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ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) would convene a convention at Lahore on January 13, 2022 to take final decision on the shutter down call against taxation measures envisaged under the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021.

Talking to Business Recorder here on Wednesday, APAT Chairman Ajmal Baloch said that time has come for the decisive battle against the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021. The convention in Lahore would take final decision on the possible shutter down of shops and retail outlets across the country.

The traders will arrive in large numbers from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, various parts of Punjab, and from as far as the commercial hub of the country, Karachi, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir, he added.

“We have conveyed to the government that traders would neither accept forced sales tax registration, nor they can afford point of sale and would strongly resist against the power of police being given to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) through Presidential Ordinance. This would open more doors of corruption in the FBR,” Baloch stated.

He stated that the first protest was staged on September 29, 2021 outside the FBR Headquarters. Later, traders staged the second sit-in at Faizabad on October 26 to sensitise the government about their demands, and the third protest was staged outside the Convention Centre.

Traders are demanding an end to presidential ordinance that they have termed as a “black law”, end to sales tax registration, and POS integration, and promulgation of a new ordinance to end corruption within the tax machinery.

He said the POS should be installed at chain and brand stores.

The protest was against the harsh tax policies and complicated and double documentation, which would increase tax evasion and corruption in the country, Baloch added.

Additionally, with the promulgation of the Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 for broadening of the tax base on September 17, the government has granted sweeping powers to the FBR for disconnection of mobile phones’ SIMs, electricity, and gas connections of non-filers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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