The traders are protesting against the government. Previously, they gave a three-day ultimatum to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to fulfil their demandds; on Monday, otherwise, they said they will go on a countrywide shutter-down and wheel-jam strike. The countrywide traders’ convention, organised by Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajiraan Pakistan [central traders’ organisation of Pakistan], criticised the government’s economic policies and the FBR’s documentation measures.
The traders have started to gathered from across the country demanded to demonstrate their protest against the government. The traders wanted Government to review the condition of seeking the computerised national identity card (CNIC) numbers of unregistered buyers and sales tax registration. Instead, they favoured the policy of fixed tax scheme for the traders.
After the long meeting here at a local hotel, the traders held a protest rally under the leadership of Kashif Chaudhry, President central traders’ organisation of Pakistan and its chairman Khawaja Suleman Siqqiqui from Melody Market to NADRA Chowk.
The traders were intending to lead the protest demonstration towards the FBR House, but they were stopped at the NADRA Chowk by the law enforcement agencies where the FBR representatives held dialogue with the traders’ leadership.
Addressing the protesters, the traders’ representatives urged Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to intervene in getting their demands fulfilled. They also alleged that the government, at the behest of International Monetary Fund (IMF), is undertaking measures which, they said, are ‘unjustified’.
The traders said that the FBR is not taking the demands of the traders seriously. “We are not against the dialogue, but the time should not be wasted in the name of dialogue,” they added. The traders further alleged that FBR has failed to convince the traders on the condition of seeking the CNIC numbers of unregistered buyers. He further said that the government continues to issuing notices at the markets instead of preventing the smuggling at the ports and borders.
“We have decided to approach the traders across the country, as we believe that the ongoing economic policies have already led to unemployment and decline in business, while it is feared that the situation could lead to chaos,” they added.