Agricultural tools makers seek withdrawal of 16 percent GST
May 31, 2013
The manufacturers of agriculture implements and machinery have appealed to the government to withdraw 16 percent General Sales Tax (GST) on Agricultural tools and machinery for ensuring green revolution and in the interest of the industry.
The imposition of GST on agricultural implements the cost of production has been increased to manifold and growers were reluctant to purchase new machinery and doing farming with traditional modes, which is a major hurdle in tracking the agriculture sector on modern farming.
Executive member of Engineering Development Board Muhammad Iqbal Mughal and a leading manufacturer of Agricultural tools while talking to us on Thursday said that Daska is a hub of producing agriculture inputs with traditional techniques without any support of the government and catering domestic needs of farmers as well as exporting agriculture machinery to South Africa, Afghanistan, Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe etc.
The Agricultural tools industry, he said, was confronting with serious shortage of skilled and semi-skilled labour and non-availability of standard raw material. He said that under the prevailing circumstances the Punjab government should take revolutionary steps for establishing a “Training Institute” for producing skilled work force for the industry.
He said that setting up of raw material bank and a material testing laboratory is need of the hour. He further said that setting up a material testing laboratory will ensure the facility of testing of material while establishment of a material bank will ensure availability of standard raw material.
Another manufacturer Omer Farooq Mughal said that due to implementation of GST on agriculture machinery and implements the sale was declined because the growers were reluctant to purchase modern machinery due to which the practice of modern farming at lowest ebb in the Punjab.
Asif Mehmood while expressing the views said that there was a considerable increase in the export of tractors and agriculture machinery but prolonged outage of electricity was hampering the manufacturing units adversely. The government should announce incentives for the smooth growth of Agricultural tools industry and exempt it from GST to facilitate the business community, he said. Expressing the hope, he said that new federal and provincial governments would take drastic steps for the withdrawal of GST for the growth of the industry.
The manufacturers engaged with the industry have started producing hi-tech agriculture machinery on their own resources and Punjab government should take steps for imparting training to the small growers about utilisation of agricultural machinery for enhancing per acre yield of the crops as well as the utilisation of hi-tech machinery would help reduce sowing problems of the farmers.
Some Agricultural tools manufacturers were of the opinion that high tariff of electricity and heavy taxes are hindering the development of the industry whereas in neighbouring countries the governments are extending special concessions to facilitating the industrial sectors. The Punjab government should provide loans facility at low mark-up to agricultural tools manufacturers enabling them to modernise their workplaces. Business Recorder