Traders observe strike in major cities
Traders in major cities of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Multan observed strike in protest against imposition of 0.3% withholding tax on banking transactions.
Goods transport and stockist unions also joined traders in their protest. In Karachi, major markets including Joria Bazaar, Boulton Market, Timber Market and other trade centers remained closed.
Attiq Mir, the President of All Karachi Traders Union, stated that the government should withdraw withholding tax and hold talks with traders to address their concerns. He said some clauses in the tax system are conflicting. In Lahore, mostly markets remained closed. In Multan, all major markets including Cloth Market Board, Sarafa Bazaar, Daal Bazar, Rail Bazaar, Machli Mandi Bazaar, Khand Bazaar, Urdu Bazaar, Scrape Metal Bazaar, Gondlanwala Road, Thakur Singh Gate, Electronics Market and other trade centers remained closed.
President of Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce Khawaja Khalid Hassan remarked that he stands with traders in protest.
President of Goods Transport Association Wasifur Rehman Butt has announced that all goods transport stations will remain closed in protest against withholding tax.
Recently, the federal government imposed 0.6% withholding tax on all banking transactions worth Rs50,000 and above, in the federal budget. After negotiations the government reduced the rate to 0.3% but traders are demanding complete withdrawal of the decision.