Economics & Business

Islamabad traders reject income tax audit

ISLAMABAD: The National Traders Alliance (NTA) on Monday rejected decision of FBR to initiate income tax audit anew citing unstable political and economic situation which has already brought business to the brink across the country. According to a statement, the decision will disturb the already lull business activities and result in massive closures. It will unleash another round of uncertainty, unemployment and agitation.

Malik Sohail Hussain, VP, NTA, President Blue Area Traders Association and former senior vice president of ICCI said that the decision should be kept pending until the political as well as economic situation turns favorable in country. “Not a single country has ever excelled by enhancing revenue collections; rather business environment should be made enabling,” he said.

Speaking at a high-level Malik Sagheer Ahmed, Chairman Blue Area Traders Association, Syed Amin Pirzada, Ahsan Bakthwari, Liaquat Noon, Haji Naeem, Yusuf Rajput, Shakil Aziz, Chaudhry Furqan, Chaudhry Waseem and Shahid Alam and others said that the recent decision of FBR is based on whim of IMF that will promote brawls and corruption.

They said that the decision is illegal and a conspiracy against the democratic government which will bring traders on the street. “Government should find new avenues to enhance revenue collections and honour its commitment to bring holy cows in the tax net,” they demanded adding that how long agriculture, stockbrokers, reality and professionals will remain out of the tax net.

Malik Sohail Hussain said that existing taxpayers should not be strangulated to boost collections. Tax relaxations to the amount of Rs 500 billion should be immediately withdrawn.

He appealed to the President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gilani, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin and Chairman FBR to reconsider the decision in the interest of country.

Traders are already facing problems due to deteriorating law and order situation, political clashes, economic depression, inflated energy costs, inflated interest rate and other unfavourable conditions. Trading community which is finding it hard to survive cannot afford a new round of audits.

Government had promised to select five per cent cases at random for audit by now it has turned back and started audit of over 2500 cases which will never be accepted. All the major associations and business chambers have expressed their serious reservations over the development which is seen as against the interest of business community and country, said Malik Sohail and Malik Sagheer.

“Government should enhance revenues by introducing amnesty schemes and exploring new avenues,” said Malik Sohail adding that enabling environment is the only answer to the current volatile situation.-SANA

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Haroon Akram Gill

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