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Traders flay district admin for ‘highhandedness’ on pretext of Covid-19 SOPs

PESHAWAR: Traders in Peshawar on Wednesday flayed district administration for highhandedness, imposition of heavy fines, undue arrest, seal of bazaars and markets on pretext of violating coronavirus standards operating procedure (SOPs).

The business community said that they are not against coronavirus SOPs and ready to cooperate with the government to follow SOPs but their dignity should need to be intact during district administration crackdown and actions in bazaar and shopping markets.

“We have played a pivotal role in economic development of the country as well as provincial exchequer” they added.

They expressed these views during a meeting held under chairmanship of President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sherbaz Ilyas Ghazanfar Bilour at the chamber house.

Engr Mansoor Elahi, Junaid Altaf, senior vice president and vice president of the SCCI, president Anjum e Tajaraan Peshawar and former president of the chamber, Haji Muhammad Afzal, trader leaders, Khalid Ayub, Habibullah Zahid, Shahid Khan, Haji Naseer, Mujeebur Rehman, Ameen Hussain Babar, Zafar Khattak, Khalid Gul Mohmand, Bilal Ghulam Javed, Abidullah Yousafzai, Saddar Gul, Ihsanullah Mohmand, Ishtiaq Muhammad, Akhtar Ali, Saddar Hussain, Hazrat Bilal, Zubair Gul, Irfan Paracha, Hazrat Hussain and Aqeel Kiyani were present in the meeting.

The meeting expressed anguish over the district authorities for sealing shops, markets, unnecessary arrest and harassment of traders and imposition of heavy fines on pretext of violating Covid-19 SOPs.

It asked the government to avoid punishing shopkeepers for not wearing facemask of customers, stressing the need for launching a special campaign to create awareness among the general public regarding coronavirus SOPs.

The participants furthermore asked the government to materialize its promises made with the business community, which is miserably hit by coronavirus lockdown, instead of multiplying their miseries by implementation of unilateral policies and decisions in the shape of laws.

Haji Muhammad Afzal said the business community had extended fully cooperating with government in adherence of COvid-19 SOPs in the past and ready to continue its support for enforcement of laws. However, he made it clear that they couldn’t compromise on the dignity of the traders’ community.

He stressed that the dignity of taxpayers must be ensured during raids by district administration on shops and markets because they have played an important role in economic development of the county, by paying various taxes in the national kitty.

Sherbaz Bilour assured the participants that they will share recommendations and proposals regarding coronavirus SOP of the traders community with government and relevant departments. He said the SCCI is believed of selfless and indiscriminate services to small traders and industrialists.

He vowed that the business community problems would be taken up with relevant government authorities in a befitting and effective manner.

2020-12-02
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