BAJAUR  -   Business community leaders in Bajaur tribal district on Thursday urged the district administration to make easy the verification process for the traders applying to Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) for financial grants for rehabilitations of their destroyed shops in the region.

They also slammed the district administration for stopping of verification process for last two weeks without any reason. Addressing a news conference here at Bajaur Press Club, leaders of several trade unions in the region, including Khar trade union president Haji Khan Bahadar, Inayat Kalli trade union president Haji Muhammad Zaman, Sadiqabad shopkeepers association president Haji Akbar Jan, Nawagai traders and shopkeepers union chairman Asgahr Khan and Lovisam shopkeepers association head Ismail Khan said that the district administration wasn’t issuing verification letters to the traders applying for the Smeda financial grants.

They said that they did not know the reason nor the administration had specified any cause for the suspension of verification process, however, they claimed that the verification process had been stopped for the last ten days. The trade union associations’ leaders pointed out that the financial grant program had been announced by the Smeda on March 22 while May 2 was the final day for submission of applications. They told that hundreds of traders of different bazaars have been visiting the local administration’s offices in civil colony Khar every day while at least three thousands shopkeepers have visited the said offices so for. However, the relevant officials did not issue the verification letters to them despite they were coming from far-flung areas.

They alleged that stopping of verification process by the district administration of the traders was nothing else, but to discourage them. They mentioned that senior officials of the district administration during a meeting with them a week ago had promised to resume the verification process till last Thursday, adding that the officials failed to fulfill their commitment despite passage of four days.

They feared that at least four thousand shopkeepers of the district whose shops and business had been destroyed or damaged could be deprived from the Smeda finical grants if the administration did not resume the verification process immediately. They demanded the deputy commissioner and others senior officials of the district administration to recommence the verification process without further delay so the traders could submit their applications instantly.