PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) traders’ community has accused district administrations of high handedness, imposition of ‘unjustified’ heavy fines, undue arrest, and sealing bazaars and markets on whim on the pretext of violating coronavirus standards operating procedure (SOPs).
They expressed these views during a meeting held under the chairmanship of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Sherbaz Ilyas Ghazanfar Bilour here on Wednesday.
SCCI Senior Vice President Engr Mansoor Elahi, SCCI Vice President Junaid Altaf, Anjum e Tajaraan Peshawar president and former SCCI president Haji Muhammad Afzal, along with trade leaders, including 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 business community said that they are ready to cooperate with the government in implementing SOPs yet still they are stripped of any dignity during crackdowns by district administrations.
“The government and authorities concerned should avoid enforcing laws only through the business community and take steps to create awareness about coronavirus SOPs among the general masses instead,” the traders said.
The meeting also expressed anguish over the arrests and harassment of traders and asked the government to avoid punishing shopkeepers because of customers who do not wear masks.
Haji Muhammad Afzal said the business community must be treated with respect because they have played an important role in the economic development of the country.
Further, Bilour assured the participants that they will share recommendations and proposals of the traders’ community with government and relevant departments.