Rawalpindi  -    Traders have decided to observe shutter down strike across the district on July 13 against the imposition of sales tax by the PTI government.

The Anjuman-e-Tajran Supreme Council has given the call for strike against the unfair and unjustified levy, said Pakistan Traders Alliance Central President Arshad Mehmood Awan while talking to The Nation on Thursday.

He was flanked by Traders Union Purana Qilla President Sheikh Pervaiz Maqbool, Markazi Anjuman Tajran Rawalpindi Vice President Malik Sajid Mehmood, Anjuman Tajran Cantt General Secretary Chaudhry Imran Rashid and Markazi Anjuman Tajran Rawalpindi Deputy Secretary General Ghulam Qadir.

Arshad Mehmood Awan denounced the government move of imposing huge taxes on traders and people and termed it genocide of traders.

He said the current budget has made it impossible for the businessmen to run their businesses smoothly. “Many traders have decided to wind up their businesses as they don’t have enough money to pay salaries to staff and to run their kitchens,” he said. He said the traders union have been requesting the government to provide them a level-playing field so that they could compete internationally. However, the government has done otherwise while plunging the business community into a blind alley by  imposing unfair sales taxes. “The government has imposed new taxes of Rs750 billion during the budget of 2019-20 causing a storm of price hike making lives of poor miserable,” said Arshad Mehmood Awan.

He said the factory owners have been paying sales taxes but despite of that the government has imposed sales taxes, which was not fair. “The traders guarantee the economic prosperity and are considered backbone of any country but Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team have broken the backbone with their erroneous policies,” he lamented.

He demanded the government to withdraw the decision of demanding CNIC number from customers over shopping of more than Rs50000 from any shop.

He said the traders would observe a token strike on July 13 and if the government does not pay heed then the supreme council of traders would sit around a table to evolve future line of action.

Ghulam Qadir Mir was of view that the government should not only rob the pockets of traders or poor people by imposing levy but should make accountable rich and wealthy people as well as the cabinet members of Imran Khan. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan has picked cabinet members from the team of former military dictator Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, he said adding this group of corrupt people had played havoc with traders during Musharraf era and now they have also been robbing the traders today.

Other trader representatives also condemned the imposition sales tax and asked the government to withdraw the levy.