ISLAMABAD, May 17 Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Tuesday criticised the decision of the government to slap two percent tax on turnover of the retailers in the forthcoming budget terming it highly discriminatory. The unjust decision will trigger inflation and protest to meet the fate of tax amnesty scheme launched last year which failed to attract traders while government could hardly raise one billion rupees, it said. Traders were already frustrated due to high cost of energy, multiple and irrational taxes and ever-increasing demands of government officials therefore they cannot bear more burden, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.
He said that government has already pushed many traders towards cash economy, transactions in US dollar and on slips and the latest decision will increase the volume of undocumented economy. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that all the efforts to bring traders in the tax net have failed and the latest attempt will also fail as the sector representing 20 percent of the GDP will not accept tax in presence of larger sectors enjoying tax exemptions. The veteran business leader said that government imposed tax on import stage while shopkeepers pay fifteen percent withholding tax on rent therefore new tax is without justification. If government assures that cost of energy will not be hiked in the upcoming budget and afterwards then some traders may consider otherwise, he said