PESHAWAR: Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani has taken notice of alleged violation of tax exemption extended to traders and investors of merged tribal districts through a legislative process in the Parliament, and sought a report from the Ministry of Finance, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Law on the issue.

Sadiq Sanjrani sought the report after a 40-member delegation of industrialists from tribal districts called on him in Islamabad on Tuesday. The Senate chairman assured the delegation that relevant ministries and departments would be called for a meeting for solution of the issue.

The erstwhile Fata traders told the Senate chairman that after the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018, tax exemption was granted to newly-merged tribal districts for five years, but the steel and ghee industry was deprived of this exemption in the Finance Bill 2019. The industrialists complained that all kinds of bank accounts of the business class associated with these industries had been frozen. They alleged that due to the highhandedness of the concerned authority, more than 40 steel units and some units of ghee industries were shut down and this left thousands of workers unemployed.

The Senate chairman assured the traders and industrialists that their rights would be protected at all costs and tax exemption for five years would be ensured in line with the law. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has on several occasions directed the ministries concerned to provide concessions for the promotion of trade activities and development of industries in merged tribal districts to develop these areas on a par with other parts of the country.

Sadiq Sanjrani said the law passed by the departments concerned against the industries of tribal districts is being violated which will not be allowed in any case. He assured the traders and industrialists that all their genuine concerns would be addressed.

The visiting delegation expressed confidence in the abilities of the Senate chairman to resolve the issue.

An official statement after the meeting said Sadiq Sanjrani assured the delegation that relevant ministers and representatives of concerned ministries and departments would be called for a meeting for solution of the issue.

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