Traders associations across the country have decided to carry out a nation-wide shutter down strike to protest against the government’s policy of CNIC based invoicing of every transaction greater than Rs50,000. The traders have repeatedly held protests against this policy but those have proved to be futile so far.
All Pakistan Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) Central General Secretary Mr. Naeem Mir said that they have no option left other than to go on a strike right after Eid Al-Azha. He said that the shutdown will be held from August 14-15 and then from August 26-27 and if the conditions still stay the same then they will be forced to shut down their businesses permanently.
Traders said that the condition of CNIC based invoicing is unacceptable and the taxation method for filers and non-filers was already existing and there was no need for this current policy change. They held FBR accountable for the current situation of the economy and said that policies like these were forcing them to go towards strikes.
Moreover, traders said that the non-filers were already paying taxes in the form of charges on bank transfer, vehicle registration, property, etc, then why does the government categorize them as tax thieves despite collecting taxes from them.
APAT’s representatives in Islamabad and Faisalabad also agreed to go on a shutter down strike for the same reason and said that their sales had already declined by 38% due to the decline in purchasing power of the ordinary person and this policy will slow down their businesses even further.
Association officials said that most of the small retailers are illiterate and cannot deal with the complex documentation requirements put forward by the FBR.
Chairperson All Karachi Tajir Itehad Mr. Atiq Mir said that all trade associations are working together to get every trade organization on one page. He added that they were negotiating with the associations who are against the strike and are trying to convince them to participate as well.