Traders split after talks with FBR over tax amendment bill

The Nation  |  Sep 26, 2021

A split appears in the stance of Tanzim Tajiran Pakistan and All Pakistan Anjaman Tajiran over the traders’ countrywide strike call given to stage a protest against the FBR’s tax amendment bill.

Earlier during a press conference in FBR office on Sunday, Tanzim Tajiran Pakistan central president Muhammad Kashif Chaudhry along with FBR Manager Operation FBR Qaisar Iqbal told the media that the talks between Tanzim Tajiran Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue remained successful after the latter’s assurance that its new tax amendment bill regarding tax on electricity tariff and process of sales tax registration would not be applicable to small traders.

With the FBR assurance, the Tanzim Tajiran Pakistan announced to call off its Sept 27 strike call. 

Its central president, Mr Kashif Ch told the media that the traders’ talks with the FBR had reached a logical conclusion which was very consoling.

Manager Operation FBR Iqbal said that the amended bill promulgated by the FBR would not be applicable to the small traders. 

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All the misgivings the traders were having with regard to the tax amendment bill have been removed, he added.

“The tax on electricity bills and matter of installing device on point of sale will not affect the small traders,” Mr Iqbal assured. 

Tanzim Tajiran Pakistan central president Kashif stated if the government and FBR took one step forward to enhance cooperation, we would take two steps forward. 

On the other hand, the All Pakistan Anjaman Tajiran rejected the FBR’s tax amendment bill, reaffirming to hold a countrywide strike on Sept 29. 

All Pakistan Anjaman Tajiran president Ajmal Baloch said that the traders would definitely hold a strike against the FBR’s ‘black law’. He stated that traders from across the country would reach Islamabad to protest against the tax amendment bill.

He warned that the traders would not allow the government to put devices on the point of sale in any case. 

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“We altogether reject sales tax registration. We also reject the IMF’s finance minister,” Baloch added. 

He asked the government to abide by its earlier agreement with the traders. He was of the view that most of our country’s traders were not literate. So, the government should make tax laws easy to comprehend for the facility of our traders. He held that the rights given to the FBR through presidential ordinance, had raised corruption level in the country. 

On the other hand, there are only four days left in the submission of income tax returns but the filers are worried about the slow working of the FBR’s Iris system. To their chagrin, the revenue board has also hinted at not extending the Sept 30 deadline.

It is feared that thousands of tax filers would not be able to file their returns on time due to slow Iris system. 

However, In the latest development, the FBR spokesperson has said that the revenue board’s website, Iris, has been restored and the filers have started filing their sales and income tax returns online. 

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According to the spokesperson, the FBR site was restored at 3am last night and people started submitting their returns. He said the website malfunctioned owing to some technical glitch developed by heavy traffic. 

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