Sales tax on tube wells adds to farmers’ miseries


Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal has pointed out that the government has levied sales tax on electricity bills for agricultural tube wells, which will put a financial burden of Rs6 billion on the growers of Pakistan.Mughal severely criticised the bureaucrats for taking such a decision and said such people who are oblivious of ground realities are making life harder for the growers. He alleged that such decisions would ruin the agriculture sector. In a statement issued here on Friday, Mughal stated that there are around 175,000 agricultural tube wells in the country and the government has imposed sales tax on their electricity bills from this month. He termed the imposition of GST as an ‘Eid Gift’ from the federal government for the growers on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.He noted that farmers were already under tremendous a financial burden as they were paying more than twice the prices of fertilisers this year as compared to those of last year. Farmers are also selling their cotton produce at half the rates as compared to those from the last season. Imposition of the GST on agricultural tube wells has added salt to their wounds, he remarked. Ibrahim Mughal claimed that on average, farmers would pay an additional amount of Rs40,000 to 50,000 per month for each agricultural tube well. “This would ruin the financial standing of small growers,” he added. He claimed that globally, governments are extending financial incentives to their farmers for increasing their production to avert any food crisis, while the Pakistani government was levying new taxes and financial burdens on this sector with every passing day. Recent imposition of the tax would increase prices and add to inflation, he observed. Agri Forum Pakistan Chairman urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan to immediately withdraw this GST for strengthening the agricultural sector which had already become a business generating deficits for the farmers.