KP traders warn of protests against market closures

PESHAWAR: Small traders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have warned the provincial government of protests against the closure of shopping malls and other business centres under the guise of “violation of coronavirus SOPs”.

Traders informed that the district administration, citing violation of Covid SOPs, was imposing fines on the already struggling shopkeepers, causing millions of rupees worth losses to traders on a daily basis.

Talking to this scribe, KP Tajir Ittehad President Mujeebur Rehman termed the steps taken by the incumbent to curb the spread of coronavirus as “tantamount to economic massacre of the business community”.

“The deteriorating law and order situation in the area over the past two decades had cost traders billions of rupees and now the lockdowns have completely destroyed their economic conditions.”

Instead of closing business centres, he said, it was imperative for the government to provide compensation to the traders.

Mujeeb noted that the government had recently announced a relief package for the industries, but small traders, who provide employment to millions of people across the province, remained completely ignored.

“After enduring the devastating affects of the first wave of Covid-19 earlier this year, the district administration wants us to close our shops again and sit idle at homes.”

He said that the government ensure the provision of education, employment, healthcare and protection to the people instead of depriving them of the legal business.

“If the government and district administration do not stop the closure of shopping malls and markets under the guise of coronavirus SOPs violation, the business community will be forced to protest across the province,” he added.

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