‘Headway expected between PM, businessmen’

ISLAMABAD: A significant breakthrough is expected in a meeting between the Prime Minister Imran Khan and representatives of the business community scheduled on January 20, a business leader said Monday. The trading community is tired of the continued deadlock among traders and tax collectors is pinning high hopes on the meeting, said Shahid Rasheed Butt former President ICCI. The government has facilitated retailers and wholesalers as much as possible amid the dispute while an Ordinance has also been issued recently to ally their concerns and cater to their demands. The PM is expected to announce further relief for the traders during the meeting and now the trading community should come forward and fulfill their promises regarding documentation as it has become a serious matter, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that traders should come forward to discharge their national obligation by paying taxes as the turnover tax has also been reduced according to their wishes. He noted that many former governments tried to document the retail and wholesale sector but to no avail while the PML-N government was forced to impose withholding tax on transactions after failure of the business community to honour their commitments regarding taxation measures. Imposition of tax on bank transactions damaged economy a lot but the majority of traders remained reluctant to keep and show the record of their sale and purchases to tax authorities. He noted that the importance of documentation could not be overemphasized while the sector having 18 percent share in the GDP cannot be kept out of the tax net anymore and delaying tactics will not work this time. Masses have to pay the price of noncompliance by the traders which is making people poor and it is against the principles of honesty, transparency and just tax system.