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November 10, 2020

Small traders warn another lockdown to prove destructive

Business

November 10, 2020

KARACHI: All City Tajir Ittehad on Monday said shopkeepers fear another lockdown which, if imposed, would prove completely destructive for small businesses.

“KCCI (Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry) must play the lead role in convincing the government to refrain from imposing another lockdown and we will ensure strict compliance of all SOPs (standard operating procedures),” its president Hammad Poonawala said during a meeting with KCCI’s office bearers.

KCCI should form a committee to look into the problems being suffered by small traders who have been facing a lot of hardships every day because of harassment and demand for bhatta.

The trader delegation also expressed deep concern over dilapidated condition of roads in important markets of Karachi, which are affecting trade and commercial activities. “In order to demand bribes, policemen, traffic police officers and customs officials intercept their legal consignments with an excuse to check presence of any illicit product,” Poonawala said. “Even if all the legal documents are presented and the consignment is not carrying any banned item, they do not release it until the demand for bribe is fulfilled.”

KCCI urged shopkeepers to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures and business timing related to coronavirus. KCCI President Shariq Vohra said shopkeepers must ensure compliance of SOPs and also the business timings, besides devising effective strategies for social distancing.

“KCCI would always advocate strategies which are devised to ensure minimum losses to business community during the ongoing most difficult and extraordinary situation,” Vohra said.

KCCI president advised representatives of trade associations from commercial markets to stay calm, improve liaison with KCCI and unite under the chamber’s platform so that one voice could be raised for getting numerous issues resolved and the likely grievances, if not completely eradicated, could be minimised.

“It is high time that small traders and shopkeepers must change their mindset and start opening their businesses early morning which would certainly minimize the grievances being faced by them at the end of permitted business timings,” he said. “Shops and markets all over the world open early and close down in the evening which must also be adopted here.”

Vohra said any complaint pertaining to harassment by customs officials must immediately be brought to KCCI’s notice. “The higher authorities are usually unaware of such wrongdoings being done by the officers at lower level as it has been observed that all such complaints are instantly resolved when brought to the notice of higher officials,” he said.

KCCI president advised small traders to become members of the KCCI, which is the most vibrant platform for resolving all types of issues.