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Balkh farmers charged ‘extra’ taxes on goods’ transfer

Security & Crime

ارشيف

Balkh farmers charged ‘extra’ taxes on goods’ transfer

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Jul 17, 2017 - 20:55

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Farmers in northern Balkh province say the municipality has imposed taxes on transportation of their agricultureinfo-icon harvests in areas it has leased out.

The farmers in Char Bolak, Chamtal, Balkh and Dawlat Abad districts said they had to pay taxes at various locations near the provincial capital, Mazae-i-Sharif, on the transfer of their goods to the city.

The municipality acknowledges the issue and says farmers should pay the levy in line with the municipality’s policy not more.

A tribal elder in Char Bolak district, Haji Mohammad Iqbal Yaqubi, told Pajhwok Afghan News farmers were charged more than the actual lease tax.

“People have to pay them the money to protect their honor. The municipality men use wooden sticks to stop vehicles and demand tax.”

The elder said farmers had to pay the same tax at least five locations until reaching Mazar-i-Sharif.

A farmer in Dawlat Abad district, Mohammad Karim, said they incurred losses after paying taxes at various points from the district to the provincial capital.

“You need to pay the tax upon exiting the district. You pay again on reaching the square in Mazar-i-Sharif, again at the check points and once again after unloading the goods in the market.”

He said a farmer could hardly generate 500 afghanis income from 4000 watermelons due to the taxes.

He said they would not complain about municipality taxes if the levies were legal and logical.

A tribal elder in Balkh district, Haji Abdul Qayum, said transporting everything from the district to the city was a daunting task.

He said people paid money in ‘taxes’ to everyone from security posts to municipality check points and traffic department.

Seeking justice, the farmer appealed to the president, the minister concerned, the provincial governor, the mayor and others to resolve their problems.

Provincial council chief Dr. Mohammad Afzal Hadid said farmers from the mentioned districts had visited the public representatives regarding the issue.

He said the farmers were complaining about taxes levied on them by the municipality and police.

He said the farmers also complained about the government’s lease policy, saying the police approved by the centre had not taken into consideration problems in provinces.

The public representative said they would keep monitoring the issue and would seek solution to it through the departments concerned.

Mayor Nasir Ahmad Aini did not rule out money taken as ijara tax from farmers. “ I cannot deny municipality’s contractors are taking taxes from people more than the approved amount.”

However, he said people should not pay more than mentioned in the government’s policy. He also promised legal action against violators.

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