Resumption of Industrial and business activities: Traders to devise joint SOPs with consent of govt

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: As per government guidelines and precautionary measures to stem spread of the novel coronavirus, the businessmen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Friday decided to devise a joint Standard operating procedure (SOPs) by making proper consultation with government focal persons within two days after April 14 in order to resume industrial and business activities in the province.

They, however, made it clear that if the ongoing lockdown will be further prolonged despite the formulation of SOPs, then the industrialists and traders will not payout federal and provincial taxes in wake of their economic challenges and financing issues and will also go for layoff plan of their employees and workers under prevailing circumstances. The business community leaders also made clear that if the small traders and shopkeepers will take law in their hands, so the leadership of the traders will not be held responsible for it.

The decision was made during a joint meeting of industrialists and traders leaders, held under chairmanship of the United Business Group senior leader, former senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour here.

Notable among the participants, include Senator Nauman Wazir, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Ghulam Ali, president Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz, Federal of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry vice president Qaiser Khan, Anjuman e Tajaran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chairman Shaukat Ali Kha, Anjuman e Tajaran Peshawar president Haji Muhammad Afzal, Central Tanzeem Tajaran Peshawar president Malik Mehr Elahi, Small Chamber founder president, Ihtesham Haleem, FPCCI former president Ghazanfar Bilour, former SCCI presidents Riaz Arshad, Zahidullah Shinwari, Adeel Rauf, Faiz Muhammad Faizi, Malik Niaz Ahmad, Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Industrialist Association Hayatabad Peshawar president Zarak Khan, Saraf Association Chairman Shakeel Saraf, Sanaullah along with industrialists and traders were present in the meeting.

The meeting unanimously decided to devise joint SOPs by making consultation with government focal persons and formed two committees to hold negotiations with government.

Members, which will be representing business community body for holding talks with government, include FPCCI former president, Ghazanfar Bilour, SCCI president Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz, FPCCI vice president Qaiser Khan, SCCI former president Zahidullah Shinwari, Anjuman e Tajaran KP Chairman Shaukat Ali Khan, Central Tanzeem Tajaran Peshawar president Mehr Elahi. Whereas, members of the committee for formulation of joint SOPs, include FPCCI vice president Qaiser Khan, IAP President Zarak Khan, and former SCCI president Adeel Rauf.

The meeting made it clear that the representative committees comprised on industrialists and traders will hold talks with government regarding lockdown and other matters relating to the business community. It further added if the government will negotiate with any other any group or body, the business community will not be responsible for it.

The meeting furthermore clarified that the blue-collar and poor shopkeepers cannot be tolerated anymore starvation and hunger due to ongoing lockdown for last three weeks. Therefore, the participants said the business community is ready to fully cooperate with the government while keeping in current scenario.

However, they said the industrial and business activities will be resumed across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by following the SOPs and precautionary steps proposed by the committees and government after April 14. They added if the ongoing lockdown will be further prolonged so the business community will compel to not payout all federal and provincial taxes, utility bills and also terminate their employees and workers.