ISLAMABAD: Traders of Islamabad on Sunday unanimously rejected Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) terming it anti-masses, says press release.
This is a mini-budget, which will leave common person with no option, but to commit suicide, they said. The RGST bill amounts to economic murder of industrialist and trading communities which if imposed will result in nationwide protest, they warned.
According to the details, a meeting of trade leaders representing 70 thousand traders of the capital city was held with Malik Sohail Hussain, Vice President National Traders Alliance, President Traders Welfare Association (TWA), Blue Area.
The meeting was attended by President Jinnah Super Market Malik Rab Nawaz, President Super Market, Sarfaraz Mughal, President Blue Area East Hammad bin Arif, Malik Saghir Ahmed, Ehsan Bakhtawari, Liaquat Ali Noon, Haji Muhammad Naeem, Sheikh Shahid Hamid, Syed Amin Pirzada, Yusuf Rajput, Muhammad Hussain and other leaders.
The meeting expressed serious concerns about government’s move to introduce RGST. They said that we had pinned high hopes on Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh but he bowed down to IMF.
They said that masses, traders, and industry are already reeling under unprecedented inflation and uncertainty. The new measures, which they termed a mini-budget, will not only unleash new wave of price hike but also put an additional burden of Rs 250 billion on business community.
Trade leaders lamented that rural elite who are transferring billion of rupees abroad have not been taxed despite demands from all quarters.
They also criticized international lending institutions for silence over continued exemptions to the favourite sectors. Government want to kill traders to please IMF, they said.
“Government should not burden the overburdened masses and business community; instead cut lavish expenditures and tax wealthy agricultural elite,” they said.
The infuriated trade leaders called upon opposition and other political forces to frustrate attempts to get RGST bill passes through parliament.
Malik Sohail said that dictators tried to impose RGST in 2001 but were foiled by traders. Now government has signed death warrants of masses and trading community that will be thwarted.