LAHORE (PPI) Levy of 15 per cent General Sales Tax on Rs 200 billion poultry industry, providing jobs to 1.5 million people, will not only further jack-up the rate of unemployment but it would also change an export potential into an import liability therefore in the larger national interests the government should immediately drop any such plans aimed at destroying this important sector. In a statement issued here, the former Chairman Poultry Association Abdul Basit said that Levy of sales tax on poultry feed which is more than 70% of cost will result in a 100% increase in price of poultry meat. Because this will lead to collapse of poultry industry being perishable item governed by only demand and supply irrespective of cost of production. He said that Levy of sales tax on the newly started poultry processing sector will wipe off this industry in its infancy. In Pakistan currently only 3% of poultry meat is being processed. International halal food market is of US$ 1200 billion. Pakistan is ideally placed to benefit from this market but currently has no share. Poultry can only be exported if it is processed and packed. Levy of sales tax will destroy the industry in its infancy. He said that Poultry meat provides a check on prices of mutton and beef. Production of mutton/beef increased by three times whereas poultry meat increased by 14 times during last 30 years. Poultry meat provided 6% of total meat in 1980 now it in fulfilling 33 per cent of total requirement. Everyone clearly remembers that at one time poultry meat was three times the price of mutton now it cost only 1/4th of mutton. This clearly shows how poultry meat helps in providing low cost animal protein to the people. Abdul Basit was of the view that Pakistan did not import poultry products in its history due to the sufficient domestic production. Similarly this sector provides jobs to more than 1.5 million people and there are 25,000 poultry farms in the country. He said that the government already imposed GST on poultry sector in 1996, however it had to take the decision back as more than 40 per cent of the production was reduced and majority of the people were jobless on that time. Therefore to avoid such situation the government should consider its decision. He demanded of the government to give tax exemption to the poultry sector as did by the other countries.