Tuesday July 16, 2024

Sales tax on agricultural commodities flayed

By Our Correspondent
June 20, 2024
A representational image showing workers sorting and packing fruits at a farm. — AFP/File
A representational image showing workers sorting and packing fruits at a farm. — AFP/File

LAHORE:The reduction in petrol and diesel prices, electricity tariff and markup rate are encouraging steps for the businesses but government should take more measure for providing relief to commercial activities. There is need to give an impetus to economic growth.

However, the overall government policies are disappointing. It is incomprehensible to implement sales tax on agricultural commodities in the current budget, said Khawaja Mehboobur Rahman and Malik Sohail Talat, business and cotton ginning industry leaders on Wednesday.

They were of the view that about two years back PDM government, abolished sales tax on cotton cake. We have held several meetings with the then Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, other cabinet ministers from the platform of Pakistan Cotton Yarns Association and other forums.

However, while completely ignoring the ground realities in the current budget, sales tax was again imposed on cotton cake, which further would reduce the revenue generation. They added that the cost of electricity of exports industries has been reduced which is a positive step on the right direction. Cotton is the backbone of the economy.

It is necessary to increase the funds for research cotton institutes and enable them to develop more high yielding varieties. We demand the government to immediately devise a support price for cotton and a system to ensure due return for growers. Moreover, government must abolition sales tax on cotton cake and include cotton ginning industry in the list of subsidised electricity tariff.