Prime Minister Imran Khan has rejected the textile traders’ demand to withdraw the CNIC requirement for conducting business.
On Wednesday, PM Khan flew to Karachi for a one-day visit where he held a meeting with Karachi’s traders at the Governor House.
During the meeting, the business community told the prime minister about their grievances. Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Adviser on Production and Industries, Abdul Razak Dawood, and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi, were also present.
The textile traders are against the new condition of showing a CNIC for buying and selling.
Khan quickly shot it down, saying that this demand can’t be met because the country has already suffered enough losses because of non-taxpayers.
Business cannot be allowed to run in the old fashion. Everyone has to pay taxes to keep the mill running.
His views were seconded by Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh who was surprised to learn that a large number of traders in Karachi were either evading or not paying full taxes.
“The government will not compromise on this, and everybody has to pay tax,” he said.
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (KCCI) former president Zubair Motiwala, one of the attendees, talked about the meeting at a local channel.
He said that the meeting ended inconclusively as both parties could not agree on the issues, and added that the Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited the business community to Islamabad for another round of talks on Friday.
“The issues of higher sales tax on the textile sector and CNIC condition would be discussed at length,” he said.
Motiwala reflected that the issues of additional duty on machinery import, increased sales tax and income tax on electricity were discussed during the meeting.
PM Khan directed Abdul Razak Dawood to resolve the issue of the textile industry.
He mentioned that the financial adviser made it clear that making fundamental changes in the budget was impossible.
Chairman FBR, Shabbar Zaidi stated during the meeting that he had been in contact with several businessmen and is working on different models to improve business environment and exports.
PM Khan had asked the businessmen to support the government’s policies and become its partners.