PAKISTAN - The rices of poultry products are going to increase sharply, as the recently announced federal budget has proposed imposition of huge taxation on this major chain of food items, despite the claim of the government that no tax has been imposed on kitchen goods.
According to The Nation, the 2014-15 budget suggests the imposition of a five per cent duty on Poultry Raw Material Import, a five per cent duty on import of soybean meal and a five per cent sales tax, which would hit not only the general public in terms of high prices of food items but also the poultry industry in Pakistan which is providing chicken and eggs on very nominal prices as compared to mutton and other protein sources.
Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) Northern Zone Chairman Raza Khursand expressed dissatisfaction over the imposition of the five per cent taxes as recommended in the current year fiscal budget. He said that the proposed taxes on poultry products in fiscal budget 2014-15 were unjustified.
He said that that in all developed and under-developed countries including neighbouring India, there is no taxation on food items and even in Pakistan the agricultural sector is exempt from paying taxes.
Mr Khursand said that chicken and eggs are consumable food items for the rich and poor alike, and traditionally people prefer chicken as compared to other meats. The taxation imposed on the poultry sector would spoil its stature, and small poultry farmers would be compelled to close down their farms, and this would harm their livelihoods as poultry byproducts have created business opportunities for them.
He said most of the poultry farms are situated in rural areas where this industry not only plays its role for infrastructure development, but also provides local community job opportunities.
The PPA Chairman said it is impossible to think that the prices of chicken and eggs would remain the same after taxation on the poultry industry because the prices of poultry feed would definitely increase and no one in this business can sustain without increase of the prices of poultry products.
Mr Khursand said it is a matter of fact that despite the price hike, chicken and eggs were still available in the open market at Rs. 200/- per kilogram and eggs at Rs. 70-75/- per dozen. He said that the poultry industry has contributed a lot in the national economy by fulfilling the meat requirement. Similarly, it has also extended a helping hand to a number of other allied industries.
He said that the poultry industry presently provides 1.5 million job opportunities annually and if the government does not consider the request, it is likely to create hardships for poultry farmers. He said if the government were to provide chicken and eggs to people on cheaper prices, it is imperative that the proposed taxes on the poultry industry be withdrawn.
He appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar to reconsider the proposal of poultry taxation and duties on imports of poultry raw materials.
TheMeatSite News Desk