Rawalpindi-The businessmen and traders continued observing shutter down strike even on the second consecutive day on Wednesday to register their protest against new taxation system by Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR).

Scores of traders association had given the call for country-wide strike on which the traders and businessmen kept their shutters down across the district. Trade associations wanted to press the government to accept their charter of demand to simplify the taxation procedure, withdraw the new taxes and the condition provision of copy of CNIC. In Rawalpindi, all the main commercial hubs in Saddar, Raja Bazaar, City Saddar Road, Ganjmandi, Sooter Mandi, Gawalmandi, Kohati Bazaar, Iqbal Road, Bansanwala Bazaar, Purana Qila, Narankari Bazaar, Urdu Bazaar, Murree Road, Liaquat Road, College Road, China Market, Sabzi Mandi, Mochi Bazaar, Jamia Masjid Road, Banni Chowk, Fawara Chowk, Lal Kurti, Adiala Road, Tench Bhatta, Chungi Number 22, Bakra Mandi downed their shutters the whole day.

However, the traders and shopkeepers kept open their shops in suburbs of city and residential areas. Interestingly, the shops in and around Lal Haveli-the residence of Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed-also remained closed by the owners to express their solidarity with traders against the PTI led government. Overall strike remained peaceful and no incident of stone pelting or closure of shops forcefully occurred anywhere in the city.

RCCI urges FBR to extend filing of income tax returns till Nov 30

Meanwhile, President of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), Saboor Malik has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the date for filing of income tax returns till November 30. In a statement, he said that many taxpayers may not be able to file returns due to slow processing and constant congestion in the FBR online system, IRIS. As per media reports, the optical fiber under sea met a technical fault causing slow internet traffic in Pakistan. Moreover, the traders were observing shutter-down strike on Oct 29 and 30 thus the political situation is also causing hardships in e-filing of returns 2019. Therefore, it was requested to extend the last date for filing income tax returns by November 30, 2019. He said that extension in date of tax returns filing will be a good favour to the business community and will also help FBR in meeting its revenue targets

The immediate extension in the date of tax returns filing will not only help trust building but will also pave way for the much-needed expansion of tax net, he added.

Educational institutions to remain closed today

The district management has announced public holiday in educational institutions to avoid any incident due to Azadi March that is likely to enter in the city today.

In this regard, a notification has been issued by District Coordination (DC) Rawalpindi Saifullah Khan Dogar here on Wednesday. According to the notification all educational institutions, such as universities, colleges and schools (government or private) located in the territorial jurisdiction of Rawalpindi District shall remain closed on October 31, 2019.

However, the parents of students enrolled in private educational institutions were worried about the indecisiveness of the authorities saying the managements of private schools are not willing to close their schools despite a notification issued by the DC. “We will not send our children to schools because we heard the government will close all the roads with containers to stop the participants from entering in the city,” said Ahmed Khan, the father of a student studying in a private school. It has become a common practice among the owners of private schools that they always defy the notifications of government regarding closure of schools ahead of any massive protest or march in the city, said Muhammad Azeem, another citizen.“Well, I have not been informed by the principal of my school regarding public holiday announced by the district government. I will attend my school in morning,” said Asma Bibi, a school teacher in a private school in Morgah.

JALC to join Azadi March

A meeting was held by the Joint Action Lawyers Committee (JALC) in Allama Iqbal Hall of District Courts Rawalpindi to finalise the arrangements of reception camp for participants of Azadi March.

The meeting was attended by Qari Abdul Rashid Advocate, Head of JALC, Sajjad Akbar Abbasi Advocate, Member Punjab Bar Council, Israr Ahmed Abbasi, Shahid Mehmood Mughal, Malik Zaheer Arshad (on behalf of Peoples Lawyers Forum), Malik Siddique Awan, Israr Malik and Ghulam Dastagir Butt (Muslim League Nawaz Lawyers Forum) along with scores of other lawyers. It was decided in the meeting that a big reception camp would be established at Jhelum Road to welcome JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman and other participants of Azadi March. Later on, the lawyers took out a rally in the premises of district courts to express solidarity and for motivating the lawyer’s community to join Azadi March.