Traders protest against govt’s plan to impose taxes in KP merged areas

Peshawar   -   BAJAUR: Local traders on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration against the government’s plan to impose taxes in Malakand division from the coming month and warned to stage a sit-in outside the Parliament House in Islamabad, if the decision is not withdrawn immediately.

Besides traders, scores of political and social activists attended the demonstration held in Khar Bazaar, the main trade centre of the district.

The protest demonstration was arranged jointly by All Bajaur Traders’ Association and Bajaur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in which the participants were holding banners and placards inscribed with anti-taxes slogans.

All Bajaur Traders’ Association president Muhammad Hamid, Bajaur Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Haji Lali Shah, Khar Traders’ Association president Haji Amir Rahman, Inayat Kallay traders’ union president Imran Mahir and others addressed the rally.

The speakers said that the federal government has decided to implement taxes in Malakand division from July 1. However, they said that no one in Malakand division is ready to allow the government to impose taxes in the region as it would made people’s life more difficult who are all ready suffering by the continued militancy.

They termed the government’s decision unjustified and asked the government to revise this cruel decision immediately.

The speakers said that the people of the district were expected from the government to provide financial assistance to those hundreds of traders affected by the militancy. However, they claimed that unfortunately the government has yet to provide any financial assistance to the affected traders despite they faced huge financial losses.

They urged the government to avoid such anti-people act in the entire merged districts and Malakand division, and avoid the possible Azad Kashmir like situation in the Malakand division also as the people of the region have decided to show strong resistance against the government’s plan of imposing the taxes.

Trade observe shutdown in Khyber

The local traders and businessmen in Jamrud observed a shutdown on Tuesday in protest against the taxes planned by the government to be imposed in the tribal region. Shopkeepers suspended their business and under the banner of Anjuman-e-Tajeran, Jamrud took out a protest rally to Bab-e-Khyber where it turned into a public gathering.

The participants including volunteers of various political parties were carrying placards, inscribed with slogans against implementation of taxes.

Speaking on the occasion leaders of the trade unions of Jamrud and Sakhi Pul Kashef Iqbal Afridi and Arbab Afridi, Abdul Aziz, local leader of Jamiat Ullema-e-Islam (JUI-Fazl) Said Kabeer Afridi, President of Zawan Koki Khel Ittehad Sanullah Afridi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others categorically rejected the taxes and said it was equivalent to discourage business activities in the ex-tribal agencies.

They urged the government to reconsider its decision of imposition of taxes on tribal traders and formulate pro-business policy in the merged tribal districts.

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