Tobacco growers are under constant pressure by taxation authorities and the cigarette industry which has disheartened them, a business leader said Saturday.
The highhandedness of authorities, repeated changes in tax structure and the tactics employed by the industrialists have forced many to opt for other crops reducing the area under cultivation for tobacco by fifty percent, said Shahid Rasheed Butt, former President ICCI.
Multiple taxations are not only hitting growers but it has also become a threat to dozens of industrial units in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa which will result in closures, lost revenue and unemployment, he added.
He said that four hundred industrial units are already closed down in the province, therefore, the remaining industrial units should not be burdened threatening their viability.
The federal and the provincial government have never taken a keen interest in imposing agricultural taxes but the tobacco crop has the credit to attract double taxation which is amazing.
He said that the Pakistan Tobacco Board should try to stop the exploitation of planters while industrialists should not charge up to 36 percent interest on the loans extended to growers, he demanded.
He asked the government to spare farmers and impose higher taxation on the multinational companies that were making huge profits.