Trade: (Banks foiling Govt’s WHT move from profit)

ISLAMABAD: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday said some banks continue to deduct withholding tax (WHT) on transaction from filers which is illegal as well as unethical.

In a statement, he said the attitude of banks amounts to frustrate government’s move to boost revenue through enhanced taxation on transactions. He said the negative practices by some banks continue to frustrate masses and honest taxpayers which may intensify standoff between business community and government over WHT.

Butt said that financial institutions should not trigger opposition to WHT on bank transactions to maximise their profits as it is highly unethical and illegal. Banks are already facing reduced deposits and transaction while negative methods will deprive them of the faith of masses which will help parallel banking system which is already gaining momentum in the country, he observed.

He said it is responsibility of the government to ensure transparency in deduction of WHT on bank transaction otherwise banks will promote underground economy in their own interest. He said government should discourage undocumented economy which is already expanding which will leave government will no option to pick begging bowl as situation of exports and taxes is highly unsatisfactory.

Government imposed WHT on bank transactions to raise additional Rs 100 billion while the protest of traders has already caused losses to the tune of Rs 300 billion which may raise to Rs500 billion until Eid, Butt added.