Pasban supports traders’ strike call, demands ending WHT on bank transactions

Karachi: Pasban e Pakistan here Tuesday fully supported the strike call of traders against the withholding tax on bank transactions and demanded of the government to accept this genuine demand of trader community without further loss of time in the larger interest of the nation and country.

Withholding tax on bank transactions is a curse for Pakistani economy and it should be immediately ended as it is only serving the interests of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Pasban e Pakistan Public Issues Committee Chairman Abu-Bakr Usman in a statement here Tuesday.

He said the government should continue the past practice of exempting taxpayers having income up to Rs1million from filing wealth statement. He said when tax filers deposit their wealth statements, corrupt government officials harass and blackmail them and it only opens new ways and means of corruption and bribery.

He said due to these corrupt practices and corrupt government officials people want to flee from the tax net. He said the WHT on bank cheques is a cancer which should be eliminated to keep the wheels of our economy moving. He said the WHT on bank transactions has harassed the trader community and activities in the capital market and new investment has virtually halted and the economic growth of the country is affected badly. He said this vicious cycle is increased joblessness and shortage of daily-use items which would result in price hike and restlessness amongst people. This is not in favor of the nation and country, he warned.

Abu-Bakr Usman said the dangerous policies of World Bank and IMF in the garb of increasing tax revenue should be shunned immediately. He said the WHT on bank transactions would harm the banking sector and cast very dreadful impact on stock exchange and capital market.

He said there are many other peaceful and accepted ways and means to document our economy which should be introduced in workable manner. He said fixed tax should be announced on different trade categories as they will not only end corruption and bribery but also increase the government revenue. He said the traders should be encouraged to join turn-over and self-assessment tax schemes.

He said the policy to punish the present taxpayers mercilessly should be abandoned. He said to encourage new taxpayers there should be no question asked about the source of initial Rs5million of investment. He said traders are important pillars of our economy and their just demand to end the WHT on bank transactions should be accepted by the government.