Lahore - Like the chambers, all major trade bodies of the provincial capital, through a unanimous resolution, have vowed to fight against documentation of small traders and taxation at retail level, calling for immediate withdrawal of so-called, unjustified and controversial SRO 608.

The resolution was adopted at a mass gathering of traders convened by the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (Naeem Mir Group) here on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by Anjuman-e-Tajiran Ashraf Bhatti Group, Azad Group, Progressive Alliance, Businessmen Forum and Tehrik-e-Insaf Business Wing and Customs Agents Association. All trade bodies’ leaders, on this occasion, announced to attend a national traders convention being held under the banner of APAT on Nov 28 to decide a shutter down call all over the country against the controversial SRO.

APTA general secretary Naeem Mir said that invitations have been dispatched to all chambers and trade associations in this regard. He announced that APAT office-bearers of District and Tehsil level will ensure participation in the upcoming convention. The APAT will also invite the transporters and CNG Association to make the shutter down call successful along with wheel jam.Naeem Mir said that the government would have to weed out the menace of smuggling and under-invoicing before implementing any tax avoidance measures. He said that it was very unfortunate that instead of widening tax base and bringing the untaxed sectors into the tax net, steps are being taken to squeeze the existing tax payers.

He said that the FBR which was established with an objective to facilitate the trade and industry but it has now been turned into a money making machine and the people sitting at the helm are not only unaware of the ground realities but are least concerned about the problems and the day-to-day challenges being faced by the businessmen.

APAT general secretary said that at a time when both the trade and industry were looking for a relief package to run their businesses, traders are being pushed to the wall by issuing SROs like SRO 608(I)/2014.

Naeem Mir said that business community understands well that a quantum jump in Tax-to-GDP ratio is in dire need but it also believes that this objective could only be achieved through facilitation of existing businesses instead of playing arm-twisting with them.

He demanded of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to withdraw SRO 608(I) 2014 as in the presence of huge smuggling and massive under invoicing it would not be possible for the government to get desired economic results. He said at this point when the economy is passing through very critical times of its recent history because of the shortage of gas and electricity, new taxation measures like SRO 608(I) 2014 are bound to create a wrong impression about the government.