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Traders’ bodies call for strike in Hyderabad today

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Govt should put an end to “blackmailing” by FBR and provide facilities to traders in lieu of taxes, trade leaders say. — Online/File
Govt should put an end to “blackmailing” by FBR and provide facilities to traders in lieu of taxes, trade leaders say. — Online/File

HYDERABAD: Leaders of traders’ associations on Friday issued a call for complete strike in the city on Saturday against heavy taxes imposed by Federal Board of Revenue and harassment of business community by tax collectors.

At a joint press conference organised by Anjuman Tajiran Hyderabad at the press club, the traders’ leaders said that the government should exempt new businesses from income tax for at least three years and simplify income-tax forms. The government should put an end to “blackmailing” by FBR and provide facilities to traders in lieu of taxes, they demanded.

‘Customers shying away’

They said that customers had stopped visiting markets due to discouraging situation and many businesses had reached the verge of closure which might lead to unemployment of millions of people.

They feared that tax collectors might not meet collection targets which would have negative implications for Pakistan’s economy.

Still, traders had been paying income tax in the past and they would continue to do so for their country, they said.

They urged federal government to create an enabling environment, free of harassment to improve business activities and meet tax target.

The government would have to do away with the precondition of production of national identity card at the time of sale at all levels and recover sales tax on import and export as well as manufacturing sector, they said.

They said that businessmen were as patriotic as any other Pakistani but they were compelled to resort to protests. The wrongs of several decades could not be corrected in just one year, they added.

They said that if the prime minister accepted their demands traders would play their role for development of country.

Saleem Vohra, Rehmatullah Saand, Ikramuddin, Hameed Memon, Masroor Butt, Sarwar Bangash, Awais Khan and others who represented different unions and associations also spoke at the press conference.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2019