ISLAMABAD/ PESHAWAR-Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), has urged the government to allow opening of businesses for limited timings with precautionary protocols from 14th April, 2020.

He said that corona virus pandemic has caused the closure of business and industry due to which business activities were badly suffering.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced to open activities of construction industry from 14th April 2020 while district administration has also allowed to open some businesses with protective protocols. He said that rest of the businesses should also be allowed to open for limited timings after taking proper protective measures.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that due to closure of industry, workers were idle but on our request, industrialists were providing them daily food items while no worker would be rendered jobless.

However, he said that if lock-down continued for long time, it would not be possible for industrialists to pay them monthly wages without work.

He said that banks have not given any concession in installments of loans and mark up to businesses while payment of loans has also not been deferred.

He appealed to the government high ups to give sympathetic consideration to the demand of businesses for deferment of banks loans and their mark up for few months.

ICCI President also stressed upon the business community to fully abide by the SOPs issued by the government and district administration regarding precaution against coronavirus and take all required precautionary measures for the safety and protection of their workers and customers from this pandemic.

Tahir Abbasi, Senior Vice President, and Saif ur Rehman Khan, Vice President ICCI, said that small traders earned their livings like daily wagers and urged the government to defer their utility bills for few months besides giving them interest free loans of up to Rs.0.6 million so that they could be able to revive their businesses.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textile Mills’ Association (KPTMA) has urged upon the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to pursue the case of their overdue Income Tax refunds and deferment of their electricity and gas bills of the last two months.

In a letter written by the Chairman KPTMA Saleem Saifullah to the Secretary Industries, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial government has been asked further for the recovery of the deferred utility bills during the period from July 2020 in ten equal installments to provide relief to the textile industry of the province reeling due to the impact of the corona virus pandemic. The step, the chairman KPTMA said would help the textile industry of the province in timely payment of the wages/salaries to their workers.

In his letter, Saifullah also expressed gratitude to the provincial government for extending of cooperation and quick actions taken in the past and has expressed the same reaction this time too. He said that textile industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is already facing severe liquidity crunch, which has further squeezed the turnover of the industry due to lock down in the country and worldwide and unable even to bear the salaries of the staff.