‘Both levying tax and doing politics on potato not acceptable’

CHITRAL: People of Lotkoh have opposed levying of tax on potato and other vegetables and called upon the district administration to withdraw the notification issued in this regard otherwise it would face a strong reaction from the growers because imposing any tax only on the people of a specific area is discrimination and would never be acceptable to the locals.

This was stated by social activist from Lotkoh Sher Jahan Sahil in a statement on Saturday. He also criticized former MP Saleem Khan for doing politics on the issue, saying Mr Khan’s act was highly irresponsible.

He said in January 2018 it had been learnt that the tax was being levied and the local administration had asked all stakeholders to submit their proposals/reservations on the matter by Jan 25. The then MPA Saleem Khan was the chairman of the District Development Advisory Committee (DDAC) at that time and could have played a decisive role in stopping the administration from levying the tax. But he failed to do so.

As no objection was submitted, the district administration went ahead with its decision and imposed the tax and so far many growers have started paying the tax.

A few days ago, when nazims of union councils from Lotkoh were returning after meeting the tehsil municipal officer of Chitral, the former MPA joined hand with them and at a press conference warned of a protest move if the tax was not withdraw. Mr Sahil said the sudden jumping of the MPA into the row was not justified.

“A protest move will be launched by us, the people of Lotkoh, but you have committed a mistake by remaining silent when the tax was being imposed and you were the MPA and chairman of DDAC. And if this tax is a a ghunda tax, as you have said, you are equally to be held responsible for imposing it on the people of Lotkoh.”

Mr Sahil also said the local people had already brought the matter under the notice of the PTI leadership in Chitral and it was expected that the administration would take a decision that would be acceptable to all the stakeholders.

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