Prioritising education?: Publishers criticise increase in tax on books, stationery

Say this will make locally produced books more expensive.

Hidayat Khan July 15, 2013
There are 64 registered textbook printing presses in K-P that publish material for the K-P Textbook Board. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has criticised the imposition of sales tax on religious text and books part of school curriculum.

The KCCI has warned to file a petition if the government does not reverse its decision.

While talking to The Express Tribune, Chairman of KPCCI Frontier Printers and Publishers Association Iqtidar Ali Akhunzada said despite it being against the law, the previous government imposed 16% tax on books, while the current government has increased it to 17%.

Under Article 65 of Sales Tax Act 1930, various things including printing of Islamic and academic books had been exempted from sales tax.

“What happened to the government’s claim of improving education? After this tax, prices of books and stationery will increase,” said Akhunzada, adding if the government really was serious in increasing the literacy rate, textbooks, exercise books, pencils, pen and other stationery items must be made cheaper.

“The federal government exempted these products from customs duty and promised tax on stationery would be removed, but they have not done anything about it as yet,” he said.

There are 64 registered textbook printing presses in K-P that publish material for the K-P Textbook Board.

“As a developing country, the first duty of the government is to facilitate access to education,” said the KPCCI Frontier Printers and Publishers Association chairman, adding the sales tax will be passed on to the public. “Earlier governments avoided taxing stationery material,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.


M Alam | 9 years ago | Reply

what a tax imposed by Naya Pakistan Party.... they believe that education for all but tax on education material....

Alann | 9 years ago | Reply

Another example of how Pakistan's ruling and military elite is destroying Pakistan's future. If US wasn't under debt by India and China right now due to its past "war efforts", it would have found an excuse to declare war on Pakistan today. Not really an excuse actually, because Pakistan IS literally suffering from terrorism like no other country. US no longer considers Pakistan as an "ally" - it is becoming more of a burden for US. All the big politicians are stealing all of poor Pakistani people's wealths. No one no longer cares for the country. All they are interested in is twisting people's sentiments by making anti-India comments for vote bank. Every sector in Pakistan today has been ruined by these "Islamists". Now even Education has not been spared.

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