The Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) has urged the government to announce measures in the budget 2017-18 for the country’s agriculture sector by introducing zero rated tax regime and other incentives for the betterment of this important sector.
The PKI president Mr. Khalid Khokhar told Pakistan Observer that worldover agriculture sector is among top priority of the government but in Pakistan, farmers are facing host of issues in shape of taxes and non-fixation of support prices of different crops.
Mr. Khalid Khokhar asked the government to abolish GST and GDIC on input and output of all types of fertilizers in the federal budget 2017-18 and announce support prices for cotton, rice, potato and corn crops besides putting a complete ban on agriculture trade with India.
According to him, the Punjab government has endorsed the PKI demands and also requested the federal government in this regard in black and white. Even the Punjab Agriculture Commission (PAC) in its meeting supported these demands.
Mr. Khokhar warned that the farmers would be forced to commit suicides, if immediate steps are not taken to address their economic worries. In India, he said, support prices of all the 27 crops have been fixed by the government but in Pakistan supporting price of only wheat crop has been fixed.
He asked the government to announce support price of cotton in budget 2017-18 as Rs 4,000 per 40/kg cotton bales, Rs 2,200 per 40/kg for rice, Rs 2,500 per 120/kg for potato and Rs 1,500 per 40/kg for corn crop.
Ahmed, Salim. PKI seeks zero rated tax regime for agriculture sector. Pakistan Observer, May 21, 2017.