Traders call off the strike as CNIC condition postponed till January 31, 2020

KARACHI: Traders called off the strike on Wednesday evening after an agreement was reached between the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) authorities and traders community.

Chairman Karachi Tajir Ittehad Atiq Mir said the markets remained closed on Wednesday. “However, there would be no more strikes as an agreement has been reached between the tax authorities and traders. FBR has agreed to relax the CNIC condition on transactions of Rs50,000 and above”.

According to the terms traders having annual turnover of Rs100 million will pay 0.5 percent tax instead of 1.5 percent earlier; traders having Rs100 million annual turnover would not act as a withholding agent; traders paying electricity bill of Rs1.2 million and above will be required to register with the sales tax authorities, earlier this threshold was Rs0.6 million.

It was also decided that shops having area of 1,000 sq ft and above would be exempt from sales tax registration, while the sales tax registration of retailers also involved in wholesale business would be decided in consultation with traders.

The turnover tax for low-profit earning sectors would be determined afresh with the consultation of traders’ committee. Traders and government have agreed to solve the issues of jewelers in consultation with jewelers association. The meeting also agreed to review the license fee and withholding tax regime for brokers (aarhti).

It is also decided that a help desk would be setup at FBR while a simple form in Urdu would be provided for the registration of new traders.

Atiq Mir said FBR used to agree verbally on traders’ demands and nothing was implemented. “This time a written agreement is being prepared, which would be disclosed later.” The details of the deal could not be known.

The main markets in Clifton, Defence, Saddar, Tariq Road, Nazimabad along with city’s main wholesale markets, including Jodia Bazar, Bolton Market and scores of other markets across the city remained closed most part of the day. However, after the strike called off, markets opened up.

The traders had announced a two-strike demanding the withdrawal of CNIC condition for retailers, the professional and traders calling tax, the hike in electricity and gas tariffs, and other taxes which they said were unfair and were imposed in the federal and provincial budgets for the next fiscal year.

 

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