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Flour mills announce strike over imposition of taxes

Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) has announced a strike. Source: FILE

LAHORE: The Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) has announced to go on strike from Thursday (today) leading to concerns over a rise in the price of flout.

The mill owners had announced a protest against budget measures proposing a hike in income tax on turnover of flour mills and increase the sales tax on bran.

PFMA Chairman Asim Raza Ahmed said that the flour mills across the country will be closed from June 24 and will go on strike indefinitely from June 30 against turnover and sales taxes imposed by the government.

He also urged the government to withdraw the 17 percent choker tax on wheat. There would initially be a two-day strike. In case if the bran tax is imposed on flour, it is expected that the price of flour will increase by Rs5 per kg.

In a late night statement, the FBR clarified that the minimum tax applicable on flour mills would remain at 0.25pc of the turnover instead of 1.25 percent. However, no statement was issued by PFMA regarding calling off of their strike.

The FBR said that in order to boost the government’s drive to keep inflation under control and provide maximum relief to the business community, General Sales Tax (GST) on wheat bran proposed to be enhanced to 17 percent in the Finance Bill 2021 is also being taken back.

The FBR said the flour mills association has interpreted the change as if the current budget increased turnover tax from 0.25 percent to 1.25 percent, neither is there any increase in GST on bran,