ISLAMABAD/LAHORE - Traders have announced to observe shutter down strike on Saturday (July 13) against the tax measures of the government taken in budget 2019-20.

Ajmal Baloch, president All Pakistan Markazi Anjuman-e-Tijaran, and Khalid Chaudhry, secretary information Traders Action Committee Islamabad, visited various markets of Islamabad and asked traders to observe shutter down on 13th July 2019 against tax measures of the government taken in budget 2019-20.

Ajmal Baloch said that shutter down strike would not be against the government, rather it would be against the IMF-dictated anti-traders’ tax measures in budget.

He said that the detail of conditions given in the staff report released by IMF on Monday was quite disturbing as implementation of these conditions would further squeeze the business activities and the economy.

He said that Chairman FBR had been advising people on how to avoid tax payment and now he wanted to bring people into tax net within days, which was not feasible.

He said that government should have trained people on tax matters and created awareness in them about the benefits of tax payment, but nothing of this sort was done while amnesty scheme also seemed to have flopped.

Strike would be against IMF-dictated anti-traders’ tax measures in budget

He said that FBR was not ready to listen to the traders due to which trading community was worried while people were also facing great inflation.

He demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan in consultation with traders should announce forthwith amendments in budget, otherwise traders would go for complete shutter down on Saturday.

Khalid Chaudhry, former senior vice president ICCI, and secretary information Traders Action Committee Islamabad said that without bringing any reforms in FBR, government has handed over budget matters to the IMF.

He said that increase in dollar price has brought a new wave of inflation in the country while imposition of new taxes in budget have created great concerns in the business community.

He appealed to traders to observe shutter down on Saturday for protection of their business interests.

They also called a meeting of local traders in Islamabad today (Thursday) on this issue after which a briefing would be given to the media. Later on, they would visit ICCI to hold a meeting with its office bearers.

Meanwhile, All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) has announced countrywide strike on July 13 (Saturday) to protest against ‘unjustified taxes’ imposed in the federal budget 2019-20.

Addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Wednesday, APAT general secretary Naeem Mir said that the traders would not negotiate with the government till the withdrawal of ‘unfair taxes’.

Flanked by leaders of different markets including Nasir Hameed, Waqar Ahmed Mian, Haji Hanif, Malik Amanat, Sohail Mehmood Butt and Malik Kaleem, Naeem Mir lamented that the rulers were trying to divide the community.

“We will ensure complete shutter-down on the coming Saturday”, he said.

Referring to the committee constituted by the Punjab government for the talks, he said that traders grievances were related to the federal and not the provincial budget.

He said that imposition of unjustified 17 percent sales tax, turn over tax and CNIC-based invoicing system had made it impossible for the community to continue businesses. He warned the government of strike for indefinite period if the said taxes and conditions were not withdrawn by July 13.

Pakistan Traders Alliance Lahore president Nasir Hameed said that the Prime minister Imran Khan was making life of the poor miserable.

“We reject this budget made by bureaucracy on the instructions of International Monetary Fund. “Why are you not ready to understand that when there will be no business, how you will collect the tax,” he questioned.