Traders warn govt of dire consequences if demands not met

‘We are mulling to hold a march to the FBR’s office, a possible sit-in or a shutter down strike for an indefinite period’

LAHORE: All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) Central General Secretary Naeem Mir on Saturday announced that the traders will not submit their tax returns for 2019 until acceptance of their genuine demands.

“If the demands are not fulfilled on time, the traders will also refuse to submit their commercial power bills,” he warned while addressing the protesting traders at Faisal Chowk.

He congratulated the traders’ community on the successful shutter-down strike across the country. “This indicates that the traders’ issues are genuine.”

He, however, said the traders are in favour of dialogues and stand ready to negotiate with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Mir suggested that renowned chartered accountant from Karachi, Ashfaq Tola, who was also the chief of the Federal Board of Revenue’s anomaly committee, can assist the PM in staring the dialogue process with the traders.

The APAT official severely criticised the government’s taxation policies, terming them ‘unfair’. He lamented that the government is trying to divide the business community instead of resolving their issues.

He said that imposition of unjustified 17 per cent sales tax, turnover tax and CNIC-based invoicing system has made it impossible for traders to run their businesses.

“The FBR is not ready to listen to the traders due to which the business community is worried while people are also facing record inflation,” he said, demanding the prime minister to announce necessary amendments in the budget.

“Our demands are genuine and true and we will fight till the end for the redressal of our issues. We will decide our next course of action after due consultations with other trading groups. We are mulling to hold a long march to the FBR’s office, a possible sit-in or a shutter down strike for an indefinite period,” he maintained.

The official deplored that without introducing any reforms in the FBR, the government handed over the budget matters to the International Monetary Fund. He said that an increase in dollar price has brought a new wave of inflation in the country, while the imposition of new taxes in the budget has also heavily dented of the business community.

Leaders of different trade markets — Amjad Ch, Waqar Ahmed Mian, Haji Hanif, Malik Amanat, Sohail Mehmood Butt, Imran Bashir, Sheikh Irfan Iqbal, Mian Tahir Subhani, Malik Farooq Hafiz, Agha Zulfiqar, Syed Azmat Shah and Malik Kaleem– were present on the occasion.

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