Speakers slam govt for ‘strangulating’ traders thru double taxation

LAHORE: Speakers at a seminar have claimed that the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is ‘strangulating’ traders (economically) by time and again introducing ‘controversial’ and ‘unfair’ taxation measures like Point of Sale (POS) machines which they believe is another way to charge double-taxation.
The moot titled “Point of Sale (POS) and issues of small traders” was organised by the Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) in collaboration with the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) here on Friday.
Opening up the debate, PBF President Ejaz Tanveer said that traders are unanimously against the government’s decision of collecting tax from traders on the basis of the size of their business establishment(s) and installing POS system which he said was another way to charge double taxation.
“The government is (economically) strangulating the businessmen by such measures, who are already hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said, adding that they believe in resolving issues through dialog but warned that if the government turned deaf ear to their grievances then they would take to the streets and they could go to any extent.
He claimed that the leadership of PBF and APAT would stay “united” until the government addresses the issues of manufacturers, importers, retailers, distributors and wholesales dealers.
APAT Central General Secretary Naeem Mir said they would not allow the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials to install POS at their business places. “When trader purchases goods, he pays all the taxes at that time, and collecting further taxes from them through POS machines is illegal,” he asserted.
He said that registration of business places in the sales tax on the basis of the area is “discriminatory”, adding that the system of turnover tax is itself faulty. According to Mir, income tax should be collected through profit and loss account instead of the turnover tax. Presidents and leaders of major retail and wholesale markets also participated in good numbers and expressed their views on the occasion.