PESHAWAR             -               Authorities are working on standard operating procedures (SOPs) to allow the businesses to reopen after almost one-and-a-half months of the lockdown in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, trade and official

sources told The Nation on Sunday. President of Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajeran

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Malik Meher

Elahi said that they have been informed

by the government authorities that the businesses have been divided into two categories, each of which will be allowed to open three days a week.“Some businesses will be working Monday to Wednesday and others will remain open Thursday to Saturday but we are working on SOPs as to which ones will stay open on which days,” the trader leader said. He said the traders would work from 9am to 4pm for 3 days a week only. “Almost 60 percent businesses have already opened under the smart lockdown

policy, but the rest of 30 percent will also be opened within next two days once the government issues a notification

in this respect,” he claimed. However, he said that traders have been making two demands of the government:

one, let the traders open till some time such as 5 hours a day and, secondly, the traders should be given

interest-free loans of Rs500,000 to Rs2000,000. “Traders can no longer afford closure of shops as we already have observed it for around 45 days during which they suffered losses. This is why the government

should release interest-free loans to traders with a deadline of up to 10 years for paying them back,” Malik Meher

said.He said that he personally does not like traders to spread the virus and traders can cooperate more on the lockdown if the government provides them relief. KP Minister for Labour and Culture Shaukat Yousafzai told The Nation that though the situation was not good with regard to coronavirus, the traders also need to do their businesses in order to meet their expenses. “Traders will open three days a week and all will shut by 4pm daily. We have asked the trade leaders to decide which trades will open on which days,” said Shaukat, who is a senior PTI leader

and member of the task force set up in view of the Covid-19 situation and being headed by the KP chief minister. Besides Shaukat Yousafzai, the task force includes the chief minister as its head, as well as corps commander, secretaries

of finance and interior, chief secretary, additional chief secretary, CM advisor on information Ajmal Wazir

and Minister Fianance Taimur