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Flour Mills Threaten Nationwide Strike Over New Tax

Pakistan’s flour mill owners are gearing up for a nationwide strike on Thursday, July 11th, to protest a new 2.5% withholding tax included in the 2024-25 budget.

The Flour Mills Association, led by Chairman Aamir Abdullah, warns of a complete shutdown of all mills across the country if the tax is not withdrawn. They argue that the additional tax burden, coupled with existing high electricity bills, is pushing their businesses to the brink.

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This follows earlier warnings from the association about potential flour price hikes due to the increased taxes in the budget. They estimate a rise of Rs. 5 to Rs. 7 per kilogram for regular flour and Rs. 7 per kilogram for fine flour. The association further warns that the withholding tax could inflate the price of a 10kg flour bag by Rs. 50.

Urging the government to reconsider the tax, Abdullah emphasizes that the additional cost will ultimately hurt consumers and retailers. The strike threat underscores the tension between the flour industry and the government over taxation policies.

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