LAHORE - The major trade bodies’ representatives, in a convention held under the banner of All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran, threatened the government to hold shutter down strike all across the country if the federal finance minister Ishaq Dar did not announce any relief on December 5 regarding SRO 608 as per his commitment.

They also lodged a protest against blockade of Mall Road by frequent political demonstrations and rallies on it despite ban by the government, hurting trade activities there.

“The Federal Board of Revenue should announce tax relief for small traders besides abolishing the controversial and unjustified SRO 608 immediately otherwise the traders would observe shutter down all over the country on Dec 31 against this SRO.”   This was declared by APAT chairman Kh Shafiq, central president Ajmal Baloch and central general secretary Naeem Mir while addressing the traders convention.

The convention was attended by a large number of traders, APAT district and tehsil office-bearers from Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and KPK, LCCI opposition group, Progressive group, Azad Group, PTI Punjab traders wing and Customs Clearing Agents Association.

The trade leaders announced to hoist black banners and flags on Dec 15 in all major markets, plazas and bazaars against SRO 608, besides setting up hunger camps on Dec 22 to 25 to protest this controversial SRO.

APAT KP president Ihtisham Halim, Sindh president Abdul Qayyum Qureshi, Balochistan president Allah Dad Tarin etc attended the convention.

Addressing the convention, central leadership observed that govt is imposing double taxation on traders which is totally unjustified, which will destroy the whole economy of the country.

Participants of the traders convention raised following demands, which included:

SRO 608 should be withdrawn for ever. The tax exemption of KPK traders should be extended for another three years. Income Tax returns should be issued in Urdu. The cases under the audit should be exempted from scrutiny with 20 per cent raise in income tax. Turnover tax should be abolished. The restriction of F farm with income tax return should be removed. Amount of at least Rs.200 million annual turnover should be fixed fro sales tax registration. The additional sales tax of 5 to 7.5 per cent on commercial meters should be removed. The regional commissioner should have power of sales tax registration and de-registration.