PESHAWAR - Strongly opposing the proposed tax on agriculture sector, the growers’ body has demanded the government to review the decision and exempt agriculture sector and agri inputs from any kind of tax to extend maximum relief to farmers across the country.

Addressing a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club here on Tuesday, central president Kisan Board Pakistan Sardar Zafar Hussain said the successive governments failed to take practical steps for boosting up agriculture sector.

Agriculture sector, he said, contributed about 77 per cent to the total exports in shape of raw material but despite that the sector was totally neglected in the fiscal budget.

Flanked by Kisan Board central general secretary Malik Ramzan Rohari, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter president Rizwanullah Khan, general secretary Arbab Rahim, Hussain criticised the government for failing to allocate sufficient funds in the fiscal budget for agriculture development in the country.

Owing to direct intervention in agriculture sector, he informed the growers of sugarcane suffered losses of Rs 25,800 per acre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Similarly, he said, expenses of wheat crop were also not fulfilled while maize crop was already in a bad condition in the province.

Rizwanullah, provincial president Kisan Board, alleged the elected government always used manipulative tactics in fixing of tobacco support prices and was reluctant to give support prices of this bumper crop, as per cost of production to farmers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He further said that farmers were suffering losses of Rs59 per kg every season due to not fixing prices of tobacco as per their demands. He informed that KP government had generated Rs69 billion per annum in head of tobacco cess and federal excise duty while the Pakistan Tobacco Board was receiving Rs160 million as well from the crop.

He said that the cost of production had been soared due to imposition of various taxes on growers, because of which agriculture sector would be damaged due to imposition of such anti-farmer policies.

“The government should also announce special compensation package for farmers affected by floods in Malakand Division and rest parts of the KP,” he demanded.

The Kisan Board demanded the government to review the decision and exempt agriculture sector from taxes.