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LAHORE: Calling upon the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and other chambers to adopt a strict approach against the taxation measures announced in the federal and provincial budgets by the government, All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) Central Secretary General Naeem Mir has announced that traders would participate with “full force” in the FPCCI’s “anti-government” convention to be held on Friday.

The APAT leader made this announcement while speaking to the media during an event held at a local hotel late on Wednesday to announce nominations of the body’s new leaders. He said that traders expect from the FPCCI that it would not step-back from its stance.

“If a befitting response is not given to the government (on budgetary measures), we would be ruined,” Mir claimed and declared that if other traders’ representative bodies such as FPCCI and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) backtracked from their stance, the APAT would continue its protest at all forums.

He said that instead of simplifying the taxation measures in both the budgets, the government has further complicated the “whole system”. “We strongly condemn the coercive measures introduced against the traders. We reject the law that described traders as “smugglers”,” he added.

While rejecting to collect withholding/sales tax from customers, he questioned how traders can do this job since the officers who joined civil service through competitive exams could not complete this task. He claimed that traders are ready to pay taxes but that should be done through the profit and loss account mechanism, adding that turnover tax must be abolished. He questioned in which country a trader is registered in the sales tax on the basis of size of his shop rather than the volume of his business. He said if they have to collect advance tax from the customers then what the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is doing. “If the role of FBR is just to do corruption then this department must be abolished,” he remarked.

The APAT leader was of the opinion that new avenues of corruption were being introduced by the FBR after the passage of the federal and provincial budgets. He said the “anti-traders” government would ruin their coming generations with its taxation measures and called upon the FPCCI, LCCI and other bodies of traders to march to the streets to send packing this “inept” government.

Earlier in the day during the ceremony, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran nominated Shahid Nazeer as its president, Mian Khalil Umair, general secretary, Shahzad Saleem, patron-in-chief, Shahid Bilal, patron, Sohail Mehmood Butt, chairman, Chaudhry Ijaz, co-chairman, Asim Shafiq, senior vice-chairman, Abdul Wadood Lodhi, chief organizer, Ali Nusrat Butt, organizer while Malik Kamran Saleem and Umer Javed Butt were nominated senior vice-president.

Moreover, Sheikh Irfan nominated finance secretary, Agha Adnan, chief coordinator and Shabir Maqbool as secretary information. For important decision making, the announcement for the APAT central working committee was also made which will be headed by Naeem Mir.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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