Traders call off four-day shutter down strike


LAHORE: The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran has announced to call off its four-day shutter down strike in August, as trade bodies have been successful in striking a deal with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Moreover, the decision of shutter down strike was also withdrawn in view of tension in occupied Kashmir and traders would now observe a Solidarity Day for Kashmiris on August 15 instead of holding strike on that day to give a strong message to India that business community does not leave Kashmiri brothers alone at any cost.

Addressing a press conference here at Lahore Press Club the APAT central general secretary Naeem Mir said the FBR has agreed with the traders that the fixed tax will be imposed on quantity basis not on area basis after consultation with the trade bodies. Moreover the fixed tax regime will be separate for wholesalers and retailers, while the revenue board has also accepted traders’ demand to delay the deadline of CNIC condition until the end of September 2019.

It was decided that the APAT will mobilize various traders’ bodies and will prepare a draft for the finalization of the tax schemes for small shopkeepers.

It is to be noted that the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran had rejected the draft of Fixed Tax Scheme, as it claimed that draft was full of contradictions and against the aspirations of small traders, which can never be implemented.

The traders had expressed their serious concern over the newly-released draft of Fixed Tax Scheme, calling upon the Federal Board of Revenue to finalize the fixed tax schemes in consultation with small traders so that the new schemes should be acceptable to all sections of traders and help in improving the tax revenue of the country.

They termed this scheme a joke with over 3.1 million traders of the country, saying the tax department cannot impose tax on the basis of area of an outlet.

Naeem Mir, on this occasion, also welcomed the government’s decision to downgrade diplomatic relations, expelling the Indian High Commissioner and suspending bilateral trade with India in the wake of New Delhi’s move of revoking special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that irresponsible act of Indian government is ringing the alarm bells for prospects of peace and tranquility in otherwise volatile region. The growing tension, caused by Indian provocative policy, is not a good sign as confrontation between two nuclear powers could lead mass destruction.

He said that barbaric killing of innocent people in occupied Kashmir is not acceptable for the traders of Pakistan and it is standing shoulder to shoulder with Kashmiri brothers. He appealed the public as well as traders to boycott the Indian goods to express strong solidarity with the Kashmiris.