PESHAWAR: Rejecting the imposition of new taxes and increased documentation for retailers along with a hike in prices of essential commodities, businessmen of the province have announced their support for an upcoming shutter down strike announced by traders.
The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) — the main body of businessmen and industrialists in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) — issued a statement on Tuesday criticizing the government’s harsh budgetary measures.
SCCI President Faiz Muhammad Faizi asked the government to withdraw the additional taxes imposed, conditions for additional documentation at the retail level apart from immediately halting the harassment of the trading community through various tactics.
He said that the trading community of the country was actively contributing to the national economy by voluntarily paying various taxes on a regular basis.
Faizi further said that the business community of the country in general and K-P, in particular, have faced huge financial and business losses owing to terrorism and militancy.
With many businesses still recovering from the aftereffects of the war on terror, he said that the government’s irrational budgetary steps will create an uncertain situation for businesses and lead to further deterioration in the national economy.
“We have never opposed government’s policies in the past, but its current initiatives are ‘anti-trader’ and businesses, which was forcing us to resist them,” Faizi explained.
The SCCI chief further stressed the need for broadening the tax base by bringing new people under the tax-net instead of further burdening existing taxpayers.
He went on to say that the government’s harsh budgetary steps would create further economic instability and uncertainty in the country.
“We fully support to protest and shutter down strike of traders on July 13,” Faizi said and vowed that the SCCI will continue to play its due role in raising a voice for their rights at every forum and take steps for an amicable resolution of their issues.
He urged the government to realise the gravity of the situation and review its policies while keeping in view the ground realities of the country. He demanded the immediate withdraw all new taxes and to frame policies by taking representatives of the business community and relevant stakeholders on board to make them result-oriented.
The SCCI president further said that steps listed in the federal and provincial budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 are anti-business and will create an environment of mistrust between the business community and the government. He urged the government to accept the genuine demands of traders.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2019.