PESHAWAR: Traders have reacted sharply to the federal government’s decision regarding early closure of markets and business premises under its energy conservation plan and vowed to defy the order in case they are forced to down shutters by 8pm.
Talking to a delegation of traders here on Wednesday, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry acting present Ejaz Khan Afridi strongly objected to the decision of National Economic Council (NEC), calling for closure of markets and shops by 8pm under the government’s energy conservation policy.
He said that traders in other parts of the country in general and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular were badly affected by terrorism and in such a difficult situation they were unable to afford those restrictions.
Mr Afridi said that the economy of the country and businesses couldn’t afford such decisions of the incumbent coalition government. He said that the decision of NEC was tantamount to economic murder of traders and venomous for businesses and the national economy as well.
The SCCI chief said that the government’s decision created unrest among traders. He said that the enforcement of the decision was not possible. He urged the federal government to review its decision in the best interest of national economy and businesses. “Let business and commercial activities flourish in the country,” he added.
Mr Afridi said that government should take initiatives for providing relief to business community instead of increasing their miseries by making such decisions. He added that commercial and trade activities were badly affected in the prevailing circumstances.
He said that traders would be compelled to starvation owing to implementation of the flawed economic policies of the government. He made it clear that anti-traders policies were unacceptable to them.
He said that traders would launch agitation if government didn’t revise its decision regarding closure of markets and shops at 8pm.
Afridi urged the federal and provincial governments to avoid taking any action against the business community and keep the markets, shops and bazaars open to continue business and economic activities till late night in the country.
Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2023