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Senators propose withdrawal of taxes, duties to boost agriculture sector

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Published: June 18, 2014 09:10 pm

SenateISLAMABD: In a bid to give boost to the agriculture sector, the lawmakers in the Upper House recommended that all types of duties including General Sales Tax (GST) and other taxes should be withdrawn on import of tractors, combined harvesters, rice and vegetable transplant and other agricultural machinery.
During the debate on the federal budget, the lawmakers proposed that duties on the import of pulse harvesters, thrashers, wheat sowing drills, laser leveler and disk harrows and sales tax on agricultural inputs and implements should be abolished. They also recommended that GST and other taxes on greenhouse equipment, high efficiency irrigation system, solar panels, pumps as well as equipment for alternate sources of power generation should be withdrawn. They also demanded tax relief for cold chain development and cold storage facilities.
The Upper House also recommended that the government should provide air freight services for market facilitation of dates, cherry, apricot and other fresh fruits from Gwadar, Gilgit and Skardu as well as withdrawal of sales tax and duties on aerators, shrimp feed, trout/tilapia and their seedlings, fish feed water quality test kits and solar pumps and duty on import of shrimp feed and fish cage material should be abolished.
In a bid to create more job opportunities and to facilitate local industrialists, the lawmakers recommended special tax exemption incentives for establishment of processing industry in Makran Division and Gilgit-Baltistan as well as 50% increase in import duty on poultry products especially for those imported from Malaysia and China.
The lawmakers urged the government to announce a policy for support price and intervention in major cash crops including cotton and tobacco to ensure a fair return-based on the calculation of the cost of production per acre as well as increase in ceiling for agriculture loans per produced index units by 50%.
The Senate recommended the National Assembly that the remaining funds for Makhi-Farsh Link Canal Project Chotiari Phase-11 should be released during the current Financial Year so that the scheme may be completed.
The lawmakers also recommended subsidy on diesel for those areas where groundwater is being lifted through machines and necessary arrangements should be made on emergency basis for enacting the law on breeding rights so that the issue of shortage of good quality seeds could be addressed.
The Upper House proposed the allocation for water resource development in the budget should be enhanced significantly as the amount already allocated for this purpose is insufficient. The amount allocated for crop insurance and subsidy for electrical charges for tubewells should also be increased to protect the investment of small farmers but it should not be permitted on large holdings or absentee landlords.
In a bid to provide relief to the common man, the lawmakers recommended that GST on edible items such as rice, flour, ghee, pulses, lentils etc. should be reduced to 5%, and to cover this shortfall, GST on luxury items such as perfumery, cosmetics, crockery, bathroom fittings, sporting arms, air conditioners and domestic electrical items should be increased to 25% and targeted subsidies should be provided to bring down the prices of basic food stuffs like rice, flour, ghee and pulses, to reduce the impact of inflation.

Posted by on June 18, 2014. Filed under Budgetary Proposals Presentation of a Standing Committee Report Senate,Proceedings,Senate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry