PESHAWAR: The business community on Saturday announced complete shutter down strike on July 13 against the imposition of new taxes, increase in price of daily use commodities and other ‘harsh’ measures taken in the budget, which are likely to ‘slow down’ the business activities across the country.

“We took the decision on a call of Markazi Tanzeem-i-Tajiran Pakistan, a federation of various trade associations of the country, to protest against the ‘harsh’ budgetary measures, including increase in taxes and documentation of business activities,” Malik Meher Ilahi, provincial president of the association, told reporters here on Saturday.

He said that the shutter down strike would be observed across the country, saying that Karachi Traders Action Committee had already presented its charter of demands to the government and also opposed the requirement to obtain CNICs of the buyers.

He said the traders did not want to come to the streets but the government was not ready to hold negotiations with them and thus the shutter down strike was announced in a state of compulsion.

Mr Ilahi said that traders could not accept the government’s decision to collect additional tax from non-filer buyers, besides showing CNIC numbers of purchasers. He said that the July 13 shutter down strike would be initial step wherein the business community would hold rallies and protest demonstrations to reject the budgetary measures.

The shutter down strike, he said would be followed by a series of protest rallies, camps and demonstrations as they were not ready to accept the government’s economic policies.

Other representatives of traders, including Ihtesham Haleem, Haji Shakeel Ahmed Khan and Rehman Gul, also shared details about a traders’ conference held in Lahore and said that the business community across the country had taken a unified decision to observe the shutter down strike.

They said that representatives of traders belonging to other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also attended the Lahore conference and vowed to make the strike a success.

They warned that the series of strikes might continue till the acceptance of their demands.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2019