Traders demand urgent withdrawal of massive hike in POL prices and utility tariffs

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Islamabad, JUN 5 /DNA/ – Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh, Acting President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) called upon the government to introduce fixed tax regime for small traders in the forthcoming budget that would help in broadening the tax base and improving tax revenue of the country. He said this while addressing a meeting of ICCI Traders Committee. He further said that if it was not possible to introduce fixed tax due to IMF, then the government should immediately revive the self-assessment tax system as it had earlier boosted tax revenue while the business community was also satisfied with it.

Khalid Chaudhry, Convener Traders Committee, Khalid Iqbal Malik Chairman Founder Group, Muhammad Ijaz Abbasi Former President ICCI, Ajmal Baloch President All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tirajan, Azhar Amin Secretary General G-10 Markaz, Aftab Gujjar President and Syed Qaiser Abbas Secretary General G-11 Markaz, Irfan Chaudhry President Steel Market, Tahir Abbasi President and Malik Nadeem Iqbal Secretary General F-10 Markaz, Abdul Rehman Siddiqui Secretary General Jinnah Super Market, Raja Hassan Akhtar President Blue Area and Group Leader Furqan Chaudhry, Rana Ikram Secretary General Sitara Market, Shahid Abbasi Vice President and Naeem Abbasi Secretary General Karachi Company, Shafiq Abbasi Senior Vice President and Akhtar Abbasi Secretary General Aabpara Market, Mahmood Ahmed Khan President G-12 Markaz, Zahid Hameed President and Shamim Ahmed Khan Secretary General Jewelers Association, Malik Shabbir President and Chaudhry Babar Secretary General Transporters Association, Mian Razzaq President G-13, Chaudhry Waheed Cheema from I-8 and representatives of other markets were present at the occasion.

The meeting unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to immediately withdraw the unwarranted hike in the prices of POL products and electricity & gas tariffs. The meeting was of the view that these hikes in prices and tariffs would lead to massive inflation, significant cut in the purchasing power of the people and sharp downturn in the business activities causing more poverty and unemployment in the country.

Founder Group Chairman Khalid Iqbal Malik and former President ICCI Muhammad Ijaz Abbasi said that the business community is playing a key role in the development of the economy so CDA and MCI should try to solve their problems on priority basis. They said that the development work should be started immediately in the markets of Islamabad which are still neglected by the CDA so that business activities could be better promoted. They said that due to non-availability of parking in the markets, traders are facing a lot of difficulties so CDA should provide parking facility in all the markets. They said that CDA in collaboration with the market associations should remove encroachments from the markets and move the wheelbarrows out of I-10, I-11 and other markets to a separate place as the market business is affected due to wheelbarrows.

Ajmal Baloch President All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tijaran and Khalid Chaudhry Convener ICCI Traders Committee, said that the issuance of trade license and board tax notices to traders should be stopped immediately. They said that CDA had agreed to levy board tax @ Rs. 40 per square foot, therefore board tax should be levied at the same rate while trade license should be issued for a fee of Rs.1000/only. The representatives of different markets highlighted their issues and appealed to the Chamber for cooperation in resolving them.