After federal government budget, eyes of people are on up coming budget of Sindh government which will come on 13th June 2014. Agriculture is one of the largest and one of the neglected sector of Sindh but entire Pakistan.
Sindh government claims the economic share of four major crops in country’s agriculture growth as:
Rice 32%-36%, sugarcane 24%-29%, cotton 21%- 34% , wheat 12%-15%But unfortunately government is not paying proper attention towards agriculture sector the largest income and employment generating sector. It has been observed that government allocate very small funds for research and development of agriculture.
Sindh government claims that Sindh province contributes about 92% of chilies, 33% of onion, 50% of dates and more than 80% of banana in overall production of country. Now a days there is voice of levy demand of one political party in Sindh Assembly about agriculture income tax but it is necessary to understand that to collect such tax from growers, feudal will be difficult task for government as there is no proper mechanisms for farm audit one can easily hide his actual land acreage and income from official and we can not deny about bribe culture of our country.
Mr. Zulfiqar Halepoto a writer and researcher sharing his view said that there is no chance of agriculture tax this year, but agriculture income tax is must but in recent situation there is no transparent system of collection of tax exists. Industrial mindset control economy and budget so they are already biased to agriculture sector and they all will be malafied not to bring agriculture sector in tax net he said that.
Mr. Halepoto demanded agriculture shall be declared as formal industry, because there is no formal contract, no EOBI, no pension system exists for farmer. Mr. Chela Ram senior vice chairman of Rice exporter Association of Pakistan said that he doesn’t expect any good news from finance department of Sindh, he urged to the government for improvement of law and order situation in Karachi, so they can run their business with full concentration.
According to Mr. Chela Ram in other parts of world growers get two crops of non basmati rice in a year but growers of Pakistan get one crop only. There is no proper research institute for research of rice and seeds which are being cultivated in Pakistan are of low quality. He appealed to the government to assist them in bringing high quality seeds in Pakistan so production of rice can be enhanced .It would be good for Sindh agriculture if government get success in collecting agriculture income tax he added.
Mr chela Ram suggested government to organize seminars and other training programs for spreading awareness regarding improvement of rice sector.
Mr. Waheed Ahmed co Chairman of All Pakistan Fruits and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association Said that he doesn’t expect any good news and relief from Sindh Government , he said that no official of Sindh Government came to attend their awareness seminar on mango which they had organized a month ago at Indus hotel Hyderabad.
Mr Waheed requested Government to improve law and order situation, he denied all the news regarding export of potato he said that potato has been smuggled to Afghanistan and Iran via land routes due to this smuggling prices of potato can hit to Rs 100 before Ramzan he said that. Pakistan would be included in major importer of agricultural commodities in future which may leads to more worst law and order situation if Government fails to fix any agricultural policy , Now a days potato, banana are being imported from India and Bangladesh told Mr. Waheed.
Talking on levy demand of agriculture income tax he said that it would be good if Sindh government collect tax from land owners and spend that money on research and development of farmers, it would be helpful in improving quality and quantity of farm output. Mr Junaid Hyder Shah , Ex Chairman of Sindh Mango Growers and Exporters said that they don’t expect any relief from Sindh Government in upcoming budget.
Talking on agriculture income tax Mr. Shah said that we already pay indirect tax like tax implemented on pesticides, fertilizers and electricity. Government doesn’t pay any attention, and doesn’t spent money for our welfare said Mr. Shah. Mr Shah further said that Government separates Cotton from agriculture sector and includes under Textile industry, it should not be done he suggested. Mr. Shah told that in Sindh sugar mill owners operate their mills in November-December while the standard duration of operation of mill is September-October which also effects sowing of wheat and delaying in sowing is responsible for reduction in yield, Government should pay attention towards it said Mr. junaid shah.
BS AGRICULTURE ,UOK
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