SCCI seeks special fiscal relief package for Covid-19 hit traders

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) demanded that the provincial government announce a special fiscal relief package for small traders’ affected by novel coronavirus lockdown in the province.
Small-scaled businesses should be incentivized as the global Covid-19 pandemic has miserably suffered them, stresses Sherbaz Bilour, president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while chairing a meeting during visit of Chief Secretary Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Syed Zafar Ali Shah here at the chamber house on Friday.
Strongly opposing the re-imposition of restrictions, he asked the provincial government to allow businesses around the clock under strict standard operating procedures as lockdown was unaffordable for the local economy and trading community.
He called for waiving off utilities bills of Covid-19 hit traders as well as concession in rents of district government and Auqaf properties for next six months. He also demanded the provision of interest free loans to mitigate financial owes of the traders community.
Drawing attention of the provincial government toward promotion of regional trade, Sherbaz Bilour said pragmatic steps need to be taken up to remove hurdles in smooth regional trade.
Expressing serious concern over unwarranted and unlawful crackdowns on factories and harassment of staff, the SCCI chief said the illegal actions should be stopped immediately. He also expressed resentment over lack of proper representation of SCCI in provincial industrial policy 2021 and boards of relevant provincial government departments.
SCCI vice president Junaid Altaf, former president FPCCI Ghazanfar Bilour, former presidents Riaz Arshad, Zulfiqar Ali Khan, former vice presidents Haris Mufti, Abidullah Yousafzai, Javed Akhtar, Saddar Gul, executive members Aurangzeb Khan, Zahoor Khan, Aftab Iqbal, Faiz Rasool, Ihsanullah,, Majid Khan, Shams Rahim, Fazle Wahid, members of women chamber Anila Khalid, Qurtal ul Ain, provincial administrative high officials, trader leaders, industrialist and representative of relevant stakeholders were present during the meeting.
Sherbaz Bilour said the business and trade activities have been slowed down since outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, while highlighting important of regional trade, informed that during recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Uzbekistan, the chamber had signed MoUs with Uzbekistan Chamber and Surkhandarya Chamber, which terming it as a milestone step toward promotion of regional trade.
Syed Zafar Ali Shah while responding to different queries and apprehensions of the business community said that the KP government was taking serious steps to resolve issues of taxpayers. He went on to say that smooth flourishing of businesses and industries are essential for economic turnaround in the country.
However, the senior official said that the implementation of Covid-19 rules, safety steps and meeting vaccination targets was paramount important to ensure early reactivation of businesses and trade activities on a routine basis.
Former FPCCI president Ghazanfar Bilour stressed the need for giving a new look and modernizing to vehicles number plates issued by KP Excise and Taxation department to increase its significance in other parts of the country.
Mr Bilour called for effective representation of the chamber in boards of provincial government relevant institutions. He also sought the announcement of a special fiscal relief package for Covid-19 hit traders’ community.

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