PESHAWAR: The traders have demanded of government to review its decision about lockdown and open educational institutions, restaurants and marriage halls under standard operating procedure to save jobs of thousands of people.
Speaking at a meeting of different bodies of traders here on Monday, Peshawar Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry president Mohammad Atif Haleem said that the prolonged lockdown affected business activities and many traders suffered financial losses to the extent that they were unable to revive their business.
He said that owners of schools had already promised to run their institutions in shifts with attendance of minimum number of students to ensure implementation of SOP for containing Covid-19 pandemic. He added that government should thoroughly monitor the educational institutions.
Mr Haleem said that closure of educational institutions had not only put jobs of thousands of employees at stake but students’ future also seemed bleak in the prevailing situation. He said that university students were aware of the sensitivity of the situation and would definitely take care of themselves.
He said that livelihoods of thousands of people were attached with the marriage halls and restaurants. He said that lockdown badly affected them. The affected people, he said, were unable to feed their children and pay house rent and utility bills but they got no financial support from the government.
Mr Haleem said that traders were paying different type of taxes regularly but the negative impacts on their businesses would also affect the state revenue. He said that government should announce a relief package for the affected businesses and allow the owners to pay the utility bills in easy installments.
He said that traders were ready to extend full cooperation to government in creation of awareness among people about coronavirus and safety measures to control the infectious disease.
Other traders including Malik Mehr Ilahi and Shakeel Ahmad also demanded an end to the lockdown, saying the restrictions had badly affected businesses.
They said after terrorism, coronavirus pandemic played havoc with businesses but the government did not provide any relief to traders.
Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2020