Traders want to be consulted on upcoming budget

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Jun 08, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajran Pakistan (central union of traders) has maintained that the federal budget to be announced by the government without consulting stakeholders would not be acceptable to the traders community. “We reserve the right to lodge strong protest if new taxes are imposed and budget proposals are given without consulting stakeholders,” Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajran Pakistan President Kashif Chaudhry said while addressing a news conference here. He warned of lodging a countrywide protest. Kashif, a day earlier, had also strongly rejected government’s plan to force closure of business activity at shopping centers by 8pm as a part of saving energy.

He said that despite the fact that the country was facing economic crisis and was set to present record deficit budget, it announced heavy development budget only to secure political interests. He alleged that Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar was consulting only some ticket holders of a political party by presenting them as traders and stakeholders while ignoring the rest of traders community.He also categorically rejected government’s plans to collect Rs9,000 billion from traders community which, he observed, would not be a wise decision. Kashif said that at a time when there are worst economic conditions and people were being rendered jobless, it would not be appropriate to impose new taxes.

The traders leader demanded of the government to bring down rate of General Sales Tax to single digit, introduce mechanism to control increase in US dollar’s rate, reduce interest rate gradually, and introduce fixed tax rate and income tax system for small traders. “No trader can do a real business in presence of 44 types of taxes and applying for 22 NoCs,” he said, adding that the traders should be facilitated through one window system. He also called for ending Point of Sales (PoS) system and blackmailing tactics against traders and shopkeepers. The traders leader also warned the government against presenting non-people and non-traders friendly budget through consultations with bureaucracy, just to meet International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions.