Tobacco farmers and labourers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have appreciated the withdrawal of advance tax of Rs500 per kg on tobacco crop, which has caused an increase of 137.5% in its exports in the first month of current fiscal year.
Speaking at a press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday, they recalled how the problems faced by them were taken up with the government, particularly the advance tax on tobacco leaf, which hurt the farmers and the entire industry.
The issue was then taken to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) prior to the budget announcement for fiscal year 2020-21 and subsequently, the advance tax was abolished with the aim of assisting the farmers, industry and labourers.
“We have fulfilled our promise by helping the country to increase tobacco exports,” they said. “Pakistan is producing high-quality tobacco crop and there is massive potential for export.”
Farmers voiced hope that tobacco exports would fetch sizeable foreign exchange and would help create more job opportunities for the youth.
They urged multinational tobacco companies to reinstate all the laid-off workers as they had purchased the produce in large quantity this year. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s tobacco exports increased 137.5% to $2.17 million in July 2020 compared to $0.91 million in the same period of previous year.
In terms of volume, exports of tobacco rose 151.9% as the country shipped 675 tons in July 2020 compared to 268 tons in the same month of last year, reveled the data.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2020.