Tax evading manufacturers, commercial importers supporting traders’ protest

ISLAMABAD: A large segment of tax evaders in manufacturing sector and commercial importers are behind the traders’ protest in order to force tax authorities to withdraw condition of computerized national identity card (CNIC).

The condition of CNIC has been introduced in order to identify persons in supply chain and plug leakages of revenue from manufacturing stage to end-consumers.

In recent surveys of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) it has been identified that markets are flooded with goods from domestic and import sources and without payment of duty and taxes.

Sources in FBR said that some manufacturers and importers were supplying unreported goods to such retailers, which sold to end-consumers without payment of duty and taxes.

The traders do not want to become part of documented economy on the behest of manufacturers or commercial importers in order to shelter the tax evasion.

In the past several measures were taken by the government to bring retailers into the tax net but all the times such efforts ended in a failure.

The latest wave of protests by the trade community is another bid to force the FBR to bow down their demand. But this time, the FBR chairman, who is from private sector, is committed to bring traders into the tax net.

The traders on Wednesday announced to observe a countrywide shutter-down strike on October 28 and 29, following the failure of talks with FBR officials.

A protest demonstration was held by the traders against the tax reforms introduced by the government.

The protesting traders attempted to move towards the FBR Headquarters.

However, the police stopped the protesters at the Serena Chowk, where they observed a sit-in.

A few enraged protesters attempted to cause damage to the public properties and tried to remove barbwires in the area.

This prompted the law enforcers to baton-charge the protesters. Meanwhile, the FBR decided to hold talks with the protesters, but they failed to yield any results.

The leaders of the protesting traders’ community claimed that the FBR is not ready to listen to their demands and added that they will not pay unjust tax.

They further that the business community will not accept the condition of presentation of a copy of their CNICs for the sale and purchase of goods.

The traders hoped that the present government led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would reconsider their demands and will provide them the fix tax scheme.

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