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Pakistani traders stage strike against tax reforms

It will continue till October 30

SAMAA | and - Posted: Oct 29, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Oct 29, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Pakistani traders stage strike against tax reforms

Photo: Online

Traders across the country are staging a two-day strike against the government’s tax reforms.

Many shops and markets in different cities remained closed on Tuesday.

The Markazi Anjuman-i-Tajiran had announced a shutter down strike throughout the country on October 29 and October 30 during a press conference in Islamabad.

The traders have been protesting the condition to provide computerised national identity cards on transactions up to Rs50,000, withholding tax on income, revised sales tax on used mobile phones. The Pakistan Chamber of Commerce has approved of the strike.

Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajiran Pakistan President Mohammad Kashif Chaudhry also confirmed their participation in the strike at a separate press conference.

All major businesses were shut down throughout the country. Lahore’s wholesale markets in Shah Alam and Akbari Mandi, electronic and mobile markets on Mall Road and Hafiz Centre, along with Anarkali Bazaar and Urdu Bazaar remained close.

Traders of Quetta, too, closed down their shops in support of the strike. All small and big businesses were shut down throughout out the city.

The traders demanded that a tax of 0.25% should be charged on their profits. They also said that a system of charging fixed tax should be brought for supermarts and traders should not be made the withholding agent.

Shops and businesses in other parts of the country such as Thatta, Jacobabad, Sukkur, Larkhana and even Gilgit Baltistan were closed too.

The traders association in Balochistan warned that if their demands were not met, then they will be forced to take more serious measures.

There is no deadlock between traders and the Federal Board of Revenue over the fixed tax issues, said the board’s chairperson Shabbar Zaidi while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on October 12. “The government is steadfast in its belief that fixed tax should be imposed on small traders.” Even the traders have agreed that this should be the case but they said that tax should be determined by the turnover. We listened to their concerns but we have been engaging in dialogue on the way to determine the turnover.

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