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Provincial development order rejected | The Express Stand

The Swabi Kisan board demands that the government develop the agriculture sector in a modern manner

SWAB:

The Swabi District Kisan Board has rejected the provincial government’s decision to levy an additional tax of Rs50 per kilogram on tobacco leaves in the name of provincial development tax.

They called it cruelty to the farmers and demanded that the provincial government look for other sources of income instead of ‘robbing’ them.

These views were expressed by District Kisan Board Chairman Khalid Khan while chairing a meeting.

Razar Tehsil Kisan Board Chairman Salman Khan, Swabi Press Secretary Sulaiman Safi, Vice President Swabi Khan Muhammad, Secretary General Swabi Razaullah, Deputy Secretary General Tehsil Lahore Dawood Shah and hundreds of farmers attended the meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, Khalid Khan and Razaullah said that agriculture and farmers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were facing numerous problems and difficulties which the provincial government was not serious about solving.

They said non-availability of authentic seeds, counterfeit pesticides, exorbitantly expensive agricultural inputs, lack of interest from agriculture-related institutions and low prices for produce were major problems in which the farming community was trapped and could see no way out.

They added that lack of interest and attention from the government had devastated the economic condition of KP’s farmers and turned agriculture into a shortage sector, causing farmers to leave agriculture and migrate to cities, which in turn created new caused problems in urban areas. .

The President said the government urgently needs effective and viable consultations with farmers to find solutions to these problems. He said tobacco was the province’s only cash crop and tobacco farmers would not accept a cruel tax like tobacco tax from the provincial government.

He said the government should immediately announce the withdrawal of the concession or be prepared for strong resistance from the farmers. He said a high-level delegation of the Kisan Board would meet government officials and opposition leaders and inform them of the disastrous consequences of this tax and force them to withdraw it.

He also demanded that the tobacco companies, including Philip Morris, that had purchased tobacco from farmers last season at a fraudulently low price be brought to justice and that the provincial government use its influence to reduce farmers’ contributions to these companies so that it can improve the economic situation of farmers.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 6e2024.