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Farm distress rising in Pakistan due to tax policies to gain IMF loan

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Islamabad [Pakistan], February 17 (ANI): Farm distress is on the rise in Pakistan with various groups staging protests in multiple cities as the Imran Khan government has withdrawn all tax exemptions and imposed fresh taxes to fulfill International Monetary Fund’s demand to receive the loan, according to a media report.

Despite the opposition from the political parties and the people of Pakistan, the Imran Khan government went ahead with the withdrawal of various tax exemptions in January 2022 to get a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Experts had warned of serious negative impacts on the pillars of the economy. And the agriculture sector appears to be the first victim of the economic decision. Farmers have been holding protests against the Khan government for the shortage of essential crop inputs, expensive agriculture equipment and tools, and higher taxes, according to the International Forum For Right And Security (IFFRAS).

Pakistan’s Opposition parties have also extended their support to farmers saying the ill-fated decision to cut tax exemption has broken the agriculture economy, which is the backbone of the country’s economy, said IFFRAS.

Pakistani farmers have expressed anger as they face a shortage of fertilisers and increased rates of seeds. The farmers in the country mostly use Urea as fertiliser and its shortage is causing havoc on standing crops.

Mukhtiar Soomro, a farmer from Sindh province, blamed the Islamabad government for mismanagement that has left many farmers in the lurch. Soomro also said that his crop has turned yellow and their growth is going to be stunted without the urea, but the dealers in the market keep turning me away saying that there is a shortage of stock, according to IFFRAS.

Meanwhile, the Imran Khan government’s inaction against the rigged supplies in the market and justify higher prices of seeds have drawn criticism. Prices of maize seeds have increased from PKR 3,000 to 5,000.

According to IFFRAS, farmers in Pakistan are facing adverse climatic and market conditions. In such a scenario, the Imran Khan government’s decision to withdraw all tax exemptions has aggravated the farm distress in the country. Kissan Ittehad Awami Party has announced protests in Punjab’s Multan against the new taxes on agricultural materials and produce. The Party also has threatened to do sit-in protest in front of the Punjab Assembly from February 20 if the Islamabad government fails to resolve their concerns. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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