GUJRAT: The medical and business fraternities on Wednesday called off their strike after successful negotiations with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chief commissioner at the Sialkot regional tax office.

The private and public health facilities resumed their services after the protesters stepped back from their demand of transfer of Gujrat region’s Commissioner Inland Revenue Zaigham Abbas.

Mr Abbas regretted the misbehaviour of the FBR team with the owners and staff of the private hospitals during the raids.

Gujrat Deputy Commissioner Dr Khurram Shahzad brought both parties on the negotiation table.

A Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising the representatives of the Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GTCCI), the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and traders’ association called on the FBR chief commissioner in Sialkot.

They apprised the chief commissioner of their grievances after the FBR raids and confiscation of record of two private hospitals as well as some industries two weeks ago without any prior notice of due taxes and ignoring the fact that they were already tax filers.

After visiting Sialkot, the team came back to the protest camp in front of the Gujrat FBR offices and Zaigham Abbas took the JAC members along with him to the office where both parties reconciled.

Gujrat PMA President Dr Maqsood told Dawn that the FBR assured that in future no raids would be conducted on any private hospital/clinic in such way.

Meanwhile, scores of citizens staged a demonstration in favour of FBR’s action against the alleged tax evaders and denounced the protest and strike by the doctors.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2019

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