LAHORE – Despite lowering of the General Sales Tax by the Federal Government on tractors from 16 per cent to only 5 per cent, the manufacturers and assemblers, instead of passing on the relief to buyers and reducing the rates, have increased the prices of tractors up to Rs80,000 per unit. Revealing the above fact, Tractors Dealers Association President Mohammad Aslam told TheNation on Monday that in the recent past, tractor production had dropped to almost zero owing to the imposition of the 16 per cent GST. “That hiked prices of tractors up to Rs200,000 per unit, which was really unrealistic,” said Mr Aslam.Mr Aslam added that small farmers, who always remain under monetary burden, are finding it very difficult to purchase their main tool (tractor) on “such an exorbitant price”. He said the situation would aggravate when complete units (of tractors), which are parked with full capacity at manufacturing plants or at dealer shops, would find no buyers. “But the makers of the main agri tool are making huge money in the shape of profits both as a result of lowered GST and the new prices,” Aslam added. Al-Ghazi Tractors, according to some insiders, have already raised the unit price and other manufacturers were in a mindset to do the same.“Though the tractor production has resumed after the reduction of the GST, the astute manufacturers have not passed on this relief to farmers,” Aslam said. Meanwhile, the farmers’ organisations have also demanded that the Federal Government take a stern action against tractor assemblers in order to force them to reduce prices otherwise the government would have to import agri products and there would be no bumper crop in the Rabi season.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 21-Feb-2012 here.