Pasban supports strike call of traders


Karachi: Pasban e Pakistan here Wednesday announced full support to the strike call of trader community against the withholding tax on bank transactions and asked the government to accept the demands of traders without further delay in the larger interest of the nation and country.

Pasban e Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor, addressing a meeting of Pasban Economic Forum, said the target of collecting Rs100billion through this withholding tax could be easily met if the government slashes its non-developmental expenses. He said due to the strikes and protests of traders, exports and forex reserves of Pakistan would sustain a huge loss and the already vulnerable economy would go further weakened, raising price hike and joblessness.

Altaf Shakoor said the government should immediately reduce huge non-development expenses and not to punish the patriotic traders who are playing a key role in running the national economy. He said for increasing the budget revenue the government has already levied many taxes. He said slapping 0.3percent withholding tax would not only affect the economy but also the whole banking system, resulting in very low recovery of income tax, sales tax and other revenues. He said nowhere in the world a withholding tax is slapped through embargo to harm the finance circulation system. He said this withholding tax is a unique example in the history of world finance and it would harm the national economy.

Pasban leader said the withholding tax on cross cheques should be ended and special packages be introduced to increase national tax net. He said instead of introducing cruel measures, the filer and non-filer tax system, incentives in tax assessment and liberal and tension-free tax policy should be adopted to collect more tax revenue. He said harsh measures, heavy fines, blackmailing and difficult accounting system would discourage the traders.

Altaf Shakoor reminded that the due to recession, load shedding and lawlessness the trade activities are already slow. The government is already collecting tax on mobile phones, electricity, gas, telephone, railway and air tickets and a lot of other things. There is no indirect tax on human breathing only in Pakistan. The government should change its policy to harass traders and instead increase its tax net through easy and workable incentives.

On the occasion, Abu-Bakr Usman of Pasban Economic Forum, Eng. Aftabuddin Qureshi, Tariq Chandiwalla, Shaikh Muhammad Shakeel, Jawad Iqbal Qureshi and other leaders were also present.