Tobacco Farmers in Pakistan Want End to Advance Tax

Tobacco farmers in Pakistan on Monday urged the government to withdraw Rs380 ($1.76) per kilogram advance tax on the tobacco leaf, otherwise they would stage a protest in Islamabad.

Addressing a press conference at Islamabad National Press Club, president of the Mehnatkash Labour Federation, Ibrar Ullah, said that price of tobacco per kilogram in the open market was Rs256 per kilogram while the advance tax on it was Rs380 per kilogram, according to The News.

He said the advance tax on the tobacco leaf was hurting the sale of the crop in the market and this would render over 15,000 labourers and 20,000 families of the farmers jobless.

The president of the Kissan Board, Rizwan Ullah, also rejected the imposition of the advance tax on the crop, saying the government was destroying the value of the crop through such tactics instead of providing them relief.

He said that all farmers from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province would stage a sit-in in Islamabad if the advance tax on the crop was not withdrawn.

Liaqat Yousafzai of the Kashtkar Coordination Council KP termed the imposition of the advance tax on the tobacco crop as “public enmity.”

He said that rates of tobacco were increasing around the world, while they were decreasing in Pakistan.