Friday September 22, 2023

Punjab ends business timings restrictions

By Our Correspondent
August 11, 2022

LAHORE: The Punjab government Wednesday removed the business timing restrictions in the province in a political move after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan asked Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to take action in this regard.

The restriction was enforced by the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led federal government, in a bid to conserve energy when it came to power. However, the PTI ended it in the Punjab province after getting power, while the restriction had already been violated in the PTI-led Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

A handout issued here said that Pervaiz Elahi, addressing the traders community, announced lifting the ban on business timings across Punjab, saying that all business centres, markets and shops would remain open on Sunday in the whole of Punjab.

Talking to representatives of traders community at 90-Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Pervaiz Elahi said major relief steps had been taken on the directions of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. “We adhere to Imran Khan’s vision of Prosperous trader, prosperous Punjab,” Elahi said.

The Sunday holiday for business centres, markets and shops had been abolished. Further, 9pm business timing restriction had also been lifted.

The CM promised to solve parking problems at business centres to give relief to traders and shoppers. He countered the PMLN propaganda that things would improve with the formation of Shehbaz Sharif government in the Centre. He said nothing had improved, rather the Shehbaz government brought a massive price-hike and also burdened the traders. The CM said the PMLN supported and patronised the parking mafia in Lahore, and vowed to get rid of all mafias.

He said that the 30 per cent of income earned from parking fee would be spent on providing facilities to traders. He announced setting up Rescue 1122 centres in markets.

A committee under Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal and traders leader Nasir Salman has been constituted to solve the problems of traders community.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar recalled that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi did a lot of commendable work during his earlier stint as the Punjab chief minister. He said the traders community had to face difficulties due to coronavirus pandemic and other problems in the past few years, and it was the government’s responsibility to solve their problems.

PTI chairman’s focal person for traders, Nasir Salman, said “We intend to present the idea of ‘Downtown’ and ‘Kiosk’ in markets like in the developing countries”, adding that the markets of all cities including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Gujranwala should be brought at a par with the world, so that buyers could be persuaded for shopping and shopkeepers as well as traders could be provided facilities. He said the PTI was endeavouring to eradicate poverty by promoting trade. He vowed to resolve the problems of traders on priority basis.