ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Mohammad has taken notice of the reservations of traders on the issue of closures of shops in Islamabad by 8:00 pm and the government has decided to give one hour temporary relief for early closures of shops in Islamabad.
This was said by Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Member National Assembly while addressing a joint press conference at the residence of Abdul Rauf Alam, Chairman, Joint Action Committee of traders. He said the shops will now close by 9:00 pm while marriage halls will close by 10:00 pm and restaurants by 11:00 pm. He said medical stores that do not sell any other item except for medicines would be exempted from this arrangement.
He said this was a temporary agreement while further dialogue would continue between the government and the traders’ leaders to find out an amicable solution of this problem.
He also thanked Joint Action Committee members and Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry for seeking solution of this issue through dialogue. He assured that during the dialogue process, local administration will not take any coercive measures against the traders.
Abdul Rauf Alam, Chairman, Joint Action Committee of traders thanked the Prime Minister for taking notice of traders protest and deputing Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry for dialogue with traders leaders on this issue. He appealed to the government to always take business community on board on such key issues and avoid making unilateral decisions. He assured that during the dialogue process, traders would not resort to any further strike in Islamabad.
He said due to Metro Bus project and political sit-ins, traders of Islamabad have suffered great losses while in summer season and in Ramadan, customers mostly visit shops after sunset. He said keeping in view these facts, government should seriously consider accepting traders demand for closure of shops by 10:00 pm.
He said Metro Bus affected show owners in Rawalpindi were given waive off in property tax, but no such relief was given to the traders of Islamabad. However, he thanked Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry for assuring to take up this issue with the Prime Minister.
Abdul Rauf Alam said shops rent in Islamabad was quite high as compared to Rawalpindi and government should make such decisions in consultation with trading community to arrive at consensus decisions. He said same policy should be adopted for the traders of Punjab including Rawalpindi and other provinces and traders of only Islamabad should not be forced for early closure of shops.
M. Kashif Chaudhry, President, Markazi Anjuman-e-Tijaran, Islamabad said government should consider allowing closure of shops by 10:00 pm and restaurants by 12:00 pm. He hoped that soon a consensus solution of this problems would be found.
Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kamran Abbasi President Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders, Ajmal Baloch President All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tijaran, M. Ejaz Abbasi President Jinnah Super Market, Malik Sohail Hussain Chairman FPCCI Coordination Committee and other trader were also present at the occasion.