Govt planning to tax agriculture income on IMF diktat, says Asif Zardari



LAHORE: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said that the government is planning to tax agricultural income as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions.

He, however, added that the provincial governments would be leading the initiative to tax large landholding farmers in accordance with their profitability and expenditures.

The president gave these remarks while addressing the Professor Waris Mir Memorial Seminar in the provincial capital where he also spoke on issues related to media and democracy.

While highlighting the economic challenges, Zardari called for adopting a holistic approach and prudent financial policies to put the country on the path to development.

He said different sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector, needed to be developed along modern lines.

Media and democracy

During the address, the president highlighted that the media had given power to people by amplifying their voices, however, recent years witnessed grouping in media.

He cautioned that a strong religious lobby in the world was manipulating and managing perceptions aiming to sow divisions in Muslim societies.

He said he was a supporter of the freedom of the press and had always tolerated harsh criticism from the media.

“Societies need to be careful against agenda-driven information. One has to face trials and tribulations in life, however, one needs to stay steadfast in the face of challenges.”

He paid tribute to the political struggle and sacrifices of Benazir Bhutto for democracy, saying the Pakistan Peoples Party had a history of facing pressures and assassinations, but it continued its struggle for the cause of democracy in Pakistan.

“Assassination attempts and political pressures could not deter us from our mission as we firmly believe that life and death are in Allah’s hands,” the president said.