to respond to their plea.
Flanked by other leaders of the growers, he said the bench had on Thursday immediately stopped the FBR from charging the newly-imposed GLT, which was a great relief for the small farmers.
“It was also a big relief for the growers because the companies and traders have always transferred the entire burden of taxes to the farmers,” he said.
He said the jump in FED from Rs10 per kg to Rs390 per kg was unprecedented, depriving the farmers of means of earning, and affecting the freedom of doing business under the Article 18 of the Constitution.
Liaqat Yousafzai said the court had observed that under the Constitution of Pakistan the federal government had no authority to impose tax on agriculture produce.
TWO DROWN: A minor girl and a young boy drowned in separate incidents in a nullah and Pehur canal here on Sunday, rescue officials said.
They said three sisters were bathing in Zaida Badri Nullah, when they slipped into the deep water. They said volunteers pulled out the three children from the water, and a medical team of Rescue 1122 provided them first aid and shifted them to Bacha Khan Medical Complex, Shahmansoor, where the doctors pronounced three-year-old Soraya Khan dead.
Doctors said condition of the other two sisters, Ruqayya Gul, 12, and Khan Zilla, 15, was critical.
Meanwhile, a 17-year-old boy drowned in Pehur canal while bathing along with his friends.
Eyewitness said the boy suddenly slipped into deep section of the canal and drowned.
A rescue official said a team was making efforts to recover the body.
Separately, Mumtaz Khan, a resident of Shagai area of Maneri Bala, died after being bitten by a snake.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2023