LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Punjab has expressed its total solidarity with traders and supports their demand regarding immediate withdrawal of withholding tax without delay, said Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, in a statement issued from here today.
He said that the government had already destroyed the agriculture sector and now they were after the small traders adding the unilateral imposition of withholding tax in bank transactions was the physical manifestation of their malevolent intentions.
Manzoor Wattoo added that the PPP would not leave the traders at the mercy of the rulers and would struggle shoulder-to shoulder with them till the withdrawal of the cruel and unjust withholding tax.
He regretted that the missing of targets in GDP, exports, agriculture including of the industrial sectors during the last financial year had not pushed the government to change its policies to rectify the situation of the economy. Instead, its policies are jamming the wheel of the economy, he observed.
He said that the government was boasting the level of foreign exchange reserves as indicator of the improvement in the economy. They raised the foreign exchange reserves through resorting to heavy borrowing and the bubble would bust sooner than later because the nation had to pay it back with higher interest rates, he added.
The PPP provincial president urged the government not to push the traders against the wall and instead levy taxes on big businessmen who could pay. Ironically, the government’s generosity towards the big industrialists through exemption in custom duties is unforgiving and should be done away with to give impetus to the revenue generation efforts of the FBR.
He pointed out that it was source of embarrassment for the government that tax GDP ration was the lowest in this country as compare to the other countries of the region. These figures expose the hollowness of government’s claim of bringing millions of people in the tax net, he maintained.
He warned the government that it should be ready to face the retribution of farmers’ community in the forthcoming local bodies’ elections due to its anti-frames’ policies since this government came into power. They had run out patience in the face of lacklustre attitude of the government towards their predicaments, he argued.