FAISALABAD: Industrialists, exporters, traders, power loom associations and other business communities have threatened the government that all the industries will be shut if sales tax is not withdrawn forthwith and all the responsibility will rest with the government and the bureaucracy. The representatives of Faisalabad industrialists including All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Naveed Gulzar, Power Looms Association Chairman Waheed Khalid Ramay, All Pakistan Textile Processing Association Chairman Chaudhry Habib Gujjar and Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association Chairman Dr Tariq Khurram held a joint press conference. They said country’s exports had registered an alarming decrease of 40.7 percent due to which 50 percent industry of the country had been closed down. All the industries would stand shut if sales tax and undue restrictions imposed by the government on exporters were not withdrawn, they warned. Responding to a question from the Daily Times, they said the prime minister had announced to scale down power tariff by three rupees per unit for industries but the bureaucracy reduced this relief to some pennies by levying fuel adjustment surcharge amounting to Rs 2.22 per unit. Likewise, domestic consumers had been also subjected to this bureaucratic gimmickry and this all has been done to defame the government. They held that Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir, State Minister Abid Sher Ali, Standing Committee Chairman Mian Abdul Mannan, Rana Afzal and other ministers had assured that sales tax would be revoked at every cost. It is a sorrowful state of affairs that the government had to suffer a loss amounting to Rs 1 billion under the head of sales tax last year. If the government does not do away with sales tax then it will have to sustain billion of rupees loss in the recovery of sales tax, they cautioned. They indicated that industrialists and exporters get back billion of rupees from the government on account of refund by setting up bogus firms. This way unprecedented loss is caused to the national exchequer. They lamented that five percent withholding tax relief was being afforded to the industrialists through electricity bills in the budget and this is also being taken back. They called upon the PM and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to prepare a friendly budget for industrialists, exporters, traders and people and if it is not done then not only will the industries stand shut but millions of people will also be rendered jobless and all the responsibility will rest with the government.