Sand suppliers in Bisham continue protest against tax

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SHANGLA: Sand supply from Maira Bisham remains suspended for three weeks now as the truckers are on a strike against imposition of sales tax.

The transporters parked their trucks at the land collection site in Maira after it was auctioned by the mineral department.

Khaista Rehman, one of the owners of the sand site, said the mineral department had no right to auction their land they inherited it from their forefathers.

“Despite the Malakand division having been given tax exemption till 2023, the mineral department has imposed sales tax on sand collection and the contractors were asked to pay huge Rs4,000 per trip,” he said and added the mineral department was not giving them a single penny.

Sherin Wahab, a transporter, said over 500 small and heavy vehicles had daily loaded sand from the site, but now they had all been parked, suspending sand supply to all major and minor projects, particularly those being executed under the CPEC.

Mohammad Yaar Khan, a local stakeholder, said the imposition of sales tax on sand collection would directly affect the poverty-stricken people.

He said the strike would continue till the tax was withdrawn.

Iqbal Khan, the contractor who had won the auction of the sand collection site, could not be contacted for his version on the matter as his cell number remained switched off.

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