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Farmers vow to continue protests after meeting with government ends in deadlock

By Hana Namrouqa - Mar 06,2018 - Last updated at Mar 06,2018

Farmers outside Parliament say they will continue protesting until government responds to their demands (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — A meeting on Tuesday that brought the government, parliamentarians and farmers around one table to discuss annulment of recent taxes on the agriculture sector ended with a deadlock.

 The government failed to take heed of the demands of the farmers, a member of the “committee for defending the rights of farmers”, said.

 “Hundreds of farmers from all parts of the country came during the early morning hours to Amman and gathered in front of the Parliament to demand that the government withdraw its 10 per cent tax on the sector and provide momentum for the farmers’ meeting with the ministers,” the farmer, who attended the meeting, told The Jordan Times.

 Speaking on condition of anonymity, the farmer and one of the core members of the “committee for defending the rights of farmers” said that the ministerial meeting was “just another useless meeting to temporarily quell our anger”.

 “During the meeting, we didn’t sense any government intention to remove its 10 per cent tax on agriculture inputs any time soon,” the committee member said.

 The farmers have stood daily outside Parliament for the past month, demanding that the government withdraw the 10 per cent tax on agricultural inputs, just as it announced last week that it would annul the 10 per cent tax on agricultural outputs.

The government’s exemption of outputs means nothing on the ground, the farmers argued, noting that agricultural inputs constitute 82-92 per cent of farmers’ expenditure.

 “The farmers will continue their protest day in and day out until the government responds to our demand,” the farmer stressed.

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