ISLAMABAD - The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is unlikely to compromise on enforcement of its condition regarding the Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers despite the fact that traders have announced to start protests from October 7.

“The government would not back out from CNIC condition,” said a senior official of the FBR. He further said that FBR might hold meeting with traders to resolve the issue. The government would take the decision to withdraw the condition of CINC. Only Parliament can withdraw the provision of the CNIC which is part of the Finance Act 2019. If the Parliament amends the Finance Act 2019, the condition of the CNIC would be withdrawn, he added.

Earlier, in August 2019, the FBR and small traders struck an agreement that the government would take no adverse action against them on the condition of CNIC till September 30, 2019. It was decided that discussion between the associations and bodies of the traders for the finalisation of the scheme for small shopkeepers would continue.

However, both the sides failed to reach consensus. All Pakistan Traders Association President Kashif Chaudhry on Monday said that there would be no negotiations with the FBR. He said that FBR had requested the traders to call off their four-day strike against the government’s anti-business measures in August this year. Traders from across Pakistan would arrive in the federal capital for a protest march from Melody Market to Parliament House against the government’s anti-business measures on October 7.

Punjab Traders Association President Sharjeel Ahmed said that sales have declined by 40 percent due to government’s decision announced in the budget 2019-20, which would create unemployment. He stated that traders from across Punjab would come to Islamabad. He said that after the one-day march, a traders’ convention would be held where the future plan of action would be decided, which could be in the shape of lockdown of major cities, shutter-down strikes for an indefinite period and taking out protest marches across Pakistan.