PESHAWAR: Trade unions including Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Markazi Tanzeem-i-Tajran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry rejected the lockdown from 8-16 May and asked the federal government to reconsider the decision.
In their separate meetings here on Monday, the leaders of the traders vowed to follow standard operating procedure (SOP) in accordance with the government’s decision to control the spread of the coranavirus.
They called on the government to withdraw the notification because restrictions on the timing of markets have caused crowds in the bazaars.
They said that before the announcement of new restrictions, there were no crowds in the bazaars.
Business leaders warn they will launch organized protest if government does not revise decision
Now everyone knows that he will not be able to have time to do his shopping for Eid and that he is therefore invading the markets.
Markazi Tanzeem-i-Tajran chairman Malik Meher Ilahi told Dawn that Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, in a meeting, recently assured traders that the lockdown would only be imposed on tourist spots during the Eid holiday to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The chief minister, he said, had promised to embark traders before announcing new restrictions. However, the government took a unilateral decision, which caused serious unrest among traders, he added.
Mr Ilahi said the lockdown would increase the poverty rate and subsequently lead to an increase in street crime. I ask the government to keep its promise to let traders work without any schedule restrictions until Chand Raat, he said.
Likewise, the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has announced that it is supporting traders in their protest against the government’s decision to impose a full lockdown from May 8 to 16. The CSIC described the restrictions amounting to an economic murder of traders.
A complete lockdown is unaffordable for the population as they are already facing a financial crisis due to restrictions imposed by the government to control the pandemic for more than a year, SCCI President Sherbaz Bilour told a delegation of traders on Monday. here.
He urged the government to withdraw the advice issued regarding the imposition of a full lockdown across the province. He said the week-long shutdown of business activities would push businesses and the economy affected by the coronavirus into collapse.
The government’s anti-business policies have resulted in economic stagnation. These policies have severely affected commercial, industrial, import and export activities, Bilour said.
He said the government was increasing the miseries of traders instead of bringing them relief. He added that there was no justification for imposing a full lockdown during the last week of Ramazan.
Mr Bilour urged the government to immediately withdraw the notification regarding the complete lockdown, otherwise traders would launch an organized protest campaign across the province.
Peshawar Traders Alliance President Mujeebur Rehman, Traders Alliance Federation President Ghulam Bilal Javed and Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Zahid Shah also demanded that the decision be withdrawn.
Local traders have also criticized authorities for imposing a lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 in Peshawar.
They said that small traders and traders suffered the most as they had difficulty paying rent on their stores.
Speaking at a joint press conference here on Monday, Pakistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) vice chairman Mohammad Zahid and Business Panel vice chairman Rasheed Paracha said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa traders, especially in Peshawar, were unable to cope with the current scenario.
They said all traders, including vendors and small traders, suffered losses due to the foreclosure. They called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to give some relief to traders before Eid so that they can overcome the losses.
They also called on the provincial government to relieve traders of utility bills to allow them to continue their operations.
Posted in Dawn on May 4, 2021
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