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ISLAMABAD: The withdrawal of advance tax on tobacco leaf would facilitate farmers/growers, gradually improve tobacco exports, provide a better price to farmers' production and a level playing field to all manufacturers without hurting documentation drive of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) during 2020-21.

On Sunday, the representatives of tobacco growers and farmers' associations from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser for their extended efforts to abolish Advance Tax of Rs 500/kg on tobacco crop.

In this connection, a ceremony was held by representatives of tobacco growers and farmers here on Sunday to express gratitude to the incumbent PTI government for withdrawal of the tax.

A joint statement of Kissan Board Pakistan, Sarhad Agricultural and Rural Development Organization, Pakistan Tobacco Growers Association, Anjuman Tahaffuz Huqooq Kashtkaraan, Kashtkaar Coordination Council, Mehnat Kash Labor Federation and Dealers Association said that tobacco is cultivated in Swabi, Mardan, Charsadda, Mallakand, Buner and Mansehra and hundreds of thousands of farmers and labor are dependent over tobacco, which is sole cash crop of this region.

The representatives of tobacco growers and farmers' associations from KPK and industry labor unions of Mardan, Swabi, Charsadda, Mallakand, Buner and Mansehra also lauded efforts on part of MNA Shandana Gulzar, MNA Sher Akbar Khan, MNA Nafeesa Khattak, Abdul Kareem Khan Minister of Industries KP, MPA Aqibullah Khan, MNA Ehsan Tiwana, Federal Minister for Food Security Fakhar Imam and PS Waseem Gohar for raising voice for tobacco growers and farmers of KPK to withdraw advanced tax on tobacco crop.

Tobacco farmers thanked Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser for his extended efforts in this regard.

Farmers welcomed PM for taking a decision to resolve problems of the local agriculture sector particularly farmers. They said that the tobacco exports will improve gradually which will directly cast a positive impact on the economy. Through this decision, industries will flourish, employment will be generated and dominance of cigarette manufacturing companies will end, they added.

In post budget sessions, the farmers and growers of tobacco from KPK had demanded to waive off Rs 500/kg advance tax, end of monopoly of tobacco companies, farmers to get better reward against their production, tobacco to be purchased respectably, the companies should derive easy procedure to buy tobacco, tobacco crop should flourish, all the companies should open new purchase centers. They said the companies should appoint technical workers to assist the farmers and factory workers should get legal rights.

On this occasion, representatives of tobacco growers including Abrarullah, President Mehnat Kash Labor Federation, Rizwanullah, President Kisan Board, Haji Abdul Nabi President Sarhad Agriculture and Rural development Organization, Liaqat Yousafzai, President Pakistan Tobacco Growers Association, Muhammad Ali Dagiwal, Kashtkaar Coordination Council were also present.