GB Tax Issue: Negotiations successful, long march called off, joint committee to negotiate recommendations with with federal govt

GILGIT: The Parliamentary Committee and representatives of Anjuman-e-Tajran (MAJ) and Awami Action Committee (AAC) on Wednesday formed a joint committee to present the agreed-upon recommendation to the federal government on the ongoing anti-tax issue in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Senior Minister Haji Akbar Taban while addressing a press conference in Gilgit said that both parties have signed an agreement and a recommendation document after many rounds of negotiations in order to resolve the issue peacefully. The press conference was also attended by members of Parliamentary Committee and representatives of Anjuman-e-Tajran (MAJ) and Awami Action Committee (AAC) announced the.

Minister Taban said the joint committee will leave for Islamabad on Wednesday to present the agreed-upon recommendations to federal government. He said peaceful and symbolic sit-ins will continue and the long march from Skardu to Gilgit will be called off until the government implements the recommendations. The government will end all cases registers against the protesters, he said.

According to the recommendations, both parties have agreed to repeal the GB Tax Adaptation Act 2012 and end the income tax, bank transaction tax, withholding tax imposed under this act . The recommendations mentions that  GB Council should consult Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly if any alternate law is required in this regard.

The recommendations further include that amendments to be made in Gilgit-Baltistan Mineral Policy 2016 and its subject should be transferred to provincial assembly.

The federal government to share all indirect taxes received from Gilgit-Baltistan with Gilgit-Baltistan government by following the pattern of Azad Kashmir, it mentions.

Following this development in Gilgit, MAT and AAC called-off the Skardu-Gilgit long march. The participants left of their respective districts after spending over 15 hours at Danbudas in minus 15 temperatures.

Also watch the video report of the press conference 

Thousands of people from the four districts of Baltistan region had left for Gilgit on Tuesday to pressurize the government to repeal all taxes imposed in Gilgit-Baltistan under Gilgit-Baltistan Adaptation Act 2012.

Also watch the video report about the Skardu-Gilgit long march 

The protest call was given by the Anjiman-i-Tajran and the Awami Action Committee (AAC) on December 21 and the move was backed by all major political and religious parties, transporters association, hotels associations, gems and minerals associations and bar associations.
Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran and Awami Action Committee also continued the sit-in at Itehad Chowk Gilgit.

The district chapters of trade unions also observed shutter-down strikes in Hunza, Nagar, Ghizer, Astore, Diamer, Gilgit, Skardu, Shigar, Kharmang and Ghanche districts.

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