KARACHI: Diesel, vegetables, clothes and soap are on a list of 38 items that have become cheaper for people living in Mohmand Agency as the political agent has done away with the taxes.
Traders had to pay the tax when they entered and exited the agency. This made basic necessities such as fodder, washing powder, coal more expensive.
For example, a 20kg bag of flour is Rs20 cheaper. It is the same for sugar.
“There are three to four big bazaars in Mohmand Agency. After withdrawing the cess, we conducted a survey to determine its immediate impact on the masses,” Political Agent Wasif Saeed told Samaa. “According to our survey, the tax exemption has provided a substantial relief to the people in the agency.”
Ghee, gas cylinders, fruit and firewood are also on the list. These items were already sold at slightly higher rates than those of Peshawar and settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because of transportation costs. “Withdrawal of these taxes should have been done away with decades ago,” tweeted Saeed.
The full list is of 104 items that are taxed. A notification was issued April 10. “The decision has been taken owing to the impact these items had on the day-to-day usage of the middle, lower middle class and lower strata of society at Mohmand Agency,” it said.
“It was decided that fiscal discipline was to be enforced in order to minimize an impact on expenses for the Political administration.”
The financial impact of this abolition, based on information from the previous 21 months, turns out to be around Rs500,000 per month.
Now that this has affected the Political Agent’s office revenues, PA Saeed has sent the Fata Secretariat a request for revised funding in the regular budget.
The hope is that other agencies will follow suit.