The President of the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran and Traders Action Committee Islamabad Ajmal Baloch has said that his organisation will not abide by the Presidential Ordinance for the purpose of broadening the tax base. For weeks, traders have vowed to prevent the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) from imposing point-of-sale (POS) devices on businesses. The traders have asked the government and FBR to bring in a fixed tax system or self-assessment scheme.
Ajmal Baloch urged the government to opt for negotiation and hear the perspective of the traders. He further said that petrol prices were rising day by day, as were electricity and gas bills. “When it comes to taxes, the government wants to implement foreign-style laws but they don’t provide the same facilities to Pakistani people as foreign countries do for their people.”
He went on to express his view that there was a tussle going on between the government and the bureaucracy, and that the latter were not obeying the former.
Ajmal Baloch noted that a sit-in protest was announced a month ago. “Our sit-in is against the FBR – as to why they want to install the device in our shops.”
“The government and the administration should immediately remove the obstacles to our businesses. Giving police powers to the FBR will increase bribery there, the role of middlemen will end and things will become more expensive. And so, in order to end the oppressive presidential ordinance, to end the storm of inflation and the flood of taxes, all the traders came together and intend to reach Faizabad in any case.”
Addressing a press conference with business representatives at the National Press Club Islamabad, Ajmal Baloch announced a sit-in at Faizabad on October 26. Central President Anjuman-e-Tajiran Rawalpindi and President Punjab All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran Malik Shahid Ghafoor Paracha said that traders are the backbone of the national economy. “When the PTI government came to power, change was expected. But now it is the other way around.”
The traders’ leaders announced:
“We will continue our protest with the involvement of the business community from all over Punjab including Rawalpindi city. Traders will ensure full participation in the sit-in on October 26.”
In a press conference, Secretary General Traders Action Committee Islamabad Khalid Chaudhry, President Restaurant Association Rawalpindi and President Farsh Malik Association also announced full participation in the sit-in. In the press conference, Secretary General Traders Action Committee Islamabad Khalid Chaudhry, Deputy General Secretary All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran Irfan Chaudhry, Jinnah Super President Asad Aziz, E-11/3 President Zahir Abbasi and Vice Chairman Iftikhar Abbasi, Khada Market President Asif Mahmood, G-7 Market President Syed Altaf Shah, Center G-9 Vice President Shahid Abbasi, G-10/4 President Irfan Gujjar, Restaurant Association Rawalpindi President Muhammad Farooq, Aabpara Market General Secretary Akhtar Abbasi, Raja Hassan Akhtar and Tamas Butt from Blue Area, G-9/1 President Haji Mehboob Khan, Sangam Market I-8 President Mehtab Abbasi, I-8/2 Waqar Abbasi and other leaders were also present.