Talks between government and traders on Friday once again remained inconclusive on the issue of withholding tax on banking transaction but both sides agreed to continue negotiations.

Talks between government and traders continued on the second day (Friday). Some of the traders boycotted the meeting and announced not to hold further talks with government on the withholding tax on banking transactions. Later, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar joined the talks to resolve the issue with those traders, who preferred to hold negotiations instead of boycott.

Finance Minister told the media that both the sides have made progress on withholding tax, as next meeting would be held on Wednesday. He made it clear that withholding tax on banking transaction would remain effective. He further said that government is serious in resolving this issue.

Speaking on the occasion, traders’ representatives said that both the sides would resolve the issue through negotiations. They said that government and traders are nearer to resolve the pending issue.

The government and traders have agreed to form committee on regional levels to address the issues of the business community.

Earlier, one part of the traders has announced to resume the series of protests against the government’s decision of imposing withholding tax on the banking transactions. All Pakistan Traders Union has announced not to hold further talks with the government until withholding tax on banking transactions do not withdrawn. The traders said that government has refused to withdraw the withholding tax.

President of Union Khalid Pervaiz in a press conference said that traders initiated talks on the assurance of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. “The government has offered to reduce the withholding tax to one or two percent from existing three percent, which is not acceptable for the traders,” he said and added that traders want to completely abolish the withholding tax on the banking transactions. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held the talks with traders, as he asked to talk with the official of the Federal Board of Revenue.

Khalid Pervaiz said that traders would meet in Quetta on October 14 to devise the future strategy against the withholding tax.

Another trade leader Kashif Ch said that Finance Minister had accepted that government imposed this tax on the demand of International Monetary Fund (IMF). The talks with the government have failed due to the non-serious attitude of the government, he remarked.