Traders pledge to observe shutter down strike today against taxes

LAHORE, July 12, (INP): The traders’ community has once again pledged to observe the countrywide shutter down strike on Saturday (today) from Karachi to Khyber and Kashmir to Gawadar in protest of unfair taxes imposed by the federal government in Budget 2019-20.

This was announced by the APAT central general secretary Naeem Mir while addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Friday.

Flanked by leaders of different markets including, 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,

he said that the traders would not negotiate with the government till the withdrawal of unfair taxes, lamenting the government was trying to divide the business community instead of resolving their issues.

He claimed that Qaumi Tajir Ittehad, Lahore Businessmen Front of LCCI, All Pakistan Truck Trawla Owners Association, Jewelers Association, Auto Dealers Association and all other trade bodies of the city are also going to joint this countrywide shutter down strike.

He said the decision of shutter down is not in the hand of APAT rather it will be decided now by over 3 million traders across the country from Karachi to Pishawar. It would be country’s biggest shutter down strike. The accountability of the traders to resolve internal affairs of the business community will be ensured by the traders themselves to continue the unity among them, he added. We will ensure complete shutter down on the Saturday, he said.

He said that imposition of unjustified 17 percent sales tax, turn over tax and CNIC-based invoicing system had made it impossible for the community to run the businesses. He warned the government of strike for indefinite period if the said taxes and conditions were not withdrawn by July 13.

He said that FBR was not ready to listen to the traders due to which trading community was worried while people were also facing huge inflation.

He demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan in consultation with traders should announce forthwith amendments in budget, otherwise traders would go for complete shutter down for a long period.

Lahore Businessmen Front chairman Amjad Ch, on this occasion, said that businessmen reject this budget made by bureaucracy on the instructions of International Monetary Fund.

Other traders were of the view that without bringing any reforms in FBR, government has handed over budget matters to the IMF.

They said that increase in dollar price has brought a new wave of inflation in the country. while imposition of new taxes in budget has created great concerns in the business community.

They appealed to traders to observe shutter down on Saturday not only for the protection of their business interests but also to save the national economy.

They said that FBR Chairman had been advising people on how to avoid tax payment and now he wanted to bring people into tax net within days, which was not feasible.

INP/AK