Traders announce countrywide strike on 31st against GST


LAHORE – Traders are again divided over the issue of reformed general sales tax (GST). All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) has announced a countrywide strike against reformed general sales tax (GST) and price hike on Friday, December 31, while Qaumi Tajir Ittehad (QTI), Gulberg Traders Board Association and Mall Road Traders Association, has declared it irrelevant.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, secretary general APAT Abdul Razzaq Babbar said that traders would strongly react against the enforcement of reformed GST. He said that various trade bodies from across the country had given mandate to APAT leadership for announcing the countrywide strike.
He said due to bad governance and poor policies,
prices of daily commodities had reached an alarming level, but the government was still not paying heed to the core issue. Babbar said that this would be a token strike for one day, if the government did not meet the demands of the business community, traders would continue their struggle in full force.
He pointed out that from Balochistan, president APAT Abdul Rahim Kakar and secretary APAT Qayyum Syed Agha, from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa president Haji Haleem Jan, from Islamabad Ajmal Baloch, from Karachi Sarafa Association president Haroon Chand and from Hyderabad Haji Fazal ur Rehmanhad had assured their full support for the December 31 strike.
He said that all markets and commercial areas would remain closed across country.
However, speaking to the scribe, QTI Punjab President Babar Butt said that QTI had no connection with December 31 strike. He said that the IMF had already deferred the imposition of reformed GST so there was no question of strike right now.
He said traders were united against reformed GST but QTI would wait for the right time before taking any step. Lahore Sugar Dealers Association president Asghar Butt, Mall Road Traders Association secretary general Zahid Naveed Meer and from Gulberg Traders Board Association Malik Kaleem had also shown their unawareness about the strike.