Traders want say over Covid SOPs’ enforcement
PESHAWAR: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the provincial government to devise a joint strategy regarding enforcement of SOPs for containing coronavirus in consultation with traders community, district administration and departments concerned. The demand was made by the SCCI delegation led by its president Sherbaz Bilour during a meeting with Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz. Engr Manzoor Elahi, senior vice president and Sajjad Aziz, secretary general of the chamber and others were present in the meeting. The meeting participants apprised Chief Secretary that traders’ community has confronted enormous difficulties due to the present unfavorable business environment amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, so clampdown by imposing lockdown or smart lockdown was unaffordable for them. The participants proposed that district administration should devise a strategy to create awareness among masses regarding coronavirus standard operating procedure, asking to avoid from taking unnecessary actions and harassment of traders on pretext of violating SOPs. Sherbaz Bilour informed about the reservations of traders’ community regarding forcible closure of business centres and shops, besides arrest of shopkeepers for not fully adhering with SOPs. He said the SCCI and traders fully support and in favour of enforcement of SOPs but the district administration should avoid arrest and harassment of traders due to not wearing facemasks. He furthermore urged that administration should also avoid sealing of shops and markets without any prior intimation or notice. He suggested that a joint mechanism should be evolved to create awareness among the general masses about strictly adopting safety and precaution steps by fully adhering with SOPs. SCCI chief asked the government to take practical measures for ease of doing businesses instead of further multiplying miseries of the business community affected by Covid-19. He added the policies should be formulated in consultation with chambers and the traders’ community before its implementation. Manzoor Elahi on the occasion asked the government to fully exploit rich natural and mineral resources available in newly merged tribal districts so that will help to stabilize the provincial economy as well as create more job opportunities for the tribal youth. Dr Kazim Niaz agreed with the SCCI delegation’s proposals and recommendations and stated that the coronavirus cases have rapidly surged in the province for which the government and its relevant departments have a prime duty to implement SOPs in letter and spirit to contain the spread of the covid-19. The Chief Secretary asked the chamber to prepare proposals in close coordination with district administration, home secretary and other departments concerned to ensure enforcement of SOPs with letter and spirit, especially to remove grievances of traders’ community in this regard. - APP ����