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ISLAMABAD: The agreement of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with Markazi Tanzeem Tajiran Pakistan on the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance 2021 has divided the traders' community, as All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajaran (APAT) announced to protest against the Ordinance outside the FBR Headquarters on September 29, 2021.

Markazi Tanzeem Tajiran Pakistan, representing small traders, postponed their protest call after the FBR and small traders Sunday reached an agreement on the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance-2021 at the FBR Headquarters.

The decisions agreed upon were formally announced by Qaisar Iqbal, Member (IR Operations) FBR and the central leadership of traders in a joint press conference held at the FBR House on Sunday.

However, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajaran (APAT) was not part of the agreement reached with the FBR. APAT Chairman Ajmal Baloch told Business Recorder that the protest would be lodged against the promulgation of the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance 2021 outside the FBR Headquarters on September 29, 2021. There is no change in the plan and they are not part of any agreement reached with the tax authorities at the FBR Headquarters on Sunday, he added.

Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance 2021: FBR hasn’t approached traders’ community

However, during the press conference, FBR Member IR Operations announced that (i) the point of sale (POS) is not related to the small traders; (ii) the change in rate of advance tax on electricity bill as introduced in the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance-2021 will not affect small traders; (iii) there would be no forced sales tax registration of small traders and (iv) the sales tax on electricity consumed by professionals will not affect commercial consumers of electricity.

Member (IR Operations) informed the media that all confusions and misunderstandings of small traders on the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance were removed. "The Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance-2021 has nothing to do with the small traders," FBR Member added.

FBR officials informed the media that a delegation of elected leadership of small traders led by Kashif Chaudhry, Central President Markazi Tanzeem Tajiran, Pakistan had been in contact with FBR for the last few days.

The confusions of small traders, especially with reference to Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance-2021 were addressed on September 26 (Sunday), and the final meeting took place at FBR HQs where both FBR and elected leadership of Markazi Tanzeem Tajiran, Pakistan led by Kashif Chaudhry accompanied by elected leaders from across Pakistan successfully concluded discussions where all misunderstandings and confusions pertaining to Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance-2021 were clarified.

'Unfair' tax measures: APAT throws an open challenge to Tarin for debate on TV

Member (IR Operations) thanked the elected leadership of the traders' community for their understanding and cooperation and also assured them that all issues regarding tax laws and any other confusion shall be clarified by mutual discussions, leaving no space for unfounded propaganda or misinformation spread by irresponsible elements on social media.

Kashif Chaudhry, Central President of Markazi Tanzeem Tajiran, Pakistan on behalf of all representatives of small traders from all over the country who were also present in the press conference, announced to postpone the protest call that was scheduled for September 27, 2021.

Member IR Operations categorically stated that POS did not pertain to small traders. While clarifying Section 114B of the Income Tax Ordinance-2001, Member IR Operations further informed that the general public is being misled by vested groups leading to believe that their electricity & gas connections will be disconnected and their mobile phones disabled. He clarified that only those persons who are not appearing on ATL will face this treatment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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