Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Chairman Mohammad Naeem Butt has alleged collection of illegal tax from Afghanistan bound trucks carrying flour to Afghanistan. He was briefing the Minister of State for Food Security during meeting of the PFMA at a local hotel. Those present on the occasion were included chairman, PFMA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Malik Iftikhar Ahmad Awan; former provincial chairman, Mohammad Sadiq; Haji Sartaj Ali, Divisional Vice Chairman, Haji Musarrat Shah and others. He said that political administration was collecting an amount of Rs 13,000 at Torkham border in the name of toll tax from trucks carrying flour to Afghanistan, and termed it totally unlawful. The collected fund, he said had no record.
He said they were paying one percent duty on export of flour to Afghanistan, but still the political administration of all tribal agencies was busy in illegal activities. He demanded the stoppage of the collection of Bhatta in the name of toll tax and issuance of directives to all political administrations for the abolition of this illegal toll tax. He said that since last four years the industry was facing severe difficult situation, which he attributed to higher price of wheat in the local market, adding that due to such circumstances they were confronting hurdles in the export of wheat products.
The PFMA Chairman said if the government was interested in the running of the mills, then it should have to bring the support price of wheat to a certain level or allow the industry to import cheap commodity from foreign markets and after grinding export on profitable rate. Mohammad Naeem Butt further told the minister that surplus wheat was rotting in the godowns since last three years and in case of the provision of rebate they were ready for access to foreign markets to export them. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Food Security Muazzam Jatoi has assured PFMA for taking up the problems faced by the Association with quarters concerned to bring the industry out of the prevailing crises.
During the meeting matters relating to abolition of Hundi and Hawala activities and promotion of business through the opening of legal Letter of Credit (LC) was also come under discussion and a proposal was also presented before the minister that in case of the extension of support they are keen to promote legal exports. The measure, he said would help earn revenue for the national exchequer and provide protection to business community.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012