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PESHAWAR: The traders and the district administration have agreed to resolve the issues pertaining to raids on food outlets, encroachments and illegal parking in various bazaars and busy commercial spots in the provincial metropolis.

Tajir Grand Alliance president Khalid Ayub told Dawn here on Tuesday that the daily raids on food outlets had forced the business community to agitate against the provincial government, but the deputy commissioner had assured them of resolution of the problems.

He said the raids conducted by officials of various departments had united at least 14 groups of traders in order to raise voice in an effective manner against the provincial government.

Mr Ayub said the government had been collecting fines for the past five years on different pretexts which had forced the owners of food outlets to shut in protest and move from Peshawar to other provinces.

“We are thankful to the deputy commissioner Dr Imran Hamid Sheikh for giving us the opportunity to share our problems with him and his assurance to fully cooperate in formation of joint committees for resolution of the issues,” Mr Ayub said. He pointed out that police personnel were forcing the owners of food outlets to give them free food or face action, saying during raids workers were beaten up.

“We asked the district administration to take steps for the purpose of reforms and not for sealing the food outlets, manhandling workers and collecting heavy fines,” he said and added the traders also opposed the frequent action in name of encroachments.

He said traders during the meeting with the deputy commissioner also raised the issues of hike in gas and electricity rates and urged him to convey their reservations to the provincial and federal governments.

Meanwhile, a statement issued from the deputy commissioner’s office said a delegation led by Tajir Grand Alliance chairman Habibullah Zahid had apprised the DC of the traders’ problems. Both the administration and traders agreed to form joint committees after Muharram to review the traders’ complaints regarding raids at food outlets, tandoors and take decisions as per the law.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018