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KP Traders, Industrialists Demand Complete End To Lockdown

Members of the business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday presented a 48-point charter of demands to the government, calling for a complete end to lockdown without delay in the province and for business activities to resume uninterrupted.

The business community addressed a press conference in the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) in Peshawar. SCCI president Maqsood Pervaiz declared that the lockdown was not the solution to the Covid-19 pandemic and that it should therefore be lifted. He rejected the government’s instructions of opening businesses for five days a week.

The business community has also demanded for the government to release tax refunds immediately, a one-year tax waiver for the business community, and financial support to traders to pay rents on commercial buildings. They also demanded for the ban on wheat transport between Punjab and KP to be lifted, and the hurdles between Pak-Afghan trade to be removed.

The SCCI president said that the huge influx of consumers in the markets seen earlier was due to the short duration for which bazars were opened. He said that if the restrictions were removed completely, people would be better able to practice social distancing as they would not be flooding the markets. He also gave assurances that the business community would cooperate fully with the administration in the observance of SOPs to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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