Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that traders’ community is the backbone of the economy of a country. He said that traders’ community has always played an important role in the development of the country and resolution of their genuine problems is the responsibility of the government.
He expressed these views while addressing a meeting of representatives of traders’ organizations from all over the province, here today. Members National Assembly Pervaiz Malik, Mian Abdul Manan, Provincial Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah, Minister for Industry Ch. Muhammad Shafiq, Chairman FBR, concerned secretaries, President Anjuman Tajran City Faisalabad, Khawaja Shahid Razaq Saqa, President All Pakistan Anjuman Tajran Khalid Pervaiz, Secretary General Abdul Razaq Babber besides Presidents of traders’ organizations from various cities of Punjab attended the meeting. Traders presented their problems regarding taxes and put forth various proposals for their resolution.
Addressing the meeting of traders, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that he considers the problems being faced by traders’ community as his own problems and will take all possible steps for their resolution. He also earnestly appealed to the traders to play their effective role for survival of the country, strengthening national economy and welfare of the common man. He said that all segments of the society including traders, labourers, students and politicians have to play their effective role for steering the country and the nation out of the quagmire of problems.
Shahbaz Sharif said that he will himself raise voice for resolution of genuine problems of the traders. He stressed upon the traders’ community to fully support the government in increasing national resources. He said that the property survey is being carried out and final decision will be taken in consultation with the traders.
The Chief Minister while constituting a committee comprising Law Minister, Industry Minister, concerned officials and representatives of traders’ organizations, said that this committee will formulate practicable proposals with regard to all genuine demands. He said that after formulating final proposals, a meeting will be held with Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for resolving the problems of the traders.
The Chief Minister said that the electricity and gas thieves are criminal and Punjab government is discharging its responsibilities towards eradication of electricity and gas theft. He said that electricity and gas theft of billions of rupees has been detected. He said that the persons involved in electricity and gas theft have been handcuffed but the officers and officials of the concerned departments involved in this crime should also be handcuffed. He warned that those committing dacoity on national exchequer do not deserve any leniency. Shahbaz Sharif said that tariff of electricity has not been increased upto 200 units rather a subsidy of Rs.155 billion is being given to those using electricity upto 200 units. He said that the dream of development and prosperity of the country cannot be materialized without increasing resources. He said that the welfare projects can be launched with the increased resources.
He said that lakhs of passengers are benefitting from metro bus project in provincial metropolis and such projects can also be started in other cities of the province through additional resources. Shahbaz Sharif said that tough decisions will have to be taken for improving the sick economy. He said that tough decisions taken today for the revival of the economy will be helpful for the development and prosperity of the country in the coming days.
He said that the generation of additional resources is essential for public welfare programs, achieving self-reliance and eliminating beggary. He stressed upon the traders and industrialists to play their due role for generating additional resources.
The Chief Minister said that despite being atomic power, the country is still in debt of sixty billion dollars. He said that increase in the resources is utmost essential for achieving the status of a dignified nation in the comity of nations. He said that indigenous resources will have to be developed for achieving the goal of self-reliance. Shahbaz Sharif assured the traders of resolution of their problems and said that the decision with regard to extending the date for submission of wealth statement and income tax returns will be taken within a few days after consultation with Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Representatives of traders’ organizations paid rich tributes to Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for listening to their problems sympathetically and taking steps for public welfare. They said that listening to the problems of traders by Shahbaz Sharif attentively is proof of the fact that he is traders’ friendly Chief Minister and has sympathies with them.
They assured the Chief Minister to fully support the steps taken by Punjab government for eliminating electricity and gas theft. They said that traders’ community is ready to pay taxes as expanding tax net is vital for generating additional resources. They said that the dream of development of the country cannot be materialized without expansion of tax net.
They also demanded resolution of various problems being confronted by traders’ community regarding taxes. Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa informed about the tax system. Members National Assembly Mian Abdul Manan and Pervaiz Malik also addressed the meeting.