PESHAWAR/MARDAN: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced support to the July 13 nationwide shutter down strike announced by the business community in Lahore against the imposition of new taxes in the budget and increase in prices of daily use commodities.

The strike has been announced by Markazi Tanzeem-i-Tajiran Pakistan against the government’s ‘harsh’ budgetary measures.

In statement issued in Peshawar on Tuesday, SCCI president Faiz Mohammad Faizi criticised the government’s budgetary measures and asked it to withdraw the additional taxes and stop different departments, including the FBR, from harassing the businessmen.

Business community in Mardan protests ‘harsh’ budgetary measures

He said the traders’ community was contributing to the economy by voluntarily paying different taxes.

Mr Faizi said the government’s ‘irrational’ budgetary steps for strengthening economy would further create uncertainty and the relevant departments would be unable to achieve the targets regarding collection of taxes.

The SCCI chief stressed the need for broadening tax base by bringing new people under the tax net instead of putting further burden of taxes on existing taxpayers. He went on to say that the government’s harsh budgetary steps would bring further economic instability and uncertainty in the country.

“We fully support the protest and shutter down strike of traders scheduled for July 13,” Mr Faizi vowed and said the SCCI would continue to raise voice for rights of the business community at all available forums.

Meanwhile, Markaz-i-Tanzeem-i-Tajiran and Mardan Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday held a protest demonstration against imposition of new taxes on traders’ community and announced to observe a complete shatter down strike on July 13.

The protest demonstration was also followed by a press conference by representatives of the traders at the Mardan Press Club, where they presented their demands before the government.

On the occasion, Tanzeem-i-Tajiran, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Sharafat Ali Mubarik said they were not against taxes, but the government had imposed irrational taxes on the business community in the budget. He said the traders were unable to pay such huge taxes.

He alleged that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had introduced anti-traders and anti-people policies.

Mardan president of the traders’ body, Zahir Shah Khan said they rejected the budget prepared by what he said on the dictates of IMF.

Other representatives of traders’ community also spoke on the occasion, and criticised the ‘anti-people’ budget. They presented a 33-point charter of demands before the government.

They threatened to launch an aggressive protest campaign against the government if it failed to meet their demands.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2019