All Pakistan Nanbai Association President Shafiq Qureshi speaks at a press conference on Saturday. — White Star
All Pakistan Nanbai Association President Shafiq Qureshi speaks at a press conference on Saturday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Nanbais in the capital have threatened a shutter-down strike in 10 days if new rates for naan and roti are not notified.

Addressing a press conference at the National Press Club on Saturday,they announced that they would strike after Sept 18 if gas rates are not reduced and the increased rates for naan and roti are not accepted by the authorities.

All Pakistan Nanbai Association President Shafiq Qureshi said the government was simply making headlines with false and unrealistic statements regarding the prices of gas and wheat flour.

“This is strange. Either the government functionaries were operating insilosor, I do not want to say but, the departments pay noheed to the directives of the prime minister,” Mr Qureshi said.

He said that the prime minister had announced that gas rates for tandoors would be brought back down to the original level,“but there has not been any reduction in the gas tariff for us.”

Pakistan General Nanbai Association (GNA) Islamabad President Fazal Karim Abbasi blamed high rents and high wages in the capital for their loss of business.

“Wheat flour prices have not been decreased even after the announcement by the Punjab government in the second week of August that supplies would be released from the stocks they held,” Mr Abbasi said.

He added that prices of other essentials in their trade, including ghee, have increased.

On Aug 20, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration had notified teams of officers to ensure that naan and roti were sold at Rs10 and Rs8, respectively.

In addition to selling for higher prices, nanbais were also selling roti and naan for well below the officially notified weight of 120 grams. The official rate for kulcha is Rs12, and the notified weight is 130g.

Nanbais denied the allegation that small traders, including nanbais, were criticising the government because they were close to the PML-N.

“This impression is totally incorrect, as many of our members belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they have supported the PTI for several years now,” GNA Bhara Kahupresident Habib Khan said.

He added:“Even I am a PTI worker for more than 12 years now, but this issue relates to poor planning and implementation by the relevant departments, including the ICT administration, Sui gas, and the flawed rent control laws in Islamabad,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2019