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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Farmers Rights Protection Association (KPFRPA) has strongly opposed the government’s decision to impose an advance tax Rs380 per kilo on tobacco.

Provincial President of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Farmers Rights Protection Association, Haji Nimat Shah Roghani of Sawaldhir, while talking to media persons condemned the government’s decision to impose an advance tax Rs380 per kilo on tobacco, asking for its immediate withdrawal.

Nimat Shah termed the advance tax as economic murder of farmers and workers. He warned the government of launching a protest movement against the advance tax.

The association president called it a conspiracy of multinational tobacco companies in which government officials were also involved.

Tobacco multinational companies purchase tobacco at Rs 256 per kg from tobacco farmers, on which the tax has been increased from Rs10 per kg to Rs380 per kg, which is equivalent to destroying the crop and starving the tobacco farmers and tobacco workers, the farmers said.

The association chief said tobacco is the cash-crop of our province which provides the centre with an excise duty of Rs200 billion annually and the provincial government and the Pakistan Tobacco Board are also receiving billions of rupees in tax.

Around 2 million people directly and indirectly attach to this crop, he informed.

With this advance tax, these two million people of our province will come to the streets, whether they are workers working in factories or farmers working hard in the fields, many factories have moved to Kashmir due to these taxes from our province, the association president elaborated.

If this situation remains, all our domestic factories will be destroyed, he warned.

He urged the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail to abolish this tax immediately.

He also requested from relevant MNAs, Ministers and Senators to immediately fulfill their duty by boycotting these anti-farmer and anti-labour policies in the parliament.

Otherwise, he warned the farming community along with workers is ready to besiege the assemblies and come to the streets.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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