Govt’s decision for advance tax on tobacco industry criticized

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MARDAN: Provincial president of Anjuman-e-Huqooq -e- Tahafuz Kashtkaran (AHTK) Namat Shah Roghani on Sunday strongly condemned Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s decision on advance tax on tobacco, saying that “it is a conspiracy of multinational tobacco companies’’. While talking to the media, Namat Shah added that tobacco companies purchase tobacco at about 256 rupees per kg from farmers, on which the tax has been increased from 10 rupees to 380 rupees per kg which is equivalent to finishing tobacco crop. He argued that tobacco is the cash-generating crop of our province which provides excise duty of Rs.200 billion annually to the center and the provincial government and Pakistan Tobacco Board are also receiving billions of rupees taxes from tobacco. He added that more than two million people of our province are living from this crop, which means they are connected to this crop. He added that 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 in the fields. He added that due to heavy taxes, many factories have already moved from our province to Kashmir and if this situation continues, all our domestic factories will be finished. Our Correspondent