CHITRAL: Potato growers from Garam Chashma held a protest gathering at the polo ground against the imposition of tax on transportation of potatoes out of their valley.
Speaking on the occasion, the protesters said for years the government had failed to repair and construct the dilapidated road to Garam Chashma forcing the locals to repair it on their own. But now the tehsil municipal administration (TMA) has swung into action and imposed a tax on the transport of potatoes out of the valley from the same road.
The TMA has also never helped the farmers in supply of water or construction of canals which the growers themselves manage and therefore imposition of the Rs160 per bag tax on the export of tomatoes from tbe area is illegal.
The protesters gave the TMA a deadline of 48 hours to withdraw the tax otherwise they would launch a hunger strike.
Meanwhile, former MPA Saleem Khan told this correspondent on phone from Peshawar that the TMA had also tried to impose the tax in 2012. The local people later moved court against the TMA decision and were given a verdict in their favour. He said the tax was also illegal in the sense that the TMA never provided any service to the people of Lotkoh and hence not justufied to levy a tax on them.– Syed Nazir Hussain Shah