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Taxation policy: Imran Khan failure?

Traders observe countrywide strike against ‘new taxation policy’

Taxation

News Desk |

Amidst political uncertainty and economic challenges, traders across Pakistan have decided to observe a countrywide strike against the government after a new taxation policy caused a hike in sales tax in the federal budget today. Traders believe that the incumbent government has made it difficult for the people to run their houses which is a matter of grave concern.

According to details, last week, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) had announced a nationwide shutter-down strike from July 13 against the government in several cities of the country for the new taxation policy. Traders in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar are observing a shutter down strike along with those in Multan and DI Khan.

President of the Tariq Road Alliance said he was supporting the call for strike given by the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) and the Tajir Action Committee. “All markets in Bahadurabad and Tariq Road will remain closed for business,” he said. As the markets shall remain closed it is likely to create problems for the residents of the areas.

General Secretary of the APAT Naeem Mir said the business community was united and will observe a shutter-down strike today with full force. “The government was sparing no effort to divide the business community but in vain. All kinds of business activities will remain closed throughout the country,” he said. The objective is to urge the government to loosen its taxation policy.

In Lahore, the trader’s alliance will also observe a shutter-down strike however, chemist shops will remain open for business. Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran (Punjab) President Sharjeel Mir said traders were united countywide and will protest against the wrong government policies. “The government will see the unity of traders on July 13. The business community has strongly rejected the budget and new taxes imposed by the FBR,” he added.

Traders and businessmen have called a strike against the imposition of 17 per cent sales tax in the tribal districts as well, with as many as 35 steel mills reportedly shut down in the tribal regions.

In Rawalpindi, trade bodies of the city have been divided on the issue of shutter-down strike against the imposition of taxes in the budget 2019-20. The leaders of three groups of Anjuman Tajran, including Shahid Ghafoor Paracha, Sharjeel Mir and Arshad Awan have announced to observe a strike today while another group led by Shahid Qayyum Mughal has said they will keep their businesses open today.

Moreover, in the tribal region, Steel Mills has been closed since July 1 impacting the livelihood of 10,000 workers. Traders and businessmen have called a strike against the imposition of 17 per cent sales tax in the tribal districts as well, with as many as 35 steel mills reportedly shut down in the tribal regions. The president of the FATA Steel Mills Association has threatened to protest outside the provincial assembly if the tax is not withdrawn.

Read more: Shahbaz Sharif calls taxes on Salaried class & Trades Economic Terrorism

Analysts believe that there is no denying that the government has increased taxes but the problem is that unregistered traders are reluctant to get registered which has sparked more outrage across the country. Therefore, the government is expected to listen to the demands of the traders and address their genuine grievances but at the same time it must ensure that everybody doing business and earning profit must get registered.

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