Changes in GST regime to affect vendor industry and farmers

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ISLAMABAD, JUN 2 /DNA/ – Changes in the GST regime have historically affected the vendor industry. Natural disasters such as floods have also impacted the sector, and so has the withdrawal of subsidies. Rumors of the imposition of GST on the sale of tractors are further increasing apprehensions among farmers and the tractor and tractor parts sectors. If these rumors prove to be true, this will undoubtedly impact tractor sales volume in the coming year.

The tractor parts industry is bracing for a downturn in sales after a stable year of tractor sales in the outgoing financial year. The previous financial year, i.e., 22/23, was also a year of low sales due to poor economic conditions in the country. Tractor sales this year are likely to touch 40,000 units, thanks to the government’s low markup tractor loan scheme. This year, sales are still 50% lower than the tractor production capacity in the country, according to a statement by the Chairman of the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM), Abdul Rehman Aizaz,

Punjab Government historically lifted substantial quantities of wheat at an announced support price; however, due to paucity of funds and lack of storage capacity due to heavy imports of grain from Ukraine, this has not happened this year. This has forced the farmers to sell the bumper wheat crop in the market at lower prices. A drop in the farmer’s income directly affects the tractor parts industry, which prides itself on making a highly localized and, therefore, the most affordable agriculture tractor in the world. As the farmer’s income drops, so do tractor sales and the parts that go into these tractors.

In the past, tractor subsidies by both federal and provincial governments and the zero-rated GST regime have resulted in tractor sales crossing 70,000 units in a year. These subsidies come and go, and so does the GST regime, resulting in a boom-and-bust cycle for the highly indigenous tractor and parts industry, and these policy shifts need to end, said Mumshad Ali SVC PAAPAM.

Taufiq Sherwani VC PAAPAM emphasized the sensitivity of the farming sector, noting its wide-reaching implications for the tractor and vending industries, as well as the livelihoods of thousands of families. He urged authorities to abandon plans for the imposition of GST on tractors.