ISLAMABAD    -   Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi on Friday said the government may relax the condition of CNIC for traders as the implementation of the condition is affecting business activities in the country.

“There are two options to continue implementation of the CNIC condition if we ended it or to find some other solution [to end this disturbance],” said Zaidi while speaking during meeting of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue.

He further said the implementation of the CNIC condition is affecting business activities. He added the possibilities of tax retrieval will be lessened if the businesses and trade activities remained affected in the country.

Earlier on July 23, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had made it mandatory for all buyers to show their Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) while making purchases over Rs50,000 from a sales tax registered person.

Earlier this month, hundreds of traders staged a demonstration in Islamabad to protest tax reforms introduced by the government, especially the CNIC condition for the sale and purchase of goods.

The protesting traders, belonging to twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa demanded to stage protest in front of FBR office. Traders had announced to go for a two-day strike on October 29, 30 in different cities of the country. They had refused to accept the government’s decision of asking traders to present a copy of their CNICs for the sale and purchase of goods.

During the last two meetings between traders and the FBR, tax authorities simply refused to entertain the traders’ proposals leaving no room for them except to go for countrywide shutter-down strike.

Traders had also announced that there would be no negotiations with the FBR on whose request the traders called off their protest against the government’s anti-business measures in July.

Traders were assured by the FBR that a simplified fixed tax regime for traders (special procedure for shopkeepers) would be introduced; however, it unveiled different tax slabs in the scheme.