ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s growers are divided over the imposition of Rs300 per kg advance tax on green tobacco as one of the groups representing the growers has claimed that the additional tax will increase farmer’s burden whereas the other pointed out that the tax has not been imposed on the growers.
The division amongst growers was seen during the press conference held on Wednesday where the two groups were seen arguing with each other over the interpretation of the recently imposed tax.
Tobacco — a kharif crop — is grown in Mardan, Swabi, Buner, Charsadda, Mansehra and some parts of Malakand and is grown on over 46,000 hectares in the country.
Tobacco Growers Association of Pakistan Chairman Liaquat Yousafzai said that there are around 65,000 growers in the province and the sector’s regulator Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) has issued 14,500 permits to growers enabling them to sell their product to the tobacco companies. However, the remaining 50,500 farmers have been completely ignored putting their livelihoods at risk as they cannot sell their crop at the price below the minimum indicative price and are unable to even recover costs of production, Yousafzai added.
Criticising the imposition of advance tax, he requested the government to impose the tax on manufacturing instead.
On the other hand, the diverging group led by Mushfiq Ali Khan has alleged that some influenced farmers are incorrectly claiming that the tax on green tobacco is putting burden on them.
Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2019