Trade bodies to observe shutter-down strike today


Various trade bodies have announced to observe complete shutter-down strike on Wednesday to protest against the harassment of business community by abusing Section 38 and 40-B of the Sales Tax.

Addressing a press conference, Ch Talat Mahmood, Chairman FCCI Taxation Committee, said in December last, the RTO requested textile processing industry to enhance their sales tax. He said series of meetings were held and a procedure was decided for the enhancement of sales tax paid by the textile processing industry. Under this agreement, the local industrialists paid Rs 55 million and the officials fully capitalized this enhancement by getting their promotions.

However, immediately after this, the RTO took a U-turn and instead of implementing the agreed strategy to broaden the tax net, tried to tighten the noose against the neck of the existing tax payers.

He said in some cases, industrialists were summoned to the RTO office where they were kept in habeas corpse and were forced to pay exorbitantly high tax at the gun point. Talat Mahmood termed it extortion and alleged that the tax officials were creating harassment among the business community which would ultimately give a backlash to the people-friendly government.

Talat Mahmood said they were ready to pay taxes but they were against the harassment by deputing tax officials at the factory premises. He said that federal budget was at the anvil. The government could easily pass new tax strategy in the finance bill. “Just ahead of federal budget, such steps are tantamount to instigate people against the sitting government,” he said.

He further said that earlier Section 40 B was invoked against only textile processing units but now this clause was being used against bakeries, manufacturers of agricultural appliances and small traders also. He announced complete shutter-down strike on Wednesday and warned the tax officials to desist from abusing this law. He warned that the scope of the protest would be extended to the other cities also if the tax officials did not mend their way.