RE The Pakistan Canvas Tents Manufacture and Exporters Association (PCTMEA) and the Power Looms Association Kasur have given a joint call for a strike against the recently imposed RGST and flood surcharge by the federal government.
In a joint statement issued on Monday, the PCTMEA and Power Loom Association Kasur condemned the imposition of 17.5 percent RGST and 15 percent flood surcharge on income tax, saying the move is detrimental to the business sector. They said the government has already failed to meet the electricity and gas demands of the textile sector and, on the top of it, imposed new taxes. They also expressed solidarity with textile and power loom associations of Faisalabad and Gujranwala and other cities in their strikes.
PCTMEA Chairman Maqsood Sabir Ansari said textile exports generate huge foreign exchange for the country, despite facing a gas and electricity shortage. Imposing new taxes in such an environment will choke the textile sector and the exports will suffer because of highly competitive international markets, he said, adding if the government did not take its decision back, they will start a countrywide strike after shutting down their manufacturing units and yarn markets.
Power Loom Association Kasur President Chaudhry Ashraf Gujjar said the move is harmful for a large number of power loom workers, who will be rendered jobless if the manufacturing units are shut down. Thousands of families depend upon the textile sector and it includes not only the labourers but home industry and small business as well. It is already very difficult for the small industry to survive considering the high power tariff and loadshedding, he said, adding that they will take to marching and hoist black flags if the govt did not revert the decision of imposing new taxes. Other office bearers of the power looms association including General Secretary Muhammad Asghar Ansari, Senior Vice Presidents Usman Aziz Ansari and Shakeel Ahmad Ansari also condemned the new taxes and supported the strike.