Local traders have warned the government to launch a protest movement against unwarranted actions and anti-business policies of the public sector institutions, particularly multiple tax collection authorities, police, customs departments and cantonment board Peshawar.
The announcement was made during traders meeting of Peshawar Saddar and Cantt areas, held under chairmanship of president Sarhad chamber of Commerce and Industry Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad here on Thursday.
Besides, the meeting was attended by SCCI’s senior vice president Imran Khan Mohmand, vice president Javed Akhtar, former president Sherbaz Bilour, executive member Zahoor Khan, and Sohail Javed, Mujeebur Rehman, Shams Rahim, Saddar Gul, Rashid Iqbal Sidique, Nisar Ahmad, Arshad Mehmood, Nauman Rauf, Salman Wadood, Tahir Khan, Amir Afzal, along with presidents, office bearers of traders and bazaars, market associations, a large number of traders of Saddar Bazaar and cant area.
Traders severely criticised the police, custom departments, tax-collection authorities and Cantonment Board Peshawar for their allegedly illegal and ‘unwarranted actions’, harassment on pretext of collecting various taxes, unnecessary lodging cases and arrest and anti-business policies.
Members of the business community complained about collection heavily taxes, like professional tax, income tax, different levies/duties on imported items, others and demanded to rationalization and reduction in ratio of taxes. They termed the unnecessary actions as reflection of anti-business policies of the present government, which should be altered immediately.
Trade and commercial activities have reduced by 80 percent after different waves of novel coronavirus pandemic and terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while government policies are compelling to push businesses toward complete closure, the traders said.
The business community expressed grave concern over the new policy of the present government, regarding reduction in business and working timings. The community said it is the prime duty of the government to ensure protection of life and property of the common man.
Traders demanded the lifting of a ban on import of mobile accessories. The speakers sought a holistic roadmap to resolve the traders’ problems on a permanent basis.
Hasnain Khurshid expressed grave concern over unfriendly and business holistic attitude/behavior of state-run institutions, especially mentioned by traders, and assured the participants of the meeting that the chamber will take up their issues with relevant authorities in an efficient manner.
On the occasion, he mentioned that SCCI in collaboration with Smeda has launched an Investment Facilitation Centre/Web portal, which has been directly linked with federal and provincial ombudsmen that would directly contact 700 government institutions.
Therefore, he urged the traders to register complaints about relevant public departments on SCCI’s web-portal so their complaints/issue will be resolved immediately.
Regarding problems in issuance of business visas to China, Hasnain Khurshid informed that a meeting will be arranged soon with the Chinese Ambassador and senior officials, so the issue would be resolved by taking up with them.
The SCCI chief stressed that all government institutions/departments are needed to work under its domain so it would avoid a gulf between the business community and government.
The chamber, bazaar associations’ office bearers also spoke on the occasion.