RAWALPINDI-Traders on Monday staged a protest demonstration against the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board for imposing board taxes and parking charges and warned to announce shutter down strike in case the board did not withdraw the taxes.

The traders of Saddar, Bank Road, Kashmir Road, Haider Road, Adam Jee Road and other areas of Cannt and Garrison also observed a partial shutter down strike to register their protest against the RCB.

The traders were led by Anjuman Tajraan Cannt elected representatives.

A massive traffic jam was witnessed in different parts of Saddar due to the protest on roads creating hardships for commuters and pedestrians. Speaking on the occasion, the traders’ leadership described board taxes and parking fee a looting spree launched by the RCB high ups. They alleged that the board authorities had illegally increased the ratio of taxes, saying that the business community had decided to avoid paying additional taxes.

“The RCB has awarded parking contracts to the contractors who are charging Rs20 from motorcycles while Rs50 from vehicles in Saddar,” said a leader of the traders.

He said that similarly, the RCB has also been charging huge taxes on billboards and other small and big boards that is an injustice.

He asked the board to review its tax policies. “We give one week time to the authorities to stop collecting board taxes and parking charges; otherwise, the business community will have the only option to announce shutter down strike and start protest rallies daily,” said another trader. Meanwhile, the artists of TV, radio and stage also assembled outside Rawalpindi Press Club and staged a protest demonstration against Punjab government for stopping stipends of deserving artists.

The artists were belonging to the twin cities. The protestors were holding placards and banners and chanting slogans against Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Khan Buzdar and his spokesman Shehbaz Gill.

Addressing the protestors, the artists including Riaz Siddiqui, Munawar Khan Afridi and Shehnaz Khan condemned the move of the government. They said that the artists had been deprived of their right of the annual stipend after Imran Khan came into power. They said that the incumbent government managed to climb to power corridors with support of artists. “We are on roads for getting our rights,” they said.