PESHAWAR: Tobacco farmers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have demanded of the government to increase advance Federal Excise Duty on cigarettes products in upcoming financial budget for 2020-21.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday, tobacco growers from Buner, Swabi, shergarh and Yar Hussain areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa welcomed the government's decision to increase this tax to Rs300 per kg or increase it to Rs 500/kg in the upcoming budget. They clarified that the advance FED is only applicable to manufacturers not growers.

“We are happy that the government has realized this tactic of tax evaders and is considering increasing this tax to more than Rs500/kg in the upcoming budget," General Secretary Buner Grower Association Anwer Khan told media.

He furthermore maintained the tax evading tobacco mafia has again initiated this malicious campaign and are trying to mislead the government by using the same tactic.

Anwer Khan said farmers do not pay advance FED of Rs10/KG (currently) on tobacco as the amount is to be paid by manufacturers who process green leaf at Green Leaf Threshing for manufacturing cigarettes. A farmer's job is finished after selling the tobacco to manufacturer, after which the manufacturer proceeds to GLT for processing of this tobacco, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020