LAHORE     -   Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front has appealed to the Prime Minister to play his role for a long-term solution of the business community’s issues so that the wheel of trade and industry could run smoothly without any uncertainty.

PIAF chairman Mian Nauman Kabir said small traders and the citizens were already facing severe financial crunch, as the government had levied heavy taxes on mere assumptions.

He said that economy suffers an estimated loss of around Rs.30 billion in a single day due to shutter-down strike of small businessmen. He said that traders’ turnover across the country stands at around Rs.50 billion while the share of this retail sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at around 20%. According to the rough calculations, retailers do businesses worth around Rs.30 billion in one day. He said that traders, who just wanted the government to simplify the tax procedure, have been playing a crucial role in importing raw material and finished goods and supplying them throughout the domestic economy. He noted that Pakistan’s economy is very different from that of the developed world, as its large part of the businesses is undocumented which can be registered through a gradual process. He said that IMF dictations regarding tax collection have made life difficult for the masses, who are facing record inflation. He said that tax measures by the IMF are not aligned with the ground realities while FBR harassment has created mistrust and prompted protests across the country.

PIAF chairman appealed to the prime minister and the PM advisor on finance to give due consideration to the demands of traders that have forced them to go on a strike. He suggested that instead of enforcing tax laws in one go, the government should adopt a gradual approach to broaden the tax base.

PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed said that the government and FBR are targeting the business community and harassing taxpayers instead of expanding the tax net. He said that traders play a major role in the economy of any country and all governments give incentives as well as provide them environment conducive for doing business but it is unfortunate that the present regime is creating difficulties for the business community, urging the FBR to review its policies.