Traders reject infrastructure development cess

PESHAWAR - The business community has warned to start agitation if Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government does not withdraw one percent infrastructure development cess.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, Frontier Customs Agents Group Khyber Pakhtunkhwa President Ziaul Haq Sarhadi said that imposition of additional taxes on traders wouldn’t affect the traders only; rather common people would also be affected.  He described the imposition of one percent tax as sheer injustice with the business community of militancy and natural calamities-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

He said on one hand the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government announced incentives for investors in the province, but on the other hand it was creating problems for industrialists and traders who had already been suffering due to prolonged militancy.

Sarhadi urged the provincial government to withdraw its immature decision regarding imposition of the infrastructure development cess, otherwise get ready for agitation. He said the government instead of extending support to businessmen was creating problems for them, which is regrettable.  “The infrastructure development cess, he said, would cause huge financial losses to commercial and industrial sector, as thousands of people would lose their jobs because the investors could not afford losses any longer without government’s support.

The Frontier Custom Agents Group President Sarhadi said the business community of KP was forced to pay dual tax on the import items because the levy was charged in Sindh as well as in Peshawar, saying the concerned officials were repeatedly requested to stop the levy, but to no avail.

The businessman said the one per cent levy would add to the misery of industrial and commercial sectors as they were already paying several taxes.

Besides, he said the cess had caused reduction in revenue of Customs Collectorate Peshawar.

There are about 400 customs clearing agents who have hired services of youth who will lose jobs in case the one per cent cess was not withdrawn immediately, he warned.

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