LAHORE: The Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) has declared a strike for an unspecified duration to protest against the imposition of withholding tax in budget 2024-25.

This was announced at the PFMA’s general body meeting on Saturday, which was attended by office-bearers and members from across the country. The general body unanimously announced the closure of flour mills starting from July 11 (Thursday), until their demands are addressed.

The flour millers expressed strong reservations regarding the government’s tax policies and collectively opposed the implementation of withholding tax through their respective businesses.

They firmly stated that they are not willing to act as withholding agents for tax collection, emphasising that tax collection is the responsibility of the government, not theirs.

According to them, the flour mill industry has been fully compliant with various tax obligations. They strongly believe that the recent tax measures are not just impractical, but also unjust, placing an unfair burden on their industry.

The PFMA has asked the prime minister to reconsider this decision and grant an exemption to the flour mills industry to ensure affordable food prices for the public. If their demands are not met, the flour mill owners are prepared to indefinitely shut down the industry, potentially leading to a significant increase in food prices, they warned.

It may be mentioned here that successive governments have been using public utilities like electricity and essential items like petroleum products to collect advance and income taxes after failing to collect direct taxes.

In the same vein, the current government wants to start collecting withholding tax on the sale of flour, which no one will be able to escape. This would unleash yet another wave of price hikes for the staple and make people’s lives more difficult.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2024

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

On writing

On writing

There is no ceremony or ritual that marks any person as a writer except the simple yet unimaginably significant act of starting to write.

Editorial

A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...
Banning PTI
Updated 16 Jul, 2024

Banning PTI

It appears that the govt and its backers within the establishment have still not realised that they are in uncharted territory.
Nato at 75
16 Jul, 2024

Nato at 75

EMERGING from the ashes of World War II, and locked in confrontation with the Soviet-led Communist bloc for over ...
Non-stop massacres
16 Jul, 2024

Non-stop massacres

Netanyahu is cunningly pretending to talk peace while mercilessly pounding Gaza. What is clear is that a return to pre-Oct 7 status quo is impossible.