Flour millers to go on strike from today

Demand withdrawal of withholding tax on banking transactions.

Peer Muhammad July 11, 2015
This is not a token protest, but a complete shutdown until the decision is reversed. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) will stage a strike by suspending the supply of flour across the country from Saturday in protest against the withholding tax on banking transactions.

The strike call was given by the association and it would stop grinding and supply of flour to the markets until the announcement of withdrawal of the tax on flour.

“We have taken the decision at a meeting of CEC (central executive committee) of the association to go on strike from Saturday,” said PFMA Chairman Asim Raza while talking to The Express Tribune. “This is not a token protest, but a complete shutdown until the decision is reversed.”

He said the mills had stopped the washing of wheat from Friday and would also suspend grinding and supply from July 11 until the demands were met. He said the government had imposed the tax on the commodity and they had the choice either to pass on the tax to the consumer or reject it.

Raza said the association had held meetings with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and aired its concern, but there was no progress to resolve the problem.

He said a meeting would also be held with Punjab Food Minister Bilal Yasin, who would meet PFMA representatives on behalf of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

However, he said it was unlikely that there would be any breakthrough because the federal government was the only authority to take the decision on the matter. “We will continue our strike until our demand is met,” declared Raza.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2015.

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