ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to provide relief in taxes to small shopkeepers in order to alleviate their difficulties.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, president ICCI, said that the five-month lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a great recession in the business activities and has badly hit the small traders due to which they were facing multiple problems including payment of shops rents. Therefore, it was the need of the hour that FBR should provide relief in taxes to small shopkeepers in order to alleviate their difficulties. He was addressing a delegation of Traders Welfare Association, Jinnah Super Market that visited ICCI led by its President Asad Aziz.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that during the lockdown, the business community did not lay off its employees and continued to pay them out of their own pocket, which has aggravated their problems while the businesses have not yet returned to their normal conditions. This situation demands that the government should consider announcing more relief packages for the business community instead of creating problems for them. They said that the business community was implementing the SOPs issued by the district administration but the customers were not following them due to which the shopkeepers were facing closures of shops. He said that in view of the current difficult business conditions, FBR should provide tax relief to traders, simplify tax forms, develop them in Urdu, accept the last year’s tax returns as submitted and review SROs issued after the announcement of the construction package as these SROs would reduce the usefulness of the package introduced by the Prime Minister.

Asad Aziz, president, and Abdul Rehman Siddiqui, secretary general, Traders Welfare Association Jinnah Supermarket Islamabad, congratulated the newly elected office bearers of the Chamber and said that the businesses hit by the lockdown have not yet recovered while shops were being closed in the name of SOPs violation.