Walton Tobacco Demands Govt De-Seal Company Ahead Of Eid, Restore Jobs Of 400 Workers

Company representatives deny allegations of tax evasion and theft, term it a scheme to extort bribes

Walton Tobacco Demands Govt De-Seal Company Ahead Of Eid, Restore Jobs Of 400 Workers

Accusing the government of illegally sealing their company and rendering 400 workers jobless ahead of Eidul Fitr, the Walton Tobacco Company has demanded the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government take necessary and immediate steps to restore it.

Addressing a press conference at the Kashmir Press Club, Walton Tobacco Company's Spokesperson, Arif Zia, urged the authorities concerned to immediately de-seal the company and restore the livelihood of hundreds of employees.
Accompanied by Muhammad Ali and Omar Ahmed, Zia told the media that Walton Tobacco has been operating in the territory for the past 18 years and is the highest-taxpaying company in Kashmir, contributing Rs240 million every month. 

They claimed that the company was illegally raided by the authorities and its products seized while they were threatened with dire consequences.

The company representatives said that law enforcement agencies were not taking action against the illegal cigarette trade rife in the markets but were targeting legitimate businesses. 

They alleged that the AJK government had orchestrated this drama to save its sinking boat. 

"We will be forced to relocate our businesses elsewhere if this trend continues," they said.

They further claimed that there was no evidence to show the company was evading taxes, was involved in tax theft, or who was selling stolen goods. Instead, they claimed that the action appeared to be an operation to collect bribes.

Referring to the trucks seized by the police on a highway excise check post, the company representatives said that if the trucks had passed without carrying invoices, they had violated the law and were offenders.