Trader Protest – Most businesses in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta are closed against the “unfair” tax levied by the government.
LCCI appeals strike if district administration fails to convince traders
Karachi traders observe partial strike after traders’ bodies found differences
Islamabad traders regret the government’s apathy, saying ‘4.1 million registered businessmen have been ignored’
LAHORE / KARACHI / Islamabad: Traders from across the country staged a shutter down strike in protest of “anti-business measures” by the federal government this fiscal.
Traders demand that unfair tax be withdrawn, especially value added tax on traders
According to media reports, the strike was partially successful in Karachi, while its success rate in Peshawar was 98 percent, while Lahore and Quetta were behind at 90 and 95 percent respectively.
It is worth mentioning here that the traders and traders based in Karachi made a nationwide call for a shutter down strike about three weeks ago, but after the government’s negotiations, it was suspended.
However, the prime minister’s visit failed to convince the businessmen of Karachi when he refused to withdraw CNIC’s terms for sale and purchase activities.
Most areas of Lahore remained closed during the day.
Shutdown strike was witnessed in areas including Hall Road, Mall Road, Liberty Market, Bedian Road, Ferozepur Road, Safra Bazar and Jail Road. However, some shops were open and were served to customers on those roads.
The Lahore administration and businessmen tried to negotiate, however, the city administration failed to convince the protesting businessmen. The strike in Lahore also had the support of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce.
Other cities like Gujarat, Faisalabad, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Leah, Chakwal, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Harappa, Chichawatni, Mian Chan, Vehari, Shorkot, and Rajanpur – were closed.
Yet there were no exceptions. Work is underway Mianwali, Nurpur Thal, Tonsa Shareef, and Khanqah Dogran.
Shutdown downturn hit major markets in Karachi
“The strike was settled on the basis of the issues sought, which include transactions of up to Rs. 5 lakhs or more from consumers, from increasing taxable income to compulsory purchase of National Identification Card (NIC). ” Atiq Mir, chairman of the Karachi Businessmen Alliance (AKTI), which represents about 450 markets in the city.
Speaking to local media, Mir claimed that authorities had tried to open markets in select locations and [also] tried to mislead the media about the strike.
“By being asked to increase sales tax on retail and to give merchants every sales and purchase record, merchants have been forced to take this tough action,” he added. But regretted that they believed such strikes would result in financial loss. The loss not only to one party but to many parties.
However, the Karachi Businessmen Action Committee (KTAC) expressed its displeasure over the strike, calling it irrational because the government had accepted 10 of its 11 demands.
Traders in Islamabad also joined with traders from all over the country in protest. After the government failed to negotiate with small businessmen, a complete shutdown strike was observed in the federal capital.
The Federal Board of Revenue and the government only talk to chambers and avoid small traders, said Ajmal Baloch, president of the All Pakistan Traders’ Association (APTA).
The government “ignored 4.1 million registered businessmen,” he said.
He added, “Today’s shutterdown is not just about merchants watching, in fact, it channels the voice of consumers.”
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province suffered a lot of trouble due to the closure of foodstuffs, as the strike nearly destroyed the daily routine. Disabled.
Besides Peshawar, business areas were shut down in cities including Swabi, Mardan, Nowshera, Swat, Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber, Bannu, Lower Dir, and Kohat.
In Kohat, a community of businessmen protested against budget reforms and took to the streets on Saturday demanding the central leadership of business federations, closing all markets and shopping malls in the morning. However, they were opened at the end of the day.
The main procession was staged by representative trade unions, attended by political activists from mainstream political organizations, as well as members of civil society.
Speakers, including leaders of the trade union, criticized the government and said that the 2019-20 budget is a waiver of the wishes of the Pakistani people.
In addition, shops in Tank were also closed following reports of strike from Kalachi, Durban, and Porpur, Rimk and other adjoining areas. During the protest, strict security measures were being taken by the police administration.
Traders from Balochistan, including Quetta, also supported the strike call and activities were stopped in key areas of the provincial capital, such as Money Market, Nawali Kali, Sariab Road, Joint Road and Bacha Khan Chowk.
Other cities in the province including Hub, Chaman, Gwadar, Sibi, Qalat, Kachlak, Ziarat and Qala Abdullah followed suit.
Although critics have opined that the strike is merely an attempt by businessmen to blackmail the government to avoid income tax through the non-declared economy, citizens have also sung the same tune on social media and on the backdrop of the strike. Raise eyebrows
He accused traders of corruption by trying to hide tax liabilities by refusing to allow the government to document their activities.