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RAWALPINDI: Cantonment traders will begin protesting the increase in property tax and the imposition of signboard, parking and other taxes by the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) from June 18, and traders will hold a sit-in in front of the RCB offices on the Mall.

The Rawalpindi Cantonment Traders Association (RCTA) called a meeting of traders in Saddar and decided to launch a protest campaign and hold a sit-in in from of the RCB offices.

The meeting was presided over by RCTA General Secretary Zafar Qadri and attended by Munir Butt, Hassan Mustafa, Waseem Minhas, Munir Baig Mirza, Chaudhry Khurram, Mohammad Kashif and others.

Mr Qadri told Dawn that traders are suffering due to inflation and the increased tariff on utility services, and the new RCB taxes have forced them to take to the streets.

He said a protest rally would be held June 18 from Bank Road to the Mall. The rally will be peaceful, and participants will hold a sit-in outside the RCB, he said.

He added that the RCB has not allocated any parking areas for visitors and shopkeepers in Saddar, but imposed new fees on vehicles parked on the side of road in the area.

He said the traders are demanding a parking plaza, but the RCB has failed to provide such a facility to the people.

Mr Qadri said shopkeepers have to pay more than 10 fees and taxes to run their business, such as “fees for parking, taxes on signboards, property, trade licences, professional tax and others.”

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019