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KP business community demands to end of lockdown

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Business community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Tuesday opposed the federal government decision to allow businesses to open for 5 days a week and demanded of the government to complete end of the lockdown under strict standard operating procedure.

Addressing a joint press conference here at the chamber, traders and industrialists asked to release payment of tax refunds without any discrimination as per announcement of Prime Minister Imran Khan Rs100billion. The section 144 on transportation of wheat from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should be lifted to avoid from creating any flour crisis in the province, they asked.

The traders demanded of the government to waive off all federal and provincial taxes for next one year. They further asked to waive off rents of government buildings while rents of private plaza and buildings should be paid by government.

“Lockdown is not solution, if fight against corona so we are ready to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) it, says EngrMaqsoodPervaiz, president of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while responding to different queries during the presser.

SCCI chief said the traders are being faced severely financial crisis owing to the prolonged corona lockdown in the province. He opined that massive rush of shoppers in bazaars was witnessed during less and limited time. Therefore, he urged the government to lift lockdown and allow business 24/7 and seven days a week.

ShahidHussain, Senior Vice president, Abdul Jalil Jan, Vice president of the chamber, GhazanfarBilour, former FPCCI president, RiazArshad, Haji Muhammad Afzal, Faiz Muhammad Faizi, ex-SCCI presidents of SCCI, AftabIqbal, JunaidAltaf, Ihsanullah, MujeburRehman, AltafBaig, Nisarullah Khan, Shams Rahim, MehrElahi, president of MarkaziTanzeem e Tajaran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, presidents and office bearers of different bazaars associations and unions, industrialists and exporters were present in large number during the press conference.

MaqsoodPervaiz said the whole world, including India, US and Europe, wherein ratio of deaths and affected people by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic was remained very high, are seriously considering lifting of lockdown.

SCCI president said not 5 days, but to allow businesses for seven days a week and around the clock, because rush would be increased in bazaars under limited and lesser time so that may create chances for rapid spread coronavirus. He demanded to refunds payment to Umrah and Haj pilgrims from airlines.

GhazanfarBilour condemned the restrictions on movement of wheat from Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, saying that the move would affect more than 7.0million families. He demanded of government to immediate lift ban of wheat transportation from Punjab to avoid from flour crisis in the province.

He said the government is releasing only payment of Rs5million on head of outstanding refunds but for the last six years, the payment of outstanding refunds to business community unpaid, which is completely unjust and unfair with them.

He asked the government to ensure release of payments outstanding refunds without any discrimination and delay to business community.

Shahid Husain, RiazArshad, Haji Muhammad Afzal, Faiz Muhammad Faizi, MehrElahi and MujeeburRehman also spoke on the occasion. They demanded of the government to immediate lift lockdown and allow business seven days a week. They also called to remove obstacles to bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and transit trade.

Earlier, the SCCI president EngrMaqsoodPervaiz presented a charter of demands, comprising on 48 points, relating to traders, industrialists and exporters issues before the government, asking it to address the problems of business community to revive the corona-hit country’s economy.

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