• April 21, 2024

Farmer Group Calls for Lower Tobacco Tax

 Farmer Group Calls for Lower Tobacco Tax
Image: Tobacco Reporter archive

Mushfiq Ali Khan, president of Anjuman-e-Kashtkaran, a farmers’ group, has asked the government of Pakistan to reduce the federal excise duty on cigarettes so the regulated industry can resume purchasing from tobacco farmers, ensuring timely payments and safeguarding farmers’ livelihoods, reports the Pakistan Observer.

A recent hike in tobacco excise taxes has prompted legal tobacco companies to cut production, driving down demand for leaf and prompting some farmers to sell their leaf on the black market. Farmers are not getting fair returns on their crops due to a decrease in sales in the legal industry, according to Khan. High taxes and a decline in sales, he said, have led the regulated industry to limit tobacco purchases.

“On the other hand, the illicit cigarette manufacturing industry offers farmers unfair prices for their tobacco, with no guarantee of timely payment. Faced with this predicament, farmers are left with no choice but to rely on the illegal cigarette industry,” he said.