ISLAMABAD - Traders of Islamabad on Friday demanded a countrywide traders convention to hammer out the burning issue of Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST). They said that RGST is not a desire but a compulsion for the government as no ruler in the country can afford to ignore demands of international lenders. The situation demands a little more than statements and protests, it calls for self-sufficiency otherwise the foreign lenders would continue to frame policies that doesnt sit well with people and trading community, said Malik Sohail Hussain, VP National Traders Alliance (NTA), President Traders Welfare Association (TWA), Blue Area and former SVP, ICCI. He said that donors have never requested a loan; instead we always knock their door with a big begging bowl to be filled with dollars. He lamented that some political parties are trying to gain political mileage out of the issue but are criminally silent over the agricultural tax. Malik Sohail said that now traders should learn to take their decisions and demanded ICCI and RCCI to arrange a convention in Islamabad with collaboration of FPCCI in which representatives of government, opposition, tax collectors and professionals should sit together to resolve this issue. The meeting was attended by Chairman Blue Area Malik Sagheer, President NTA Islamabad and former VP ICCI, Ishtiaq Qureshi, Chairman Pharmaceutical Association Nasir Qureshi, President Jinnah Super Market Malik Rab Nawaz, President Super Market, Sarfaraz Mughal, President Blue Area East Hammad bin Arif, President F11 Syed Ibtida Kazmi, Liaquat Ali Noon, Haji Muhammad Naeem, Syed Amin Pirzada, Yusuf Rajput, Muhammad Hussain and other leaders. They said that this tax will be imposed on those businessmen, professionals and mega stores, who earn over Rs 7.5 million yearly that means only those traders would be caught in the net that earn around 25000 per day. Ishtiaq Qureshi said that RGST will have an impact on all sectors but those traders who have nothing to do with it are in the forefront of raising hue and cry. Malik Rab Nawaz said that traders have been suffering from unjust taxes since decades but it is amazing that no one seems interested in taxing agricultural income without which RGST is incomplete. Malik Sohail said that government claim that RGST will expand tax net, reduce evasion, reduce black economy by enhanced documentation, which will boost government collections and reduce poverty. However, he warned that the whole exercise including bring lacks of professionals in the tax net; will be useless if government failed to spend additional resources on merit. We will only accept new taxation measure if it accommodate recommendations of traders, it benefit masses and trading community is provided with facilities like health, education, accommodation and a proper rent control mechanism, he said.