International Trade Fair:AAP government issues notice to Pakistani and Bangladeshi traders, slaps penalty

The Delhi government issued a notice to 99 stall owners from Pakistan and Bangladesh, along with a Rs 50,000 penalty, on the last day of the India International Trade Fair, according to Indian Express.

Delhi India International Trade Fair Arvind Kejriwal Delhi

The reason put forth by the department of trade and taxes of the government was that the mandatory casual number, required to participate in the fair, was not obtained by the stall owners. The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the managing body of all traders participating in the fair, further denied them gate passes, refusing to let them leave and take their goods out of the premises. They also claimed the ITPO has been slapped a fine of Rs. 55 lakhs by the trade and taxes department.

However, the traders have been defending themselves on the grounds that since they aren’t Indian nationals, they do not possess a PAN card, which was a prerequisite for them to register online.

The department of trade and taxes have argued that as the organiser of the trade fair it was ITPO’s responsibility to inform participants about the PAN card issue. “If the traders do not pay the penalty, we will not issue them a no-objection certificate and the onus is on the ITPO to pay the penalty,” said a senior government official.

However, ITPO chairman L C Goyal said to Indian Express, “We had made it clear to traders. They all knew about the rules. Also, if a problem between the department and the traders arises, we will sort it out. It is not such a big matter.”

Faisal Joseph, the assistant secretary of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, who was heading the Pakistani traders’ delegation, said, “This is the first time in 25 years that something like this has happened. We used to pay taxes every year as VAT duty, but this year the process was changed without our knowledge.”

It has been confirmed that of the 99 traders, 21 are from Bangladesh while the rest are from Pakistan.